Important politicians and commentators believe that at the root of terrorism there is poverty and a lack of education. In truth many terrorists come from the middle classes and are well educated. So who are the terrorists, what are they thinking and what motivates them?
so good morning to everybody let me introduce myself I'm a journalist I've been working for several years with mediaset I deal with national and foreign policy and over the past few years had the opportunity to go to several war areas first in Afghanistan where I spent a few months and then to Iraq today's conference will focus on an important issue who threatens democracy we are going to have an opportunity to hear very detailed analysis that will be made to understand where this threat against democracy comes from it's a very topical issue and by the way I was reading the paper this morning and I found an article reporting a statement by the head of the CIA I wonder if professor Kreuger has heard about that any made a statement quite a powerful statement saying that we are defeating al Qaeda which is in sharp contradiction with a report released by CIA a few months ago which stated that there was still a long way to go to defeat them but I have next to me professor Alan B Kruger a person that has already come to the festival of economics last year he is a professor of economics at Princeton University one of the most prestigious American universities and is an expert of economics of training his director of the Princeton University Research Center and he also works as counsel as a member of the National Counterterrorism Center until 2006 he was also working for the new times and last year he wrote a very interesting essay the title is a what makes a terrorist this was based on statistical data showing that the majority or terrorists are middle class people with a good level of education I forgot to say that this essay what makes a terrorist will be published before the end of the year in Italy pilot earth very authoritative economists politicians and commentators have often supported the opposite ideas ie that terrorists come from the poorest groups of population and the least educated groups of the population now this school of thought as we will hear from Professor Kreuger too was also supported by important politician starting from George Bush to Al Gore and Tony Blair who claimed that there was the close relationship between poverty and proliferation of terrorism so today professor Kreuger is going to explain to us which are the factors that push people to plan terrorist action to sea in an attempt to see the relationship between the personal background of these people and the economic social and political conditions of the society they come from on the basis of recent investigations made in areas where people are recruited more frequently by terrorist groups we will see that the relationship between poverty and terrorism may be surprising an example one of the many examples concerned the Gaza Strip situation where people would the poorest people unemployed people are those that more fears for the opposed terrorism and suicide attacks protester Krupa's theory supported also by the UN report on the global strategy against terrorism claims that it is not poverty that causes terrorism and this goes against many of the myths on terrorism terrorism is viewed as a political action rather than a response to a poor economic condition on the basis of a detailed analysis professor Kreuger will tell us what leads people to use terrorism which may be triggered off by a number of factors religious and not and not so terrorism is a way to pursue these objectives feeling that there are no alternatives to terrorism terrorist acts in accordance with Professor Kreuger are not made by people who are psychologically disturbed so to defeat terrorism in his opinion we should work more concentrate more on those organizations that exploit rationally the fanaticism of these people and making them less credible so what triggers off the decision to be a terrorist is the lack of civil and political rights or a poor tradition in terms of peaceful protests so summarizing briefly professor Kreuger will make an analysis of who becomes a terrorist that's a micro analysis then on a macro level he will tell us what where are the countries where people come from and what are the effects of terrorism psychologically politically and economically at the end of his presentation there will be room for questions thank you very much Thank You Pietro that was a very thorough summary of my my book actually I'd like also to thank you for having me back this year I came to the festival last year and I have to say I've never been to an event quite like this before so I congratulate the organizers and the Trento area for supporting this event Pietro mentioned comments by the director of the CIA about defeating terrorism and winning the war on terrorism and one of the aspects that interested me in this area is how would we know if we're succeeding against terrorism and I come from a quantitative background most of my research is on the labor market measuring things like inequality or unemployment and there's a shortage of statistics when it comes to terrorism so I'll return to that that issue as I go along and what I'm going to do is draw in a book which pH were mentioned called what makes a terrorist this book is based on a series of lectures I gave at the London School of Economics called the Robbins lectures after Lionel Robbins and also as was mentioned it is being translated to Italian and will be available from Laterza in the fall a question I often get is why is this a topic of interest to economists what does this have to do with economics and I have have two answers to that the first one is a little bit flip but I take it seriously which is labor economics has taught us about occupational choice we've learned about why people choose some careers over others why some people become doctors or engineers maybe it can also tell us why some people choose to become terrorists the second explanation which really goes to the heart of my work in this area I had done some work in the mid-1990s with a former student of mine Steve Pischke who's now at the London School of Economics on hate crimes and in particular what we did was to look at the outbreak of hate crimes in Germany after the fall of communism and see if we could connect economic conditions to the likelihood of attacks against mainly turks in germany and to our surprise we found very little connection between the unemployment rate or income growth or education levels and the occurrence of hate crimes and the more we looked into the literature the more we found that pattern in earlier studies in fact a very important study by Don green at Yale looked at the occurrence of lynchings in the American South which originally seemed to be correlated with economic conditions and then when more data were added ingredients analysis that correlation went away so after September 11th when a number of important politicians and world leaders drew a connection between poverty and terrorism I have to say I was skeptical and I was inspired to work on this topic at that time I should be explicit and tell you how I define terrorism at the beginning there are literally hundreds of definitions of terrorism in fact the US government has multiple definitions of terrorism across different bills and across different agencies there is no consensus on the definition of terrorism and in fact I think we might be better off if we use the word terrorism less in the term politically motivated violence more what I have in mind as my definition of terrorism is that terrorism is a violent act with the intention of spreading fear to a broad population not just those who are the immediate victims of that violent act and terrorism can be carried out either by or a sub-state actor like a terrorist organization I'm going to focus in my talk today on terrorism carried out by sub state groups by terrorist cells which is not to deny that terrorism has been used by national governments I should also say that i view terrorism as a tactic and it's very odd to declare war war on a tactic Richard Clarke remarked President Bush declaring war on terrorism would be like Franklin Roosevelt declaring war on you votes but understanding which groups turn to use the tactic of terrorism when is it more common I think is very important for crafting a strategy to respond to terrorism and I think it's also very important for the public because terrorism can only succeed if it spreads fear terrorist groups are usually too small to have a popular majority if they were big enough they probably would use a different tactic so in my view