Study of the results of interaction between suicide operatives and bystanders

With the recent events in Stockholm, Sweden, as a backdrop, this paper from 2006 by Mark Harrison presents some terrible yet interesting insights on how bystander intervention could reduce the consequences of suicide operatives. The individual costs of such intervention are however significant. Read this fascinating study at:http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/208/

Bombers and bystanders in suicide attacks in Israel, 2000 to 2003
Harrison, Mark, 1949- (2006) Bombers and bystanders in suicide attacks in Israel, 2000 to 2003. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol.29 (No.2). pp. 187-206. ISSN 1057-610X [pdf]

Abstract: The paper analyses the results of interaction between suicide operatives and bystanders in the course of 103 suicide attacks in Israel over a recent threeyear period. It shows that bystanders’ intervention tended to reduce the casualties arising by numbers that were both statistically and practically significant. When bystanders intervened, however, this was often at the cost of their own lives. The value of a challenge was particularly large for suicide missions associated with Hamas, but Hamas operations were also less likely to meet a challenge in the first place. These findings, while preliminary, may have implications for counter-terrorism. More systematic collection of statistical data relating to suicide incidents would be of benefit.

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