Research Group Says Suicide Terrorism On The Rise

The frequency of suicide terrorism has increased in recent years, with more than 90 percent of all suicide attacks from 1970-2008 occurring between 2000 and 2008. Following a suicide bombing at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland has compiled background information on related terrorist activity.

Key Findings From START’s Global Terrorism Database Covered In Background Report:

  • Russia: From 1991-2008, Russia ranks 26th in terms of total attacks and 18th in terms of total fatalities among all countries. Moscow has been the location of a number of highly lethal terrorist attacks in the past decade.
  • Perpetrators: Chechen-associated terrorist groups, as well as individuals advocating the Chechen cause are responsible for more than 90 percent of those attacks for which a perpetrator was identified.
  • Airports: Worldwide between 1970 and 2008 there have been 777 attacks against airports and airline targets that were not hijackings. Of these attacks, 337 targeted airline offices, 111 targeted aircraft, and 329 targeted the airports themselves. Attacks on airports are not typically highly lethal, causing zero fatalities in more than 70 percent of all cases.
  • Suicide Attacks: Since 2000, suicide terrorism accounts for 7.3 percent of all terrorist attacks.

“Aerial hijackings have long received a lot more attention than attacks on airports themselves -- the Moscow Airport bombing provides a dramatic wake up call for airport security outside of aircraft,” said START Director Gary LaFree.

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