terrorism can only succeed by spreading fear and to the extent that the public understands why people are drawn some people are drawn to terrorism what's motivating them I think it helps to demystify terrorism so what I'm going to do in the rest of my presentation and then I'm eager to hear your questions is discuss the characteristics of individuals who become terrorists describe the country of origin of terrorists and the countries that they tend to target and then briefly discuss some of the economic and political consequences of terrorism I'm gonna focus mostly on Islamic terrorism but that's mainly because that's an issue that's received a great deal of attention lately I think the general findings apply to a number of terrorist groups and I'll try to make that point as I go along and I suspect they're also probably relevant for the types of terrorism that Italy is experienced in the past so you know that I'm not attacking a straw man I thought I would start with some quotes from some world leaders on this issue George Bush who was initially reluctant to draw a connection between poverty and terrorism said in a speech that he gave in March of 2002 worried announced additional US aid for development quote we fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror his wife Laura Bush said a few days before a lasting victory in the war against terror depends on educating the world's children because educated children are much more likely to embrace the values that defeat terror this is bipartisan in the u.s. I have a quote here from Al Gore who said that poverty disease and environmental damage form an evil axis forcing many to take to terrorist activities I could give you many more quotes in my book I quote the Dalai Lama Tony Blair Elie Weisel Bill Clinton James Wolfensohn and so on I tried to find some quotes from Italian politicians and maybe I was hampered by not speaking Italian but I couldn't find a quote from mr. bolduk Berlusconi or Prodi so this may be something which Italian leaders have resisted but it does seem to permeate through a number of governments across across the world and also in international institutions so let me begin by showing you some evidence on public opinion and I don't think terrorism occurs in a vacuum the societies that terrorists are coming from are important for shaping their views so what I do is to try to look at who holds extreme views when we pull the public and this is from a survey that the Pew Global Attitudes project has done recently the question here that was asks is what about suicide bombing carried out against Americans and other Westerners in Iraq do you personally believe that this is justifiable or not justifiable and you could see results here tabulated by education for Morocco Jordan Turkey and and in each of these countries the least educated are actually the least likely to say that they believe suicide bombing is justified now one thing which we find in this poll and many other polls is that the least educated often have no opinion on issues like this or at least they're not willing to express an opinion and it may come as a surprise that those who are most highly educated for example university graduates of Morocco nearly 75% say they believe that suicide bombings are justified this pattern tends to show up in a lot of different surveys I won't go over all of them with you but I will show you a survey that was done in the West Bank and Gaza Strip this was done in December 2001 so shortly after 9/11 but before Israel's large incursion into the Gaza Strip and this survey asked people concerning armed attacks against Israeli targets I support strongly support oppose or only oppose and so on and here I've tabulated the results by the respondents occupations these are people aged 18 and over and you can see a few things here first there's remarkably high support across the board over 80% of the full public says that they support such attacks they were given some examples of attacks like the attack on the dolphinarium a nightclub which had strong support in these surveys so that's the first thing to note the second thing to note is that students seem to be the most radicalized or the most willing to express extreme views that's probably not surprising but what is surprising is that the merchants of professionals are the group second most likely to express extreme views 87% said that they support or strongly support armed attacks against Israeli targets the unemployed are the least supportive although even for the unemployed seventy-four percent said that they supported the attack so it's not as if the unemployed are opposed and in a way what's striking is that the unemployed are not terribly different than laborers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip you might think that someone is a laborer or one day and then the next day because the barriers to work becomes unemployed yet there does seem to be a difference and one of the things I interpret from these results is that the unemployed are just worried with their daily struggle to survive and they don't concern themselves or involve themselves with many political issues it turns out that this pattern that those from higher socioeconomic status professions better educated individuals are more likely to express extreme views has been known for a long time 50 years ago Daniel Lerner who was a political science professor at MIT published a book called the passing of traditional societies where he wrote and I quote the data obviate the conventional conclusion that the extremists are simply the have-nots poverty exists among the apolitical masses so Lerner had discovered the same pattern that in the surveys that he did it was the well-educated elites who were more likely to hold extreme views now one possible interpretation is well maybe the merchants of professionals had rising expectations that were dashed maybe they were very pessimistic about the future and that this has caused them to turn to extremist views and the polling data seemed to contradict that interpretation as well this tabulates results from the late 90s where people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were asked whether they were optimistic for the future whether their situation was better the last three years or the situation was worse in the last three years and the timing of this is very important because these surveys were conducted just before the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000 and you could see that the Palestinian population by and large believe that the situation was improving economically questions about optimism shows that optimism was rising there's not much evidence of dashed expectations now I think one can only learn so much from public opinion polls maybe people don't share their true views people may hold a particular attitude but it doesn't necessarily cause them to act upon that attitude so next one I want to do is talk about participation in terrorist activities and I'll start just with some anecdotal evidence this is based on an article written by nasara Hasan who led the UN relief effort in the Palestinian region and she interviewed really not as part of her work more as a side project that interested her a 250 militants and people associated with the Palestinian cause in the late 1990s and this is what she wrote none of them were uneducated desperately poor simple-minded or depressed Metis were middle class and unless they were fugitives held paying jobs - were the sons of millionaires then she quoted one leader from Hamas who said our biggest problem is the hordes of young men who beat on our doors clamouring to be sent on suicide missions it's difficult to select only a few and there are a couple of aspects of that quote which I think are relevant for consideration of terrorism first I tend to think of both the supply side and the demand side and the terrorist organizations are selecting among individuals who are willing to commit terrorist acts or they're actively recruiting people that's the demand side on the supply side with this quote indicates is there's a fairly elastic supply there are more people who are willing to carry out these acts than it seems they were intending to send at that time and that's something which I think shows up in other context I'll return to that so let me move from the anecdotes to talk about some systemic evidence this is based on a study that a PhD student of mine at Princeton conducted a Claude Berube who's now at the rand Institute and what Barry B did was to examine the biographies of terrorists who were killed in action against Israel and he was able to do this because Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad post descriptions of their Shahid's of their martyrs