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Spending defence budgets the wrong way risks major damage from terrorist attacks

Governments that fail to account for analysis of terrorists’ personal information in allocating their defence budgets risk increased damage from terrorist attacks, new research from the Desautels Faculty of Management finds.

The study shows that the need to distinguish between different types of terrorists is critical to develop strategies that effectively protect locations at risk of attack.

Professor Mehmet Gümüs and his PhD student Dr. Nikoofal find that there are two types of terrorists; either organised or unorganised. Organised terrorists observe the behaviours of governments and defence measures in place before they carry out an attack, while unorganised terrorists act without such planning.

Examining publicly available budgets data from US defence organisations, the study has proved that the best way to limit damage from organised terrorism is to protect all locations equally, whereas protecting the locations most at risk is better against unorganised terrorist attacks.

The first strategy is called comprehensive, the second is concentrated. When used correctly, they both have the potential to lower the risk of extreme damage caused by an attack.

Professor Gümüs says: “The issue is that governments have finite budgets, so if they choose just one strategy and it’s used incorrectly against a terrorist threat, the repercussions could be huge. Time, effort and resources need to be invested in intelligence data, its continuous collection is so important to categorise terrorists and the best ways to limit damage. Defence strategies need to be flexible to take this into account.”


For more information, to request a copy of the study or to speak with Professor Gümüs, please contact Stephanie Mullins at BlueSky PR – or call +44 (0) 1582 790 706

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