Quantitative analysis of global terrorist attacks based on the global terrorism database

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Sustainability (Switzerland)


Terrorist attacks have become a serious source of risk affecting the security of the international community. Using the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), in order to quantitatively study past terrorist attacks and their temporal and spatial evolution the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used to classify the degree of damage from terrorist attacks. The various factors influencing terrorist attacks were extracted and represented in three dimensions. Subsequently, using MATLAB for analysis and processing, the grading standards for terrorist attacks were classified into five levels according to the degree of hazard. Based on this grading standard, the top ten terrorist attacks with the highest degree of hazard in the past two decades were listed. Because the characteristics and habits of a terrorist or group exhibit a certain consistency, the K-means cluster analysis method was used to classify terrorists according to region, type of attack, type of target and type of weapon used by the terrorists. Several attacks that might have been committed by the same terrorist organization or individual at different times and in different locations were classified into one category, and the top five categories were selected according to the degree of sabotage inflicted by the organization or individual. Finally, the spatiotemporal evolution of terrorist attacks in the past three years was analyzed, considering the terrorist attack targets and key areas of terrorist attacks. The Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Africa were predicted to be the regions that will be most seriously affected by future global terrorist events. The terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia are expected to become more severe, and the scope of terrorist attacks in Africa is expected to widen. Civilians are the targets most at risk for terrorist attacks, and the corresponding risk index is considerably higher than it is for other targets. The results of this research can help individuals and the government to enable a better understanding of terrorism, improve awareness to prevent terrorism and enhance emergency management and rescue, and provide a solid and reliable basis and reference for joint counterterrorism in various countries and regions.

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Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China



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