and he translated them from from Arabic and coded information based on those reports there was typically information on the type of household the individual grew up in what his her father's occupation was the reports almost always mentioned the individuals education and so on what he found was that the suicide bombers were much less likely to come from impoverished backgrounds than the Palestinian population at large or even if you limit the Palestinian population to those of a similar age to the suicide bombers because the suicide bombers tended to be young so this shows you on the left the poverty rate by his estimate for suicide bombers and the Palestinian population and you can see the suicide bombers had a poverty rate of around 13% compared to over 30 percent for the population there's also a very skewed distribution of education overwhelmingly the suicide bombers were well educated you can see that over half of those who committed suicide bombing acts had some education beyond high school compared to just 15 percent of the Palestinian population of the same age now this is not so shocking because Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas tended to recruit on college campuses and also given what I showed you earlier about the views held by by students but nevertheless shows that there's quite a skewed distribution when it comes to the educational background of those who are carrying out the suicide bombing attacks when he looked at other terrorists or those who were involved in other terrorist acts he found the same kind of pattern I had done an earlier study where I looked at members of Hezbollah who were killed primarily resisting Israeli occupation in the 1980s although some of these individuals were also involved in a truck bomb of US embassy French Marine Barracks and Lebanon Hezbollah which is a multi-faceted organization the complicated organization at this time was mainly a resistance organization these were really the early days of Hezbollah and what you can see is that members of Hezbollah we're less likely to have grown up in impoverished households compared with the Lebanese population and they were also more likely to have gone to secondary or tertiary school they were less likely to be illiterate which is another outcome that we looked at if we look at Israelis who have been involved in terrorist acts I would call these terrorist acts this looks at extreme members of goosh mu NIEM who were involved assassinating mayors in the West Bank and Gaza Strip also had plotted to blow up the Dome of the rock mosque and fortunately do not succeed this lists their characteristics it's probably hard to read but they come from pretty privileged backgrounds you have school teachers business owners geographers computer programmers there was a combat pilot which is a esteemed position in the Israeli military and I don't make a systematic comparison of these individuals to the Israeli population but they tend to come from more advantaged backgrounds and most of the literature that kind of pre-existed my work consisted of these kinds of tabulations work had been done in Latin America looking at members of terrorist groups in Colombia and elsewhere for example and they tended to be you know from eyeballing the data they tended to appear like a more advantage lot than you would expect from the country as a whole what I've done is to try to make more systematic comparisons to the population I won't show you the logistic regressions where we try to control simultaneously four different background factors but by and large this pattern tends to emerge it also has been found for members of al Qaeda this is from a book by Marc Sageman who's at University of Pennsylvania and he looked at using unclassified sources the educational attainment of members of al Qaeda and also their occupations and you can see the largest occupation is professional other studies which have looked at occupations of those who become involved in terrorism find that for Islamic terrorist groups the number one occupation is engineering followed not too far by by doctors so when we look at the individuals backgrounds they tend to be from more advantaged backgrounds than they tend to be well-educated and have many economic opportunities by and large this doesn't mean that there aren't exceptions and there certainly are some exceptions if we look at an entire terrorist movement I think it's hard to find exceptions the only country that I could find that looked like it's an exception to this pattern is Northern Ireland and it's an interesting question about why Northern Ireland might be an exception which I'm happy to discuss later but by and large I think this pattern tends to hold I looked at the backgrounds of the individuals who were involved in the Red Brigades for example and they seemed to me to disproportionately include those who had university education if you look at the statements by people who were involved in terrorism they also tend not to mention economic factors tend to mention political factors or religious factors many different kinds of grievances I wanted to show you this quote this is from a tape recording of a man who's believed to be Mohammed Sidique Khan who grew up in Great Britain he was the leader of the July 7 2005 attacks on the London London transit system this was a picture of him captured going into the metro system he said on a tape that was released after his death I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe our driving motivation doesn't come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer so I take this as an explicit statement that the motivation was not based on tangible material things but instead based on ideological beliefs and we have a tendency when we think about terrorism and suicide bombing in particular to think about who's so desperately poor that they have nothing to live for we tend to think about who has a low opportunity cost they have very little going for themselves economically instead I think a better picture more accurate picture would be to think about who believes in the cause so strongly that they're willing to give up their lives for it and I think that leaves you to think about a different profile of individuals one of the things I've done recently this is actually not in the in the book that i blatantly advertised before one of the things i've done recently is to try to code the messages that islamic terrorist leaders are sending when they try to recruit individuals so this is preliminary work but what we've done is to go through 40 speeches by islamic terrorist leaders like Bin Ladin and to try to code up what it was that they were trying to rally the troops by what was the recruitment message and it's pretty much a laundry list one of the things which is striking if you read bin Laden speech is it tends to be a laundry list and we'll mention religious of France American occupation in Iraq and so on but will also mention environmental decorative and this I think tends to turn up a laundry list too there are frequent mentions of of religion very few mentions of poverty just two in these 40 speeches mentions of occupation nationalistic mentions oil comes up from time to time Israel or Zionism is a mentioned from time to time but you wouldn't say that the leaders are recruiting individuals by appealing to notions of economic exploitation of Muslims and my reading of this and this is actually bringing me to some theoretical interpretations is that the terrorist leaders send out a broad net to try to recruit people and then to dispatch them for their purposes so let me go over this slide I think if this is the market for mortars and as I said earlier there's a supply side and the demand side a common reaction is just to think about the supply side and to think about the economics of crime or how we think about participation in crime as a model to apply to terrorism so in economics we do have a very good model of crime gary becker spoke here last year is one of the founders of research on the economics of crime and in the economics of crime we tend to think about people's opportunities do they have an opportunity to make a good living or do they have few opportunities in the legitimate labor market and if that's the case the opportunity cost of turning to crime is lower well I think opportunity cost is important when it comes to thinking about property crime and that model probably does pretty well there but when it comes to thinking about terrorism I think opportunity costs are outweighed by another factor and that other factor is belief in a cause I think what brings people to terrorist organizations is that they profoundly feel some grievance there could be many different reasons for that grievance that