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Situational Crime Prevention and Terrorism: Target Selection, Weapon Use, and Success Rates of Terrorist Attacks in Western Europe and the USA, 2000-2017
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS).
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Situational prevention efforts are a significant component of counter terrorism. Despite this, there is a surprisingly small amount of research from this perspective within the criminological field. This study aims to identify any trends in important situational factors of terrorist attacks, specifically looking at target selection, weapon use and success rates of terrorist attacks carried out in Western Europe and the USA between 2000-2017. Data for this study was gathered from the Global Terrorism Database, an online open-source database containing extensive information on over 180,000 terrorist events around the world from 1970 to 2017. The results show that private citizens and property were the most commonly attacked target overall, while attacks against religious figures and institutions were on a notable upward trend. Explosives were the most commonly used weapon type overall, however they were also the most unsuccessful, and use of explosives was on a downward trend in Western Europe. Incendiaries were the next most commonly used weapon type, however firearms and particularly melee attacks were on the biggest upward trends. Firearms were used in terrorist attacks relatively more in the USA than in Western Europe, and government targets in the USA were the most resilient target to terrorist attacks. While the terrorist threat to private citizens and property is fully recognised by policy makers, the results suggest that novel situational prevention measures are needed to deal with the evolving nature of terrorist attacks against Western Europe and the USA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö universitet/Hälsa och samhälle , 2019. , p. 29
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-24384Local ID: 29662OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-24384DiVA, id: diva2:1485801
Educational program
HS Criminology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-11-02 Created: 2020-11-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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  • html
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  • asciidoc
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