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Archetypal Terrorist Events in the United States


Studies in Conflict & TerrorismJournal abstract

This research presents a typology of terrorist events rather than the more common typologies of terrorist groups and ideologies. Archetypal analysis, a quantitative methodology to identify pure types, was used with data in START's Global Terrorism Database to identify archetypal attacks in the United States. A set of seven archetypal events was identified including abortion bombings, poisonings, Aryan hate, hostage-taking, fire/bomb for damage, assassination, and the catastrophic Big Bad. These archetypes may be useful for training and exercising for events with additional potential value for developing theory of terrorist events.

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