grievance will vary in different context the grievance can be religious it could be geopolitical it could be nationalistic it could be idiosyncratic because a family member was was killed by another country or something like that and on the supply side I think belief in a cause reaction to a to a grievance desire to try to right a wrong is what brings people to terrorism and I think a better analogy for thinking about terrorism better analogy than crime is to think about voting terrorism is after all a political statement individuals or at least the terrorist organizations are trying to achieve some type of a political goal and if we think about voting who votes well people who are better educated or employed have higher incomes are more likely to vote even though they have a higher opportunity cost so why is that well it's a bit of a puzzle actually for economists to explain why people vote at all given that they're very Oliver Hart is here so he he can explain this perhaps but it's a bit of a puzzle why people vote I think people vote because they want to express their views people who are better educated are more likely to hold views more strongly more likely to hold political views also the cost for them of obtaining information is lower so I think this is what brings people into the political sphere terrorism I think is an inappropriate political statement an inappropriate violent way of making a political statement and thinking in terms of who becomes engaged politically is probably a good place to start so that's the supply side the demand side is also important because without the terrorist cells I think terrorism would be much less effective you would have lone wolves be much more like hate crimes which tend to be more individualistic carried out by organizations well on the demand side the terrorist organizations want to succeed it's very costly for them if they don't succeed if they're discovered so as a result they want to select the most able participants that they can there's been some excellent work by FB Ben Melick and Claude Berube showing that the Palestinian terrorist organizations are very effective at assigning the terrorists who are most likely to succeed to the more important targets and assigning them for missions at the most important times they find think about this in economic sense the ROI model that there's some matching between the tasks that our individuals are being assigned to do and their backgrounds better educated individuals are more committed to a cause they tend to be more likely to succeed especially when it comes to international terrorism so that's the demand side and then the last thing I would add is on the demand side the terrorist groups also want to be unpredictable they don't want to use always the same profile because then that makes it easier for the authorities to look for someone of that type so to some extent I think they try to play a randomized strategy where they vary the backgrounds of the individuals that they're deploying let me next talk about the situations where terrorism emerges which countries does terrorism tend to come from which countries did the terrorists tend to target and to do this I've been relying on data produced by the US government mainly which I wouldn't necessarily recommend and you'll see why as I go along so let me give you a little bit of background here the US government since the early 1980s has required the State Department to produce a report listing significant terrorist attacks and to report on whether the terrorist situation or to report on which countries are assisting us in in in fighting terrorism and which ones are assisting the terrorists the State Department produces these beautiful reports or I should say they used to produce these beautiful reports because that's part of this story they've stopped and the definition that they used I think was quite reasonable the term terrorism means premeditated politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combat combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents usually intended to influence an audience they focus on international terrorism the term in international terrorism means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country most terrorism is not international terrorism most terrorism is purely domestic the perpetrators and the victims are all from the same country which is a point I'll come back to so the State Department has focused on a small subset of terrorism and in this report they have beautiful glossy charts this is an example of the chart from the last report which was released in May of 2004 this is the total number of terrorist attacks and you could see it was rising under the Clinton administration and falling after 2000 under the Bush administration in this chart and in 2003 the total number of terrorist attacks according to the State Department report was 190 the lowest level since they started collecting the data now I had discovered this pattern before the report came out and I thought it was a bit curious that the number of attacks were falling after 2000 because that didn't seem to accord with my perception from watching CNN and it also didn't accord with the back of the report the back of the report gives a chronology of the significant terrorist incidents each year and this actually was the source of information I had been using I took each of these reports and I turned it into a data set into an observation where I recorded which country did the attack occur in what country were the perpetrators from what country were the targets from other characteristics of the event and using these data I found a different pattern which I'll come back to and when the report came out in 2004 the State Department took credit said we're prevailing in the war against terrorism because the total number of attacks were declining and I looked at these numbers and I thought there's a real puzzle here because the significant attacks are rising we're actually at their highest level since the report began the difference must be the insignificant attacks why do we care about insignificant attacks so anyway when the report came out I contacted the Washington Post because I saw many other anomalies this appendix which was supposed to cover the entire calendar year ended on November 11th which was a real puzzle and I called up the State Department and I said there's a real mystery here there were very significant attacks later in November and in December there were attacks in Saudi Arabia major attacks in Turkey after November 11th and they said that the report is fine they just needed to go to the printer and there's a TV show in I'm cutting up I'll come back to that that line in a moment so anyway together with David Layton who's a political scientist at Stanford in a collaborator of mine on some of this research we wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post and we accused the State Department of manipulating the data you know we started with the question with pH was started with how would we know if we're prevailing in the war of terror on terror how do we know if we're doing a good job or a bad job and we talked about this report as the main statists statistics we have available and if you count up the number of significant terrorist attacks they tended to be rising and we're at their highest level since the report began anyway I think we worded this quite strongly and I was appalled that there was very little follow-up afterwards you know I thought for sure when you besides the Bush administration of manipulating the data the press would follow up and there was very little follow-up this came out May 17th three weeks went by and literally I received just one phone call from a reporter about this from a pretty minor publication then after three weeks a spokesman for the State Department acknowledged that there were serious problems in the report and what he said was that the report was based on facts they had at the time the facts turned out to be wrong the exact same language that they had used to describe weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and they said at the time that they were going to issue a corrected report and that the corrections would take 11 pages and it's an indication of the priority that the US government of science - keeping track of terrorism that this was such a sloppy job and the errors in the report were just mind-boggling the report lists the number of fatalities that occurred if you count the number of fatalities in the back of the report it was twice as many as what was reported in the body of the report in those glossy charts and Colin Powell went on Meet the Press and I was going to show you a clip from that but I wasn't able to