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

May 4, 2010 in Other Sciences / Social Sciences
"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:

"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.

Provided by University of Maryland

"Research: US terror concentrated in New York City; bombs weapon of choice" May 4, 2010