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Leader picked for terrorism research center at Penn State


An expert in the psychology of terrorism has been picked to direct a terrorism research center headquartered at Penn State University.

“One of the most urgent challenges of the academic community is to understand the ways in which people become involved in terrorism,” said John Horgan, who signed a five-year contract to lead the International Center for the Study of Terrorism.

The center, which began in May 2006, is sponsored by an international consortium of schools and organizations. It includes 15 other universities that belong to the Worldwide Universities Network.

Horgan, 32, is currently a faculty member at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in applied psychology from University College in Ireland.

He is scheduled to start Nov. 1 at Penn State.

Studying the causes of terrorism is important “because there’s a growing realization that military approaches to terrorism are not as effective as many might have assumed,” he said.

Horgan also is a member of the European Commission Expert Group on Violent Radicalization, which is developing an agenda to investigate radicalization throughout Europe.

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International Center for the Study of Terrorism:

Information from: Centre Daily Times,

–Associated Press

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