put it on on the slides and Tim Russert showed him a copy of my op-ed which might have been the highlight of my career and Colin Powell said you know we don't know how these mistakes got in here we're gonna correct them and that's the best that we can do and I think it is indicative of the approach the US has taken to terrorism there's really not that much interest in hard statistics so David Layton and I wrote a follow-up piece in the journal Foreign Affairs where we suggested that the government learn from economic statistics and try to use procedures to measure the occurrence of terrorism which is credible try to use credible procedures so we proposed that they have a consistent and clear definition from what we could tell the definition was over time that the procedures that they use are verifiable that they can be reproduced I think I was actually wrong in accusing the State Department of manipulating the data Paul Krugman wrote about this in one of his columns in The New York Times and he told me that I was a jet he wrote that I was a generous soul forgiving soul for saying that they probably didn't manipulate the data they were probably just incompetent we use the term in this piece in foreign affairs called asymmetric vetting what we meant by asymmetric vetting is the mistakes went in a certain direction the mistakes went in the direction of making it look like terrorism had declined so the Bush administration was all too happy to take credit for that had the mistakes gone in the opposite direction they would have double-checked them so what we proposed was a procedure for vetting the numbers for checking the numbers regardless of what they show we also proposed that career professionals instead of politicians released the data when the unemployment rate in the u.s. is released or GDP is released we have procedures which go back to the Nixon administration because the Nixon administration tried to manipulate or try to pressure the Bureau of Labor Statistics we have procedures which say that political appointees cannot comment on the data until 30 minutes after the career professionals have described them to the press and we thought a similar procedure should be followed for terrorism anyway the upshot of this has been the State Department decided to stop producing its report and the National Counterterrorism Center was created the National Counterterrorism Center I think does try to do more comprehensive and credible job producing terrorism statistics and as pH Wu mentioned as a result of this article I was asked to be an adviser for the National Counterterrorism Center when they called me the guy who called me said I read your piece and Foreign Affairs and my boss read it my boss's boss read it and we all thought it had sensible recommendations then he said to me I don't know how this translates he said the State Department thinks you're an but we'd like to put you on this advisory board for us anyway for the last three years I've been helping the National Counterterrorism Center so I'll come back to that a little bit as well let me tell you some of the analysis I've done with the significant international events that the State Department had had collected and this is potentially a very rich data set because what I did was to look at the countries that each terrorist act the country of origin for each terrorist act and the country that was targeted so I look at 149 countries so think of a hundred and forty-nine by 149 matrix so it's potentially very rich data this shows you the countries I highlighted Italy which you probably can't read in green this is in terms of international terrorist attacks the number that are originated from Italy from the period 1997 to 2003 and this is per million people Italy is a bit below average compared to the rest of the world not too far off of the average the West Bank and Gaza Strip is at you know off-the-charts Colombia Yemen Angola tend to be on the high end it's important to adjust by population India in our data has the largest number of terrorist attacks but it also has the second largest population so let me tell you some of the findings from this analysis first the vast majority of the terrorist incidents were carried out by multiple perpetrators also the vast majority of these events were carried out by people who lived in the country where the event occurred so remember this is international terrorism but most international terrorism still has a strong local aspect to it and in many of these cases it was just the case that foreigners happened to be in the midst of the terrorist attack and the real target was a domestic target but because an American or an Italian happened to be sitting in at a cafe in Jerusalem and was blown up that could counted as international terrorism we find that in 62% of these incidents the perpetrators and the victims were from different religious groups 7% of the attacks were on international organizations like the Red Cross or the UN just 5% of the attacks were suicide bombings suicide bombings tend to be more lethal and I think there is justified concern about the spread of suicide bombings but they still represent the minority of terrorist incidents much more common was kidnappings kidnappings for ransom so I won't scare you with the econometrics but the type of model that I estimated was one in which I related the number of incidents that were occurring from people from one country where the victims were people from another country and I could model the number of incidents using this framework negative binomial model where I could use characteristics of the country of origin and of the target country and let me just summarize some of the main findings from this analysis first the income of the target country seemed to matter but the income average income of the country of origin did not matter so the terrorists were coming from countries of high income and low income but they tended to target wealthier countries that's the first finding the second finding is that civil liberties or commitment to democratic rights freedom of the press for example tended to be strong predictors of the occurrence of terrorism terrorists tended to come from societies that repressed civil liberties an example is a country like Saudi Arabia which is a wealthy country but very limited civil liberties very limited commitment to democracy the targets tended to be countries that had very strong commitment to civil liberties tended to be democracies it's difficult to separate out civil liberty from democracy because they're both very highly correlated I tended to emphasize civil liberties but I think that they both hand-in-hand and you can see this in this in this chart this shows you the number of terrorist attacks originating from countries with a low level of civil liberties medium level or a high level and each of the three bars shows you who's being targeted in those cases so you can see the fact that the bars are declining says that the origin countries tend to be the countries which have a low level of civil liberties and the fact that the blue bar tends to be higher than the other bars in each of the sets of the charts of the bar charts shows you that the targeted countries tend to be those who have more civil liberties let me mention some of the other findings population mattered larger countries were more likely to be sources of terrorism and they were also more likely to be targets the volume of trade between pairs of countries I worked very hard to get data on the trade flows between each of these pairs of countries and that was do typically significant more trade fewer terrorist attacks but once I controlled for distance between countries that that effect went away so I think the effect of trade is probably reflecting reflecting Geographic distance terrorism tends to occur more between countries that are close together geographically the literacy rate had no effect the child mortality rate infant mortality rate had no effect I didn't find much difference between countries based on their religious affiliation countries that occupy other countries were more likely to be origins of terrorism and also more likely to be targets let me just update you with the latest data from the National Counterterrorism Center this shows you for most of the OECD countries the number of terrorist incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2007 the National Counterterrorism Center includes domestic incidents so this is different than the earlier data and you can see Italy is well there were 36 events that were counted for Italy which is a below average for the OECD a bit below average for the OECD in this time period Turkey Spain France the UK and Greece had many more incidents in Italy the next chart