Not on My Watch: Counterterrorism Internship at START
While terrorism is typically thought of as a foreign attack, its roots can just as easily be domestic. Combatting terrorism requires diligence, proactiveness and positive detection, major goals for the Department of Homeland Security. This summer Vince DiCindio ’15, a world politics major with a concentration in international security, is an intern with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), with support from the Eckman Fund.
START is hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park, and receives federal funding from the Department of Defense, the FBI, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Organization, among others. At START, DiCindio is working to identify and profile organized crime groups in the United States that may be working with foreign terrorist organizations for the purpose of smuggling radioactive or nuclear materials into the country.
DiCindio confirmed that he would like to pursue a career in law enforcement after working on extradition cases while interning with the Department of Justice this past spring. He said that he has “always been fascinated with the differences and similarities between domestic crime and international terrorist threats,” enjoying the chance “to examine the unique situations when these two realms collide.”
Outside of his prescribed work, DiCindio also has the opportunity to hear experts speak on terrorism, extremism, intelligence and related careers. He is anxious to participate in a “tabletop exercise,” responding to a mock terrorist attack, as well as a "red team exercise,” planning a terrorist attack with the intent to detect and address weak points in the nation's defense.
This internship aligns directly with DiCindio’s post-graduation plans of becoming a Special Agent in the FBI. “I know I'll be able to find my way into whatever I develop a passion for in this field,” he admitted, “I'm lucky to have an internship like mine where I am already beginning to develop these passions and skills.”
Vince DiCindio is a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, NJ.