Poverty as a Cause of Terrorism and MIND/FIND as an Inhibitor of Transnational Terrorism

Principal Investigator: 
Performance Period: 
March 2014 to June 2014
Commercialization Status: 
Project Keywords: 
Effective Counterterrorism
Income as a Root Cause of Terrorism
INTERPOL’s Surveillance
The first subcomponent presents a nonlinear examination of the role of income and other factors as a root cause of domestic and transnational terrorism.  In particular, we identify the peak income levels associated with various kinds of terrorist attacks in two different time periods.  These peaks differ for transnational and domestic terrorism before and after 1993.  Also, these peaks differ based on where the attack takes place versus where the terrorists (perpetrators) originated from.  After 1993, low per capita income levels is a greater driver of terrorism when investigating the home country of terrorists than when examining the country where the attack takes place.  The study can predict where the United States faces its greatest risk of terrorist attacks against US assets at home and abroad.  For home attacks, the analysis indicates where terrorists are mostly likely to originate from.  These risks owing to low per capita income have changed greatly as terrorism is less driven by the leftists and more by the fundamentalists.  The analysis indicates how policy decisions can lessen these risks – e.g., aid to countries approaching the peak may be a poor risk management decision. A second subcomponent investigates the effectiveness of border searches using INTERPOL’s MIND/FIND system of surveillance.  Countries using MIND/FIND (such as the United States) scan travel documents at border crossing to determined stolen or lost travel documents.  Also, passport information is matched against INTERPOL’s list of suspected terrorists and international criminals.  Our analysis ascertains how effective the system has been in curbing transnational terrorist events by countries adopting MIND/FIND and utilizing the system.  We have search data for 2007-2011 given to me by the General Secretariat of INTERPOL.  General Secretary Ronald Noble has read our paper and characterizes it as a very thoughtful, important, and policy-relevant study.