shows on a per capita basis and the distribution is quite skewed you know per capita Greece has has by far the highest number Italy again is below average Italy had I think it was zero it was zero point six for a terrorist attack per million people which is about a third of the average for these other countries I've extended some of the work that I've done looking at who's joining the insurgency in Iraq in particular looking at the nationality of foreigners who've been captured in Iraq and more recently looking at a database called the Sinjar records of individuals who came from abroad and flowed into Iraq and I did a similar kind of analysis where I modelled the number of foreigners coming from each country based upon the population in the home country distance GDP GDP per capita and since I want to leave ample time for questions I won't go over these in much detail but I find a pretty similar pattern the foreigners who are coming into Iraq are coming from countries that are nearby they're coming from larger countries to the extent that income matters GDP per capita matters it actually has the opposite sign than one might affect expect they're coming from wealthier countries I found no effective literacy or a measure of inequality the Gini coefficient infant mortality had a negative effect so countries that have lower infant mortality we're actually more likely to have people join the insurgency I found the similar effect on civil liberties countries I was curious if countries had joined the coalition the u.s. coalition in Iraq the dwindling US coalition Iraq if they were more likely to have people from their country joining the insurgency and I didn't find evidence of that and also not surprisingly they're coming from countries that were disproportionately Muslim this finding on democracy or civil liberties has shown up in other studies James Piazza also used the State Department data and he found a similar pattern when it came to poverty he also looked at unemployment and economic growth and also found that democratic countries were more likely to be targets Alberto Abadie who's at the Kennedy School at Harvard has a very nice paper where he studies a different measure of terrorism risk it's the insurance premium for terrorism across countries and he concluded that terrorism risk is not significantly higher for poorer countries once the effects of political freedoms were taken into account and he found that political freedoms do matter similar in a way to what I found now these findings are actually quite different than what people find when they look at the outbreak of civil war Paul Collier who's on the program here has done excellent work looking at the occurrence of civil war civil wars tend to be more likely in poorer countries terrorism does not seem to be more likely to come from poorer countries or poorer individuals and one interpretation of that is that you tend to get terrorism when there's not enough support for a civil war so if terrorism spreads and it turns into a civil war then a wider segment of the population joins they tend to be motivated more by material gain than by the cause itself at least that's my interpretation about why we get a difference when we compare terrorism and civil war so lastly let me talk about the consequences of terrorism what if anything does terrorism accomplish and I want to start just by putting the risk posed by terrorism in perspective this is for the US but I am confident that if one calculated similar numbers for Italy they would look similar this shows the risk of dying from various causes either over a year or over the lifetime so the risk of an American dying from a terrorist attack by my calculations is one in 69 thousand the risk of dying from being struck by lightning to put that in perspective it is higher one in 39,000 so for the vast majority of people terrorism is a risk which is lower than the risks they face from lightning now I think catastrophic terrorism terrorism that uses catastrophic methods I would include September 11th in that or chemical attacks like in Japan on the transit system in Japan or if if there are incidents of radiological terrorism that's something different and that does have the potential for mass death and destruction but conventional terrorism the Terrorism that the world has seen tends to be a fairly low risk and I think that's very important to keep in in perspective and because terrorism tends to destroy relatively little human capital and physical capital I argue that the economic impacts are likely to be small it doesn't mean that they're always small and some studies in particular a very good one by Alberto Abadie found that in Spain terrorism did have a significant effect in the Basque region but because most of human capital and physical capital a vast majority of it survives after a terrorist attack terrorism I think tends to have a fairly small effect on the economy overall but it doesn't tend to affect some industries and the terrorist organizations are pretty adept at targeting more vulnerable industries like tourism or finance so some industries the airline industry for example certainly face repercussions from terrorism but they tend to be fairly isolated and in an economy that's diversified which there are many different substitution possibilities tend to be more robust in the face of terrorism what about the political impacts well this is an area where I think research is growing very quickly so these conclusions may change and I also think it's important to bear in mind that terrorists don't usually start from a very strong political position if they had mass support they probably would use different tactics so they're probably using terrorism because they view that as the only way - the only way to advance their cause so I think that that should be borne in mind bearing that in mind I think terrorism has in many situations been effective in advancing the goals of the terrorist organizations but I think it's also important to bear in mind that it's very context-specific what an advancement of those goals are an advancement of the goals could be the re-election of a right-wing government or a left-wing government it depends on the context and I think the effective terrorist attacks are very much contact specific the most spectacular example of terrorism having an effect on political outcomes was in Spain so as you recall there was an awful terrorist attack in Spain on March 11 2004 where several trains were targeted 191 people were killed and 1500 were wounded and this occurred on March 11th elections were scheduled for March 14th the government of President as NAR initially blamed Etta as the perpetrator of the terrorist attacks probably because the government mishandled the situation the political ramifications were much greater so the public opinion polls showed as nars government it with a commanding lead as early as as late as March you know polls taken in the beginning of March and then they lost to the Socialist Party on March 14th now it's very difficult to know of the election if the terrorist attacks was the cause of that I think the evidence is overwhelming that the terrorist attack was the cost and I want to show you some results of a study by Juan Jose Montalvo which I thought use a very clever idea what he did was to compare voting for residents and non-residents and serve bike the quirky situation Spaniards living abroad needed to vote by March 10th the election was held March 11th so they provide a control group for how one group would have voted prior to the attacks occurring and what he can do is compare how residents living abroad voted in 2000 and 2004 to how the current residents voted so I'm not saying this very clearly but you could look at those who lived abroad the non-residents voted and you can see they voted overwhelmingly but they voted strongly for they asked our government a margin with the way that the voter split would have been enough for the government to remain in power and the residents voted much less for the Aznar government they were more likely to vote for the socialist parties in the election there's other evidence as well so I think it strongly points to the terrorist attack altering the way people voted in Spain so in that sense I think terrorism does threaten democracy it has the possibility to influence democracy and the last topic I want to talk about is the role of the press because I think terrorism can only succeed if their message is propagated through the press remember terrorism the goal of terrorism in the definition I have in mind is to spread fear to a broader group than the immediate victims to do this the press is required to spread to spread the fear and I think the incentives for the media