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Quantifying Terrorism


Submitted By swordfish11269
Words 3967
Pages 16
Abstract Global terrorism would appear to be the curse of our modern society. Turn on any television and world news will be reporting on an act of terror or its consequences. Prime examples of this include the destruction of the World Trade Centre, the bombing of the Underground system in London, the Mumbai nightclub bombings to name but a few of the more prominent events over the last decade. These acts have crystallized the focus of public attention to ensure that the topic of terrorism will remain high on the global political agenda for many years to come. However, terrorism is not a new phenomenon. On a global scale, terrorism has been alive and well for many decades.
What has changed is the emergence of the global financial market and the modus operendi of the modern day terrorist groups. A terrorist act of sinking a crude oil carrier in the Straits of Hormuz for example, could have a direct impact on the price of crude oil and petroleum on the world market, to say nothing of shipping carrier prices and maritime insurance. Like ripples in a pond, the act would have far reaching consequences. Quantifying terrorism has now become an important tool both for the financial sectors 9who use it predominantly for insurance based risk analysis and also for government bodies who could use it for spotting emerging trends in terrorism and therefore investing in anti and counter terror procedures. So why might it be difficult to quantify terrorism? This paper attempts to answer that question. It looks at the early aspects of terrorism; it’s definitions, typologies and variables in order to establish a base unit from where terrorism can be measured and why terrorism actually needs to be quantified. It will also examine similar data, based on the same aspect of terrorism and examine the differing results.


Early Beginnings

“One man willing to throw

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