August 24, 2008
A Look at Terrorist Behavior: How They Prepare, Where They Strike
"Although we know a great deal about the behavior of traditional criminals, little information has been available about terrorists. Are they much different from conventional criminals, who tend to commit their crimes close to home? Research has shown that traditional criminals are spontaneous, but terrorists seem to go to great lengths preparing for their attacks — and may commit other crimes while doing so. How long does this planning take? And do different types of terrorist groups vary in preparation time?
To help answer these questions, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) launched a series of projects to explore patterns of terrorist behavior. In the first of these projects, a panel of experts was assembled to examine 60 case studies involving terrorist incidents in the U.S. during the past 25 years. These cases involved the four major types of U.S. terrorist groups: left wing, right wing, single issue and international. The panel — including this author — looked at the homes of the terrorists, the locations of planning and preparation, and the sites of the terrorist incidents to discover whether any patterns emerged.
What we learned was intriguing: The cases of McVeigh, the Sept. 11 hijackers and Rudolph are actually unusual. In fact, we found that most terrorists live close to their selected targets, and they engage in a great deal of preparation — some over the course of months or even years — that has the potential of coming to the attention of local law enforcement." [RJ]
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Look at Terrorist Behavior: How They Prepare, Where They Strike: