While RAND (2008) some years ago already has tackled the issue, how terrorist groups end, recent research by START, the (as well US-based) National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, has focused on factors that make groups last longer by analysing their large database on terrorist groups and incidents.
Apart from adding new data, what are START’s key findings? In their concluding part Young and Dugan state:
„We find consistent support for our core proposition that as the number of groups who use terrorism in a country increase, the less likely those groups will survive. Others have found an association between the strength of the state and the frequency of attacks. We also find a relationship between state capabilities and terrorist group survival using CINC and GDP. (…) The capabilities of the group also matter. The more the group kills, uses different kinds of attacks, targets multiple states, or uses the most costly forms of attack, the more likely it will survive longer.“
Although one might notice favourably the interesting metaphor they use in comparing terrorist group survivability to industry leaders operating in competitive markets, these are factually not especially enlightening perspectives for current terrorism hotbeds.
Important research that allows us a close look at the „state of terrorism“ by analysing more than 2.000 terrorist groups over a period reaching from 1970 to 2010!