Can science predict where terrorists will strike? Not quite. But researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMB) have created a detailed map of where terrorism attacks have occurred since 1970 - and it reveals some big surprises. The map's accompanying study, conducted at the UMD's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), found that while certain areas (those surrounding Manhattan and Los Angeles, for example) have endured as terror 'hot spots' throughout the study, others have come and go.
The study, which looked at all 3,143 U.S. counties, also found that terrorism hot spots and motivations have changed dramatically from decade to decade. Where do terrorists come from? In the last decade, many politicians have conjured the image of Islamic fundamentalists from the Middle East. But in the 1970s, many attacks classified as 'terrorist' came from left-wing groups in Berkeley, San Francisco and surrounding areas. The research showed a strong association between the county in which a terrorist attack occurred and its motivation. "For example," a University of Maryland statement notes, "Lubbock County, Texas, only experienced extreme right-wing terrorism while the Bronx, New York, only experienced extreme left-wing terrorism." The researchers hope that the insights from the study can be used to determine the relationship between terrorism and ordinary crime, which has historically been much easier to predict.
Read more: Huffington Post