Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC Research Identifies Patterns Leading to Terrorist Attacks

UC Research Identifies Patterns Leading to Large-scale Terrorist Attacks

May 9, 2013

University of Canterbury (UC) research has found that terrorist incidents that kill a lot of people are often preceded by a number of small-scale attacks.

UC psychology lecturer Dr Andy Martens says terrorist attacks that result in heavy loss of life are especially important to understand because the vast majority of attacks kill one person or no one at all.

``Our research using the Global Terrorism Database produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism shows that of the 132,041 people killed in attacks between 1970 and 2008, a total of 42,703 people died in one percent of the attacks.

``The small number of more deadly attacks accounts for a disproportionate number of the total fatalities resulting from terrorist attacks,’’ Dr Martens says. 

``We tested for patterns of escalation in the subset of small-scale attacks that terrorists committed leading up to big attacks. We found that an escalating trajectory tends to emerge in the series of smaller attacks that precede major attacks, killing 20 people or more.

``Before any big attacks, the lethality of a group’s attacks tended to first decrease and then increase such that the number of people killed increased most steeply just prior to a big attack. Further, groups tend to attack frequently just prior to a big attack.

``However, not all terrorist groups show these patterns—many do not. But on the whole, there appears to be a general tendency to escalate leading up to big attacks.

``Given the disproportionate influence of major terrorist incidents, uncovering systematic patterns in attacks that precede and anticipate highly lethal attacks may be of value for predicting and understanding attacks that exact a heavy toll on life.’’

Dr Martens says future research may build on the UC research to improve the ability to forecast terrorist attacks and, in turn, more strategically steer intervention resources.

The present UC escalation model may also prove useful for interventions and monitoring killing in other contexts such as war, genocide and gang violence. His research included collaboration with colleagues from other universities.  

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Starts Talks On Tougher Rules For Property Speculators

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is stepping up preparations to restrict lending to residential property investors as it watches house prices, particularly in Auckland, continue to rise strongly. More>>

ALSO:

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news