Research: US terror concentrated in New York City; bombs weapon of choice

May 04, 2010
"Car bombs have played a small but deadly role in US terrorism," says Maryland researcher Gary LaFree, based on figures in the Global Terrorism Database. Credit: University of Maryland START Center

Terrorist attacks in the United States, over the past four decades, have centered on New York City, the vast majority of them involving bombs or explosives, says a new report from the University of Maryland-based National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).

The research is based on data from the Center's Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the world's most comprehensive, unclassified collection of terror incidents.

"Explosives are by far the weapon of choice for terrorists in New York City," says Gary LaFree, who directs START and the GTD. "Of all terror attacks in New York City from 1970 to 2007, 70 percent involved bombs or explosives."

La Free adds that "Car bombs have played a small but deadly role in U.S. terrorism." Of the ten terrorist car bomb attacks in the U.S., six have taken place in New York City. The most costly in the city involved the 1993 truck bomb attack on the World Trade Center, which killed six and injured a thousand people.

Among the other trends noted in the report covering the period 1970 to 2007:

  • New York City is, by far, the most frequent site of terrorism in the United States;
  • It has suffered more attacks than the next four most frequently target cities combined (Miami, 70; San Francisco, 66; Washington, D.C., 59; Los Angeles, 54);
  • 284 terror attacks occurred in New York's five boroughs between 1970 and 2007;
  • Nearly three-fourths of these attacks took place in the 1970s, followed by less frequent, but often more deadly incidents including the 1993 and 9/11 World Trade Center attacks ;
  • Businesses and government facilities are the most frequent targets - not only in New York City, but throughout the United States.
"While al-Qaeda has launched the deadliest attacks on New York City targets, almost 40 other identified groups engaged in in this city from 1970 to 2007, representing a range of different ideologies, backgrounds and goals, with changing actors over time," the report says. Puerto Rican separatists, the Jewish Defense League and an anti-Castro group were the most active in the 1970s, with their attacks tapering off through the 1980s.

Explore further: The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ground Zero responders have health worries

Jan 19, 2007

Some police officers, firefighters and others who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York City say they are paying for it with their health.

Research Reveals Patterns of Terrorist Preparation

Jul 17, 2008

Analysis of an extensive terrorism database housed at the University of Arkansas has revealed patterns in activities of terrorists preparing for an attack, information that can be invaluable for law enforcement agencies seeking ...

STOP terrorism software

Feb 25, 2008

Researchers at the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) have developed the SOMA Terror Organization Portal (STOP) allowing analysts to query automatically learned rules on terrorist ...

Recommended for you

The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

1 hour ago

Gift exchanges can reveal how people think about others, what they value and enjoy, and how they build and maintain relationships. Researchers are exploring various aspects of gift-giving and receiving, such as how givers ...

Strong neighborhood ties can help reduce gun violence

2 hours ago

The bonds that tie a neighborhood together can help shield community members from gun violence, according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical ...

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
May 05, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) May 05, 2010
Meanwhile the mayor blows gun-control smoke.

And blames healthcare opponents for everything.
croghan27
not rated yet May 05, 2010
I am surprised that Oklahoma City was not considered. Or was McVey not considered a terrorist because he is an American Christian?

and we all know that only fer'in heathens are terrorists.
JayK
1 / 5 (2) May 05, 2010
Guns would be a great solution against bombs. And now that a movie explained how to make bullets curve around corners, why, bullets can do everything. The New York mayor should be spending his time teaching people how to make 1 gun out of 5!
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2010
Inane bantering of croghan27 and JayK aside, Oklahoma City was not mentioned above because it is not even in the top five. From 1970 to 2007 the database has only one successful incident recorded for Oklahoma City.

http://www.start....oma+City

The database has the information referenced by those who wrote the study, including the date of the Oklahoma City bombing--the single event recorded. It even lists the perpetrator as "right-wing extremist" and the target as "Government (General)" without giving the name of the perpetrator. But anyone who knows anything about the timing of the bombing and the historical details knows that McVeigh's bombing is in the database.

People attach such great importance to the incident, and expect it to be mentioned in a summary of a study, because of the Media. The Media also is the reason why many in the United States still know nothing about the 550-odd metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq....
JayK
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2010
HAHAHAHA! The UN knew about that yellowcake, knew right where it was stored and had been monitoring it since before 1991. Are you really that dumb?
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2010
HAHAHAHA! The UN knew about that yellowcake, knew right where it was stored and had been monitoring it since before 1991. Are you really that dumb?


Not nearly so as you. However, that aside, the UN may have known about it but the general public was not told. Even now, everyone I have ever discussed the subject with all over the United States was completely unaware that such was the case. That is the doing of the Media, no matter how you slice it.

Now, were you aware of the several caches of various nerve gases hidden in the deserts of Iraq? Aware of the rocket launchers that disappeared out of Iraq just before the invasion began? (We know they were there because the US sold them to Iraq and have the receipts even though none were ever found).

How much do the public really know or really think they know? That is the real question of the day. :)

P.S.: Conspiracy theorists need not reply....
croghan27
3.3 / 5 (3) May 06, 2010
I AM ACCUSED OF BANTER - THEN YOU BRING UP SADDAM'S WMD?

You disrespect the 160 killed even mentioning that well destroyed myth in the same post.
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2010
I have brought up nothing about Saddam's WMDs. I have only mentioned what was found and the odd thing about what was not found that should have been there. I also mentioned the many metric tons of yellowcake that so few people in America seem to know about. It is not my problem if others do not list these materiels as WMD or WMD-related.

But, what do you think about the cache of documents containing plans ro reimpliment Saddam's nuclear ambitions? Were you aware of those? Plans to reimpliment a nuclear weapons program mixed with tons and tons of yellowcake and a nutjob paying families of suicide bombers make a nasty combination. I am glad they took Saddam out.

And, I disrespect no one who died and no one who serves in those areas--except the idiots who raped a 14 year-old girl and burned the family alive to conceal it, or the one using a Qur'an for sniper practice, or the ones at Abu Graib, and a few others like those. One of my sons served his country during these times, idiot.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.