Tactical Prevention of Suicide Bombings in Israel
Interfaces 36(6):553-561, 2006
Posted: 10 Mar 2020 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: December 1, 2006
Suicide bombings are the leading cause of death from terrorism in Israel. Counter-terror tactics, such as the targeted killings or preemptive arrests of terror leaders or suspects, are meant to prevent such attacks. To investigate whether these tactics are successful, we estimated via maximum likelihood a family of shot-noise models from monthly data covering 2001 through 2003 to see whether we could predict the rate of suicide-bombing attacks as a function of prevention tactics over time. Although preventive arrests appear to lower the rate of suicide-bombing attacks, targeted killings seem to be followed by an increase in the number of suicide bombings. In addition, limited evidence suggests that the probability of intercepting a suicide bomber en route to an attack increases with the expected number of suicide-bombing attacks. Such an endogenous relationship could imply an upper limit on the rate of successful suicide bombings.
Keywords: Terrorism, Suicide terrorism, Israel, Security policy
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