Master program on Counter Terrorism inaugurated at the University of Krems

A new master program on Counter Terrorism, CVE & Intelligence at the University of Krems, designed and led by EICTP senior researcher Dr Stockhammer, was inaugurated on October 6th under the presence of prominent state actors and EICTP’s leadership. Among others, Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) and Omar Haijawi-Pirchner, Head of the Directorate of State Protection and Intelligence (DSN), were present at the Danube University Krems for the festive event marking the start of a new Master program.

The three-year program will serve as a recruitment pool for the intelligence services (DSN, the army intelligence office and counter-intelligence office) and for the further training of their employees. For Austria, the study program under the direction of extremism and terrorism researcher Stockhammer is a novelty. In Austria, research into intelligence services and espionage has long been a minority program. The new degree program at Danube University is “in a way a response to what went wrong in the run-up to the Vienna terrorist attack”, says Stockhammer. The Ministry of the Interior approached him in the course of the investigation into the attack and the reform of the BVT into a DSN. The ministry initially funded Stockhammer’s “Research Cluster Counter-Terrorism, CVE & Intelligence”, which began its work at Danube University in 2021. Stockhammer then designed the new Master’s program based on this research unit. This program is also financially supported by the Ministry of the Interior. The program offers a mix of practitioners and researchers. The students will be taught by experts such as Daniel Byman from Georgetown University in Washington and Peter Neumann from King’s College London, says Stockhammer. Teaching units with employees from various foreign intelligence services are also planned.