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Lone-Actor Terrorist Target Choice

Gill, P; (2016) Lone-Actor Terrorist Target Choice. Behavioral Sciences & the Law , 34 (5) pp. 693-705. 10.1002/bsl.2268. Green open access

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Abstract

Lone-actor terrorist attacks have risen to the forefront of the public’s consciousness in the past few years. Some of these attacks were conducted against public officials. The rise of hard-to-detect, low-tech attacks may lead to more public officials being targeted. This paper explores whether different behavioral traits are apparent within a sample of lone-actor terrorists who plotted against high-value targets (including public officials) than within a sample of lone-actors that plotted against members of the public. Utilizing a unique dataset of 111 lone-actor terrorists, we test a series of hypotheses related to attack capability and operational security. The results indicate that very little differentiates those who attack high-value targets from those who attack members of the public. We conclude with a series of illustrations to theorise why this may be the case.

Type: Article
Title: Lone-Actor Terrorist Target Choice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2268
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2268
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gill, P; (2016) Lone-Actor Terrorist Target Choice. Behavioral Sciences & the Law , 34(5) pp.693-705, which has been published in final form at https:doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2268. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521126
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