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Title: Behavior Associations in Lone Actor Terrorists
Terrorist attacks carried out by individuals or single cells have significantly accelerated over the last 20 years. This type of terrorism, defined as lone-actor (LA) terrorism, stands as one of the greatest security threats of our time. Research on LA behavior and characteristics has emerged and accelerated over the last decade. While these studies have produced valuable information on demographics, behavior, classifications, and warning signs, the relationship among these characters are yet to be addressed. Moreover, the means of radicalization and attacking have changed over decades. This study first identifies 25 binary behavioral characteristics of LAs and analyzes 192 LAs recorded on three different databases. Next, the classification is carried out according to first ideology, then to incident scene behavior via a virtual attacker-defender game, and, finally, according to the clusters obtained from the data. In addition, within each class, statistically significant associations and temporal relations are extracted using the A-priori algorithm. These associations would be instrumental in identifying the attacker type and intervene at the right time. The results indicate that while pre-9/11 LAs were mostly radicalized by the people in their environment, post-9/11 LAs are more diverse. Furthermore, the association chains for different LA types present unique characteristic more » pathways to violence and after-attack behavior. « less
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Terrorism and Political Violence
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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