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Self-Radicalization and Lone Wolf Terrorism

8:30: Registration and continental breakfast

9:00: Valerie Gray Hardcastle, “Welcome and Introduction to Terrorism in the United States”
This presentation will provide a brief overview of the recent history of terroristic activity in the U.S. as well as a short summary of how most experts currently understand process of self-radicalization and the psychology lone actor terrorists.

Dr. Hardcastle is the Academic Director for the Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry and Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati. Her research has most recently focused on the neuroscience of violence and how brain data are being used in criminal court cases.

9:45: Rebecca Sanders, “The Politics of Contemporary Terrorism: Key Debates”
This introductory talk will survey major scholarly and policy debates over the definition of terrorism, its causes, and possible responses. It will draw attention to the trade-offs involved in different approaches to framing what terrorism, particularly “lone wolf” terrorism, is and is not.

Dr. Sanders is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. Her research lies at the intersection of international law, international security, and human rights. She is currently examining the complex and often contradictory role of legal and normative constraints in shaping contentious post-9/11 American interrogation, detention, "targeted killing," and surveillance practices.

10:30: Coffee Break

10:45: Peter Simi, “A Multidimensional Model to Understanding Violent Extremism”
Relying on extensive life history interviews with 89 former US white supremacists, this presentation focuses on how untreated trauma, negative emotions, and adolescent misconduct serve as precursors to participation in violent extremism. In addition, we will also focus on how family socialization exposes children to ideas consistent with white supremacy such as racism and anti-Semitism.

Dr. Simi is Director of the Earl Babbie Research Center and Associate Professor of Sociology at Chapman University. A member of the National Consortium in Studies of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), he has studied extremist groups and violence for the past 20 years.

Noon: Lunch

1:30: Reid Meloy, “Assessing the risk of lone actor terrorism: TRAP-18”
Dr. Meloy will introduce the Terrorist Radicalization Assessment Protocol, a structured professional judgment instrument composed of 18 proximal and distal indicators. Research continues to support its reliability and validity.

Dr. Meloy is a consultant to the Behavioral Analysis Units of the FBI, Quantico, and the originator and developer of the TRAP-18 (Terrorist Radicalization Assessment Protocol). As a forensic psychologist, he has interviewed and assessed numerous terrorists around the world.

2:45: Coffee Break

3:00: Scott Bresler and Christopher Marett, “Examining the Extremist Through the Forensic Mental Health Lens”
This presentation will illustrate the challenges with understanding lone extremist actors focusing on recent and on-going local cases.

Dr. Bresler is Clinical Director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He provides threat assessments and forensic analyses in the Cincinnati area and around the country, including the recent case of Christopher Cornell.

Dr. Marett is Director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry for the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and affiliated forensic psychiatrist with Summit Behavioral Healthcare-Cincinnati and the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. He is expert in risk assessment and forensic evaluation practices.

4:15: Coffee Break

4:30: Mark Follman: Confronting a Wave of Violent Far-Right Extremism
This talk will explore the intersection of far-right extremism and the rise of mass shootings and other targeted public attacks in recent years, with an eye toward America’s increasingly polarized politics, and how the media and government are responding.

Mr. Follman is a Senior Editor at Mother Jones. He has written extensively on white supremacy movements, public attacks, and the intersection of social media and far-right extremism.

5:45: End