USC Counter-Terrorism Program Wins Three-Year Renewal

USC Counter-Terrorism Program Wins Three-Year Renewal

USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism (CREATE) has received a $11 million, three-year grant renewal from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), CREATE Director Detlof von Winterfeldt announced.

CREATE became the first Homeland Security Center of Excellence when it opened in March 2004, and is the first to be renewed. The center will host a reception at USC on May 7th to announce its plans for the next funding cycle and to showcase a new book developed by CREATE researchers, “The Economic Consequences of Terrorism Events."

Completing its third year, CREATE performs cost-benefit analyses to help policymakers decide where and how much to spend for protecting against terrorism.

von Winterfeldt said: “Over the past three years, CREATE has made great advances in modeling and evaluating the risks, costs and consequences of terrorism."

A CREATE study helped California’s state government to allocate infrastructure protection funds from DHS. Another study has been guiding DHS analysts as they weigh the costs and benefits of devices that could protect commercial jets from shoulder-fired missiles.

Other achievements include reports on biological threats, border security and seaport vulnerabilities, along with an active conference schedule and a dossier of more than 150 publications.

Over the next three years CREATE’s research program will focus on risk and economic analysis in the areas of chemical and biological weapons, explosives, borders and maritime security, and infrastructure, von Winterfeldt said.

CREATE’s research team includes over 30 faculty researchers and more than 40 research assistants from USC and other universities across the nation. The center has about 30 active projects at any given time. Most focus on developing advanced models that gauge how and where terrorist events may occur, to estimate the economic consequences of such attacks, and to identify where the country is most vulnerable.

Policymakers are using these tools to plan against and prepare for major threats, such as chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological and cybersecurity attacks.

In “The Economic Consequences of Terrorism Events," edited by USC faculty Harry Richardson, Peter Gordon and James Moore, top researchers from around the world discuss issues such as: airport security, urban terrorism, Coast Guard operations, and the need to balance freedoms with security. New policies for deterring terrorism are also proposed. Later chapters model the economic impacts of terrorist attacks on the food industry, major US ports, utilities and US theme parks.

DHS supports seven other Homeland Security Centers of Excellence. For more information on the centers, see