Title

A Global Analysis of Water-Related Terrorism, 1970–2016

Date of Publication

1-1-2019 12:00 AM

Publication Date

2019

Security Theme

Violent Extremism

Keywords

srhreports, violentextremism, international security, national security, target, Terrorism, terrorist organization, water, water resources, water security

Description

© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis. Terrorist organizations destabilize governments through violent and coercive acts that include the use of water resources as a target. Scholars in security studies recognize water as a strategic resource but have yet to systematically quantify and describe how water is used in the case of terrorism. This paper explores this gap at the nexus of the larger fields of terrorism and environmental security by offering methods to codify types of water-related terrorism events. Using the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, which includes information on terrorist events around the world, and employing aggregate data analysis, we highlight trends over time and space. We found that water-related terrorism is a method of terrorism widespread across most of the world and that water infrastructure is the main target of choice by most terrorist organizations. We identified 675 incidents of water-related terrorism that occurred in seventy-one countries. We identified terrorist organizations with the highest numbers of incidents and transboundary water basins most at risk for water-related terrorism incidents. This collective analysis identifies and codifies the number and type of water-related terrorism incidents that occurred from 1970 to 2016; describes spatial and temporal trends of those incidents; and provides information for decision-makers regarding water-related terrorism targets and associated risk.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

A Global Analysis of Water-Related Terrorism, 1970–2016

© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis. Terrorist organizations destabilize governments through violent and coercive acts that include the use of water resources as a target. Scholars in security studies recognize water as a strategic resource but have yet to systematically quantify and describe how water is used in the case of terrorism. This paper explores this gap at the nexus of the larger fields of terrorism and environmental security by offering methods to codify types of water-related terrorism events. Using the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, which includes information on terrorist events around the world, and employing aggregate data analysis, we highlight trends over time and space. We found that water-related terrorism is a method of terrorism widespread across most of the world and that water infrastructure is the main target of choice by most terrorist organizations. We identified 675 incidents of water-related terrorism that occurred in seventy-one countries. We identified terrorist organizations with the highest numbers of incidents and transboundary water basins most at risk for water-related terrorism incidents. This collective analysis identifies and codifies the number and type of water-related terrorism incidents that occurred from 1970 to 2016; describes spatial and temporal trends of those incidents; and provides information for decision-makers regarding water-related terrorism targets and associated risk.