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Modelling the Effectiveness of Counter-Terrorism Interventions

NCJ Number
Gentry White; Lorraine Mazerolle; Michael D. Porter; Peter Chalk
Date Published
June 2014
8 pages

This paper compares the success rate of terrorist events against counter-terrorism interventions.


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 and least effective in Thailand. 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 1 day in Thailand. There were significant differences across these three countries and these results highlight a new approach to conceptualizing the interaction between terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts. Figures and references