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Connections Can Be Toxic: Terrorist Organizational Factors and the Pursuit of CBRN Terrorism

47 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 20 Aug 2010

Victor Asal

State University of New York at Albany

R. Karl Rethemeyer

SUNY University at Albany

Gary Ackerman

University of Maryland, College Park

Hyun Hee Park

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The prospects of politically violent non-state actors utilizing chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons has captured the imaginations of not only public officials and the news media, but also a sizeable group of scholars who have sought to better define and characterize this apparent threat. Yet little of this work is quantitative in nature and global in scope. This study presents an analysis of the decision to pursue CBRN weapons that leverages data from the Monterey Weapons of Mass Destruction dataset and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). Our findings suggest that organizations embedded in alliance structures and based in authoritarian countries with relatively strong connections to a globalized world are more likely to seek to develop or acquire CBRN weapons. Contrary to previous studies, we failed to find a significant relationship between CBRN pursuit and either religious ideology or two measures of organizational capabilities.

Suggested Citation

Asal, Victor and Rethemeyer, R. Karl and Ackerman, Gary and Park, Hyun Hee, Connections Can Be Toxic: Terrorist Organizational Factors and the Pursuit of CBRN Terrorism (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1644255

Victor Asal (Contact Author)

State University of New York at Albany ( email )

135 Western Ave
Building, Room 109
Albany, NY 12222
United States

R. Karl Rethemeyer

SUNY University at Albany ( email )

1400 Washington Avenue
Building, Room 109
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Gary Ackerman

University of Maryland, College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Hyun Hee Park

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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