How terrorists think about the economic impact of attacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It has long been recognised that terrorism can be a remarkably effective low cost form of conflict. For modest outlays on the part of perpetrators, terrorist violence can inflict disproportionately high economic costs. The potential for heavy economic impacts was a key factor behind the formation of Pool Re in the UK and other terrorism reinsurance schemes internationally. While the insurance sector is aware of the possible large economic and commercial impacts of terrorism, what is less well understood is how terrorists themselves appreciate and think about the economic consequences of their attacks. To what extent does this play a role in terrorist targeting and strategy? What role does ideology play in the process? Are some terrorist movements more likely to select economic and commercial targets than others? This paper aims to shed light on how and why some terrorists deliberately aim for economic targets and impacts while others ignore them.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalTerrorism Threat and Mitigation Report
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • terrorism
  • political violence
  • terrorist decision-making
  • terrorist target selection
  • Terrorist attacks
  • economic targets

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