Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mark Stallo


After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government renewed efforts to prepare for future attacks. Despite research on federal and state government preparedness, there was a lack of scholarship on trends in terrorist attacks at the local level. The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to examine trends in terrorism attacks in the United States between 2001 and 2018 and determine whether significance exists between characteristics of the terrorism incidents (weapon used, target type) and region. The conceptual framework included Grundmann’s risk management and Tomuzia et al.’s risk assessment scenario models. Answering the research questions entailed examining trends in terrorist attacks in the United States between 2001 and 2018 (number of incidents, injuries, fatalities), including relationships by region, weapon used, and target type. Secondary data from the Global Terrorism Database underwent analysis using ARIMA models for time-series data and chi-square and post hoc analyses for categorical level data. There was an examination of type of weapon used and target type for differences between regions. Findings revealed that trends in terrorist attacks for injuries did not differ across time; however, trends in terrorist attacks for fatalities decreased over time. Changes in terrorist attacks by region were significantly related to weapon used and target type. Findings may lead to positive social change by helping policymakers understand future targets and characteristics of terrorist attacks, potentially improving preparedness and thereby reducing injuries and death. Future research is needed to confirm and expand the findings, including studies on terrorist attacks against the United States on foreign soil, such as those directed at U.S. embassies.