An Empirical Study of Suicide Terrorism: A Global Analysis

Publication Type: 
Authors: 
Charlinda Santifort-Jordan
Todd Sandler
Description/Abstract: 
This paper provides the first venue-based empirical investigation of the number and lethality of suicide terrorist attacks on a global scale. For 1998–2010, we assemble a data set of 2448 suicide terrorist incidents, drawn from the three main terrorist event databases, i.e., International Terrorism: Attributes of Terrorist Events (ITERATE), the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), and RAND. Our data set distinguishes between domestic and transnational suicide terrorist missions. For the quantity of suicide terrorism, we apply zero-inflated negative binomial panel (country-year) estimation for country-specific variables and negative binomial panel estimation for attack-specific variables. We also present linear regression panel estimations for the impact of suicide terrorism in terms of casualties per attack. Economic, political, and military variables, at times, differentially influenced the two kinds of suicide terrorism. A host of policy conclusions are drawn from the empirical findings.