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Actions Speak Louder than Words: A Behavioral Analysis of 183 Individuals Convicted for Terrorist Offenses in the United States from 1995 to 2012


Actions Speak Louder than Words: A Behavioral Analysis of 183 Individuals Convicted for Terrorist Offenses in the United States from 1995 to 2012

Abstract: 

Involvement in terrorism has traditionally been discussed in relatively simplistic ways with little effort spent on developing a deeper understanding of what involvement actually entails, and how it differs from person to person. In this paper, we present the results of a three-year project focused on 183 individuals associated with the global jihadist movement who were convicted in the United States, for terrorist offenses, between 1995 and 2012. These data were developed by a large-scale, open-source data collection activity that involved a coding dictionary of more than 120 variables. We identify and explore the diversity of behaviors that constitute involvement in terrorism. We also compare lone actors and those who acted as part of a group, finding that lone actors differed from group-based actors in key demographic attributes and were more likely to be involved in attack execution behaviors. Implications for counterterrorism are then discussed.

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Full Citation: 

Horgan, John, Neil Shortland, Suzzette Abbasciano, and Shaun Walsh. 2016. "Actions Speak Louder than Words: A Behavioral Analysis of 183 Individuals Convicted for Terrorist Offenses in the United States from 1995 to 2012." Journal of Forensic Sciences 61 (September): 1228-1237. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1556-4029.13115/abstract

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