are not well aligned to curtail the spread of fear the media outlets in Italy may well be different but in the u.s. the media outlets compete to be the first to break the news they want to get a larger audience there's no accountability for the experts who they interview they have an incentive to sensationalize to keep to keep their audience engaged also the initial reporting is often inaccurate part of that is deliberate sometimes the government deliberately sends in a misleading message sometimes they might do that because I want to reduce fear that may have been the case in the London attacks we're in one of the subways he initially said that the cause was a I think a transformer that had blown up rather than a bomb but there's also some deliberate attempts to to miss by the government to miss report for other reasons and there's just tremendous confusion so I go through in my book I won't show you now each of the major terrorist attacks that occurred recently had significant errors in the initial reporting and I think that's something that we should come to expect you know as I mentioned before in Spain it was reported that Edda was responsible on 9/11 in the u.s. CNN reported that explosions occurred on Capitol Hill and that Capitol Hill was evacuated where there was no such explosion ABC reported that a bomb exploded at the State Department which did not happen after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 it was reported that the FBI was looking for Middle Eastern men who were seen fleeing from the bombing and we now know that the bombing was carried out by Timothy McVeigh so I won't go over this last example let me just conclude by saying that I think it's very important that we use data and statistical analysis in the war on terrorism I don't think that should be the only approach but I do think it can inform what we're doing I think we should view terrorism as a violent political act I think it tends to occur more likely where other ways of making political statements are curtailed that's why I think civil liberties are important when it comes to terrorism I think we should view terrorists as pursuing grievances having a political agenda which they're pursuing by means that are inappropriate and which we should do what we can to stop and in some situations to channel people who have those grievances to try to express them in more more acceptable ways last year some of you maybe remember I talked about the importance of Education for the economy and I certainly think that improving education around the world and reducing poverty are important goals I don't think they're very likely to effect terrorism I think education might affect terrorism if we change the content of education but even there I have my doubts one of the things that education tends to do is to make people more confident in their views none of this however should reduce our commitment to improving literacy around the world and reducing poverty in fact I think if we draw a false connection between poverty education and terrorism we will in the long run or may in the long run reduce commitment to reducing poverty and improving education around the world because when concerned about terrorism wanes and I'm hopeful that at some point it will then support for international aid may decline as well and something similar happened when we tied eight developing countries to the Cold War and competition with the Soviet Union after the fall of the Soviet Union I think support for developing countries from Trump from the West or at least the u.s. fell as a result I think terrorism can only matter in a big way if we let it and therefore I think it's important to keep terrorism in perspective Colin Powell gave an interview to GQ magazine recently and he said quote what is the greatest threat facing us now people will say it's terrorism but are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American Way of life or our political system no can they knock down a building yes can they kill somebody yes but can they change us no only we can change ourselves so what is the greatest threat we are facing then he went on to say this is not a threat to our survival the only thing that can really destroy us is us we shouldn't do it to ourselves we shouldn't use fear for political purposes so I think it's very important to keep the threat of terrorism in perspective I think we should focus on the catastrophic threats of terrorism we should worry about chemical radiological nuclear biological terrorism and the rest I think it's a fortunate I think it's gonna be very difficult to affect on the supply side because the supply of terrorists is fairly elastic I think we should confront terrorist organizations where we can and in some situation where it seems appropriate to engage them politically and I think that's probably a better strategy in the war of terrorism than to believe that poverty and lack of education are the causes of terrorism and when the rest of the world grows terrorism will decline when they stop at that point and take questions though you're in Graz RL professor Kreuger / questa Kruger for this very detailed presentation it's been like being bombarded by data and statistics and it won't be easy to recover it well with reference to the role of the media I don't think that the situation in Italy is much better as compared to the u.s. situation the same applies to sensationalism and the catastrophic approach in the media we also have our heroes in this sector well I'm sure that there are questions please use the microphone but your tray Valachi de mandala three questions first so the market of terrorism is very differentiated and the outcomes the product are not standardized don't you think it would be interesting to check possible differences in terrorism in India Colombia Greece and in other areas of the world second question are there social differences and personal differences between the various leaders and and also the those who actually perpetrate attacks so is there a difference between leaders and the actual perpetrators and then the final question professional career can be one motivation after the first question is yes I think casting a broad net is important and what what I've tried to do and I apologize for bombarding you with so many statistics but what I've tried to do is to look at different modes of analysis to look at the individual motivation to look at societal forces because maybe individuals are motivated not by their own situation but by those in their countries and I've tried to look at other countries so when in the analysis across countries that is kind of looking across the world others have done Studies on the biographies of members of terrorist organizations in Greece India Colombia and elsewhere and as I suggested the profile tends to be fairly similar it seems to be disproportionately highly educated more advantaged individuals who become involved it's not always the case Northern Ireland might be an exception but I think that's the only exception I came across at the individual level in in in the book that I advertised there's more analysis across other countries leaders versus foot soldiers is a very good question one of the reasons why I showed you the results on suicide bombers is you might think that suicide bombers are kind of at the bottom of the chain and if an organization was going to destroy some of its human capital you might think it would have a strong instead of not the destroyed destroyed its best human capital so I've been very concerned about some of the earlier work which looked mainly at the leaders and I've tried very hard to look at the perpetrators the leader tend to be even more advantaged so you know you look at bin Laden or horse we're hot so we're hari and you know you have a multi-millionaire and a doctor so I think if you look at the leaders you'd even get a more skewed picture of their backgrounds compared to the rest of the organization but I think if you look at the average members of the organization like I had done with the results were Hezbollah you tend to get a similar kind of portrait that that those who joined the organizations tend to be well educated and from advantage backgrounds gratzi episode fast you know there it AZ no convinced thank you so much there are some non conventional ideas that go against the prevailing opinion there is fascinating but I have a doubt about your objectives if you like don't you think that this is a way of supporting those who feel that there's a need for strong action also military action to protect civil liberties and political if it is going against those that are in favor of action to protect the economy and social development so the question is I interpret it is this was