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International Cooperation, Not Unilateral Policies, may be the Best Counterterrorist Strategy
Unformatted Document Text:  resembled a boom and bust cycle with long and fairly steady increases beginning in the 1970s and reaching a peak in the late 1980s/early 1990s and then trailing off significantly until the end of the series. As the U.S. trends also showed, there was an increase in both total non-U.S. attacks and fatal attacks in the late 1990s, but this increase was much less pronounced for the non-U.S. attacks than it was for the U.S. attacks. In general, total attacks and total fatal attacks against non-U.S. targets reached a peak in the early 1990s, and since then have remained far lower. Total attacks increased slightly in the last few years spanned by the data, but the total number of attacks in 2004 was still lower than it was from 1994 to 1997. Because no previous data base could compare domestic and transnational terrorist attacks over several decades, we were especially interested in using the GTD to examine the proportion of attacks by these purportedly anti-U.S. groups that were actually directed against U.S. targets. We found that from 1970 to 2004, only 570 (3.4%) of all attacks of these nominally anti-U.S. groups were actually directed against the United States. And of the total anti-U.S. attacks, only 5 (less than one percent) actually occurred on U.S. soil. Major targets for anti-U.S. attacks in other countries included U.S. businesses (233), U.S. diplomats and embassies (106), and the U.S. military (96). The rest of the attacks are widely scattered in terms of target selection and include U.S. educational institutions, journalists, non-governmental organizations, and tourists. The proportion of terrorist fatalities suffered by the U.S. was almost three times as high as the proportion of total attacks against the United States—although the total proportion of fatalities was still only 9.4 percent. Moreover, a very large proportion of these anti-U.S. fatalities (3,007 or 76.3%) were accounted for by the 9/11 attacks. In 5

Authors: LaFree, Gary. and Yang, Sue Ming.
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resembled a boom and bust cycle with long and fairly steady increases beginning in the 
1970s and reaching a peak in the late 1980s/early 1990s and then trailing off significantly 
until the end of the series.  As the U.S. trends also showed, there was an increase in both 
total non-U.S. attacks and fatal attacks in the late 1990s, but this increase was much less 
pronounced for the non-U.S. attacks than it was for the U.S. attacks.  
In general, total attacks and total fatal attacks against non-U.S. targets reached a peak 
in the early 1990s, and since then have remained far lower.  Total attacks increased 
slightly in the last few years spanned by the data, but the total number of attacks in 2004 
was still lower than it was from 1994 to 1997.  
Because no previous data base could compare domestic and transnational terrorist 
attacks over several decades, we were especially interested in using the GTD to examine 
the proportion of attacks by these purportedly anti-U.S. groups that were actually directed 
against U.S. targets.  We found that from 1970 to 2004, only 570 (3.4%) of all attacks of 
these nominally anti-U.S. groups were actually directed against the United States.  And of 
the total anti-U.S. attacks, only 5 (less than one percent) actually occurred on U.S. soil. 
Major targets for anti-U.S. attacks in other countries included U.S. businesses (233), U.S. 
diplomats and embassies (106), and the U.S. military (96).    The rest of the attacks are 
widely scattered in terms of target selection and include U.S. educational institutions, 
journalists, non-governmental organizations, and tourists.   
The proportion of terrorist fatalities suffered by the U.S. was almost three times as 
high as the proportion of total attacks against the United States—although the total 
proportion of fatalities was still only 9.4 percent.  Moreover, a very large proportion of 
these anti-U.S. fatalities (3,007 or 76.3%) were accounted for by the 9/11 attacks. In 
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