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Spatio-temporal patterns of IED usage by the Provisional Irish Republican Army

Tench, S; Fry, H; Gill, P; (2016) Spatio-temporal patterns of IED usage by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. European Journal of Applied Mathematics , 27 (3) pp. 377-402. 10.1017/S0956792515000686. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper, a unique dataset of improvised explosive device attacks during “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland (NI) is analysed via a Hawkes process model. It is found that this past dependent model is a good fit to improvised explosive device attacks yielding key insights about the nature of terrorism in NI. We also present a novel approach to quantitatively investigate some of the sociological theory surrounding the Provisional Irish Republican Army which challenges previously held assumptions concerning changes seen in the organisation. Finally, we extend our use of the Hawkes process model by considering a multidimensional version which permits both self and mutual-excitations. This allows us to test how the Provisional Irish Republican Army responded to past improvised explosive device attacks on different geographical scales from which we find evidence for the autonomy of the organisation over the six counties of NI and Belfast. By incorporating a second dataset concerning British Security Force (BSF) interventions, the multidimensional model allows us to test counter-terrorism (CT) operations in NI where we find subsequent increases in violence.

Type: Article
Title: Spatio-temporal patterns of IED usage by the Provisional Irish Republican Army
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0956792515000686
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0956792515000686
Language: English
Additional information: This article has been published in a revised form in the European Journal of Applied Mathematics at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0956792515000686. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016.
Keywords: Point process; Hawkes process; Change point; Terrorism; Counter-terrorism; Northern Ireland; Provisional Irish Republican Army
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477461
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