INTA graduate student, Ms. Tiffany DeLeon, and INTA undergrad, Ms. Lucia Bird, present at 2011 Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Basic Research Technical Review Conference in Springfield, Virginia on 20 July 2011.
Doing research under a DTRA-funded project, "Multidisciplinary modeling of socio-economic influence on adversarial intent to acquire, proliferate and use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons," both students presented case studies and findings on WMD incidents by terrorist groups. DeLeon analyzed all available open-source incidents of plots, acquisition, attempts, and use of WMD terrorism in Latin America, an area of the world with a history of instability, long-standing terrorist and insurgent groups, and concerns regarding internationalization of terrorism particularly in areas like the Tri-Border Area (TBA) where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina meet. Bird examined WMD terrorism in the Middle East through construction and analysis of detailed chronologies of WMD activity by Hamas & Hezbollah. Conventionally, it is held that state support is likely to aid in the pursuit of WMD by terrorist groups, these projects contribute to research challenging this assumption and toward a new theory on the connection between state support and WMD use by terrorist groups.
INTA's Prof. Margaret E. Kosal, in collaboration with Prof. Chaitanya Deo of Georgia Tech's Mechanical Engineering department and Prof. Shatakshee Dhongde of the Rochester Institute of Technology, leads the work.
The purpose of the DTRA Basic Research Technical Review is to evaluate the technical progress made by basic research awardees and ensure advancement of on-going research efforts. The review also provides an excellent opportunity to foster collaborations, for mutual edification across the community of Combating-WMD researchers, and to build relationships with students and post-doctoral fellows.