Economically Targeted Terrorism

A Review of the Literature and a Framework for Considering Defensive Approaches

by Brian A. Jackson, Lloyd Dixon, Victoria A. Greenfield

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Abstract

Recent acts of terrorism and statements by terrorist organizations have focused attention on the economic damages that can be produced by terrorist activities and the desire of some terrorists to inflict economic harm in pursuit of their goals. Based on a review of the relevant literature, this report describes the range of economic effects of terrorist activities. It examines in detail the September 11, 2001, attacks and the extended terrorist campaign waged by the Provisional Irish Republican Army as examples of two extremes of terrorist economic targeting: high-impact, episodic terrorism and lower-level, but extended, campaign terrorism. From these examples, the authors develop a framework capturing the full range of costs that may result from economic targeting and use it to explore the range of defensive measures that might be used to respond to this threat.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The 9/11 Attacks: The Economic Costs of High-Impact Terrorism

  • Chapter Three

    PIRA in Northern Ireland: Adding Up the Costs of a Long-Term Conflict

  • Chapter Four

    A Framework for Understanding the Economic Costs of Terrorism

  • Chapter Five

    Defending Against Economically Targeted Terrorism

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions

The research described in this report was conducted within the RAND Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy (CTRMP).

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