Essay on Suicide Terrorism as a Main Type of Terrorism for Counterterrorism Officials

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Harvey Mudd College
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Article focuses on the high rate in which suicide terrorism has a greater chance of occurring in countries that have large internally displaced populations (IDPs). In this study, four interceding factors that has been predicted should control the relationship between suicide terrorism and internally displaced populations. In this study, the IDPs were supposed (1) to increase the number of recruits, which will lower the labor cost for suicide terrorist. (2) Intensify dissension within the local community to further ethnic discord to encourage suicide terrorism. (3) To degrade human rights conditions and to cause those who have been unfairly treated to support suicide terrorist groups; and (4) to raise the cost counterterrorism awareness and policing efforts programs permitting terrorist to strategize and carry out terrorist attacks.

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Scholars offer a variety of reasons why suicide terrorism occurs. Some of these reasons are extremist ideology, a persons religious beliefs, an individual psychological state, those who are merely motivated to be a part of suicide terrorism, factors that are related to organizational structure of a terrorist group, a terrorist campaigns strategic and tactical climate, the economics and political state of the country in which the terrorist group wishes to attack and the global strategic factors such as foreign occupation.

This study observes internal displacement drives, among other things, suicide terrorist activity is consistent with the observation that a significant number of terrorist campaigns over a span of forty years occurred where IDPs have been involved. In this regard, the authors of this particular study make an analysis of the results derived from the negative binomial regression and Tobit models, indicating the relationship between the internally displaced people and suicide terrorism. Additionally, the study employs the recursive models which mostly, give an evaluation of the intervening variables.

The empirical analysis illustrates a novel investigation that is absent in the available terrorism studies. This is indicated by an analysis of the value in testing for intervening variables and the mediators, which may be crucial in garnering a clear and concise understanding of the casual relationships which exist between the terrorism patterns and its predictors. This being said, the results, substantiate that factors such as human rights violations, which are prevalent in countries with large number of IDPs, are the most significant and substantive mediators between the internally displaced persons and suicide terrorism. With regard to the four intervening variables considered in this particular study, the driving force for this particular study is drawn from the researchers observation that many at times, suicide terrorism is prevalent in those terrorist campaigns, featuring internal displacement. Thus, so as to test for the substantive and significant effects of this determining factor, this study makes use of the cross-national time-series data.

Secondly, through an analysis of the existing literature, this study acknowledges that suicide terrorism is, in its deepest essence, a bloody and overly destructive form of terrorism. However, although an exploration of the recent research indicate that factors such as military occupation may be considered significant predictors of suicide terrorism, this study gives evidence to the fact that both conventional terrorism and suicide in countries with scores of IDPs have been found to have common predictors. Some of these common predictors are such as, the presence of minority groups who are at risk.

Finally, the study considers suicide terrorism as a main type of terrorism for counterterrorism officials. In this regard, this type of terrorism has been taken into account intense in some renowned intractable conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. Therefore, this particular study concludes by substantially drawing the attention of the counterterrorism officials, who are intended to focus more on those countries with large numbers of internally displaced persons, and which have mostly escaped consideration.


Choi, S., & Piazza, J. A. (2016). Internally Displaced Populations and Suicide Terrorism. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 60(6), 1008-1040. 10.1177/0022002714550086.

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