Event Date and Time
McGinty's Public House, 911 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring, MD 20910
Dr. Gary LaFree

Be Informed Lectures and Libations

Be Informed: Lecture and Libations is a community lecture series hosted by faculty and researchers from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, with a mission to increase understanding of and pursue innovative solutions to the challenges facing our global community. A range of topics including psychology, social justice, political science, human behavior and more will be addressed in a relaxed atmosphere, accompanied by refined drinks and delicious bites. This month's lecture will take place at McGinty's Public House in SIlver Spring, MD.



Terrorism 101:  What we have learned since 9/11

Researchers in the social sciences were very slow to take up the study of terrorism.  However, this began to change with the terrorist attack by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City in 1995 and especially following the coordinated attacks of September 11, 2001.  Over the past twenty years terrorism has become a major public policy issue, we have witnessed incredible growth in research on terrorism, and terrorism has become a staple topic of instruction in college courses. At this lecture, Dr. LaFree will approach terrorism from an introductory college course standpoint. He will review some of the major things social scientists have learned from studying terrorism over the last couple of decades and try to address some common questions about terrorism.

  • How common are terrorist attacks? 
  • How deadly are attacks? 
  • How many attacks originate in foreign countries? 
  • To what extent to those who engage in terrorism resemble other types of criminals? 
  • What impact does prison have on terrorists? 
  • How are terrorist adapting to new technologies? 
  • What happens to terrorist groups when their leaders are killed?  

We hope you'll join us for this timely and important lecture. 


Gary LaFree is Chair of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the Director of the Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center (MCRIC) at the University of Maryland.  He is also the Founding Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland and directed START from 2004 to 2018.  LaFree is a past president of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and was the Founding Chair of the ASC Division on Terrorism and Bias Crime.  He was one of the original creators of the Global Terrorism Database, now the most extensive source of information on worldwide terrorist attacks.

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Guggenheim Foundation, the US State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.  He has done interviews in dozens of media outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR and the Economist.  His research is on the causes and consequences of violent crime and terrorism.  His most recent books are Putting Terrorism in Context (with Laura Dugan and Erin Miller), The Handbook of the Criminology of Terrorism (with Josh Freilich) and Countering Terrorism (with Martha Crenshaw).


Complimentary dinner buffet provided.

Advanced registration is required, as space is limited. RSVP by Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

For questions about the Be Informed Lectures and Libations monthly series or about this specific talk, please contact Jenny Kilberg, director of alumni and donor relations at jkilberg [at] umd [dot] edu

Gary LaFree