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Modelling the effectiveness of counter-terrorism interventions

16 Jun 2014
Description

This paper finds that for Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, reactive types of  counter-terrorism interventions, such as arrests, indictments, imprisonments, assassinations and other operational activities show the strongest association with the rate of terrorism incidents over time.

Abstract

This paper models the connection between the rate of terrorist events and the occurrence of counter-terrorism interventions in order to examine the relative effectiveness of the interventions. Using data from the Global Terrorism Database and information on interventions collected by the authors, model results show that for Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, reactive types of interventions, such as arrests, indictments, imprisonments, assassinations and other operational activities show the strongest association with the rate of terrorism incidents over time. Maximum effectiveness—as measured by the number of days after an intervention exhibits its full inhibitory effect on the risk of subsequent terrorist attacks—was found to be greatest in Indonesia and the Philippines (11 days and 8 days respectively) and least effective in Thailand (impacting only on the day the intervention occurred). This paper also examines the number of days after an intervention that the response was able to maintain a high level of effectiveness—17 days in Indonesia, 13 days in the Philippines and one day in Thailand. There were significant differences across these three countries and these results highlight a new approach to conceptualising the interaction between terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts.

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2014
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