interesting but do I have ulterior motives or do these results support an approach of militarily addressing terrorism I'm not sure about the answer to that I think they cut in different ways so for example one of the things I've been saying is that this research suggests the importance of maintaining civil liberties and I think the u.s. strategy of limiting civil liberties violating civil liberties in the quote war on terrorism is counterproductive and I often point to Timothy McVeigh who said that his motivation was he thought the government had been monitoring him you know he was the way I put it is we don't need to give people any reason to be paranoid so and I would also say and I point this out in my book I think the u.s. policy of closing down newspapers in Iraq that have been hostile to the US position and paying reporters to plant stories has been counterproductive and really countered what to what the u.s. stands for III do think that part of the strategy in preventing terrorism in some situations does involve a military strategy such as was the case in in Afghanistan I think that's probably a small part of it and I think you know I agree very much with Colin Powell that the only way terrorists could succeed is if the government misstep overreacts exploits the opportunity that terrorism presents to them and I think that's how the Bush administration viewed viewed 9/11 and at least in the context of the US that's the only way the terrorist organizations can succeed I think you could ask it a different way which is why does so many world leaders draw a connection between poverty and terrorism if there's such little evidence for it and what was striking to me was to see the president of the World Bank and to see initially Kofi Annan and others leap to the conclusion that terrorism was a result of poverty in some cases I think they thought that would help further the goal of their organizations you know more more international aid and so on so it was you know I would would attribute it to opportunism and for the Bush administration I think it's much easier to say people attack us because they're desperately poor or because they hate our way of life because then they don't have to confront the issue which i think is the main motivation which has to do with US policy so I think now we might not want to change US policy we might want to say this is a cost of US policy I think one of the great contributions of economics is to think about the reaction function how one party's action affects when another party does and I think the approach that the Bush administration has taken is to think of terrorism is completely independent of u.s. foreign policy and then if you could say well let's do to poverty and there's some some you know surface appeal to that argument then I think it puts them in a situation where they don't have to confront the sources of the grievances so you know my own view is that this work doesn't necessarily lead more to a militaristic approach to terrorism learning about you thank you so much for your presentation you compared terrorist organizations with the companies but companies in order to go on you need funds need money I'd like you to speak about funds about finance the media often referred to drug trafficking as a source / funder as a source of money do you think it's true so where does the money come from the money which is used by terrorist organizations that's an excellent question and I have to say whenever I say I'm going to talk about the economics of terrorism the reaction I have is oh you're here to talk about financing and that's an area where I wish it was possible to do more research and maybe in the future it will be so a few observations first many of the spectacular terrorist attacks that have occurred a very low cost September 11th I think the US intelligence estimated was around $100,000 in cost so it's not a tremendous amount of money that's involved and the Iraq insurgency I think is also you know if you look at per person who's becoming involved it is fairly low cost there there was some there's some fascinating new information that came to light for the foreigners who are coming to Iraq about how they're being financed and how they're traveling there and looks like they're using sort of mercenary groups to take them through Syria and when they arrived in Iraq we know this because coalition forces captured a set of records where the foreign fighters were were interviewed they were like personnel records by the groups that were deploying them and they were asked how much were you charged to come through Syria how were you treated should we use this group again and that's potentially one vulnerable spot that could be targeted to try to reduce the number of foreign fighters that are coming to Iraq but what I should also add and and I'd like to emphasize this the Iraqi insurgency is overwhelmingly domestic and like other terrorist situations it and and I'm not even sure I would call it terrorism although they're using the tactic of terrorism in many situations but like many other terrorist situations it's overwhelmingly domestic and the foreigners play a role and they might do some spectacular acts of violence but they're a very small portion of the overall insurgency but back back to your question I think terrorism is not all that costly to finance or at least individual attacks or not all that costly for an organization to sustain itself that will need a source of income I think that's correct and I think the source of income depends upon the context so many of the Middle Eastern groups are getting money from from charities and/or from sympathizers who are wealthy either in their countries or in other countries I would suspect most of its domestic most of it is logos be my guest in some situations they do turn to illegal activities and I think that was the case in Colombia and in fact I think there are situations where they turn to what I've been told by knowledgeable sources in Colombia some of the funding was coming from Cuba and from elsewhere when the u.s. closed off those other funding sources they turn to illegal activities to fund themselves and then the illegal activities became an industry of themselves so in a way an unintended consequence of cutting off the funding may have been to turn them to two illegal activities one of the reasons I mentioned earlier that that kidnapping and ransom is a common form of terrorism I think that's a form of support and one of the things I've been trying to monitor with the National Counterterrorism Center data is the frequency of kidnapping for ransom because when when when those events increase I think that will be an indication that other sources of financing is closing down so that the groups are turning to other other means to try to finance themselves so I think you asked a very good question and I think it's an area where there's been very little research it's possible that there would be some it's an area I've looked into a bit and I have not made much progress myself all right if I speak in English I'd like to congratulate you on such an innovative use of quantitative methods which cuts us ways through the rhetoric on terrorism but I did have a query or I'm puzzled by this correlation between the perpetrators coming from countries with low civil liberties and countries with high civil liberties or democracies being the target it first of all struck me that it could be because these are domestic protests and they target democracies for maximum effect but the second thought is that it could be because the perpetrators come from countries with low civil liberties for which they countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia for which they blame the democracies the u.s. the UK and Israel it's interesting that the vast majority of terrorist acts are actually in democracies so from your charts Greece Spain Turkey France Ireland and the UK and presumably the perpetrators and the targets in most terrorist acts incidents are actually from democracies it's but the most spectacular terrorist acts like suicide bombings on 911 come from countries in post-colonial situations and I really don't think this can be ruled out in post-colonial situations work sorry in these democracies with these terrorist acts seem to stand aside seem to be quite another issue from either the civil wars in post-colonial countries where there's perhaps more symmetry between the perpetrators and the targets and where there's less symmetry they use its my suggestions just a suggestion they use these spectacular terror terrorist techniques I agree with a lot of what you said they I think terrorism is a tactic which is used when there is asymmetric power and one of the reasons why I think it's so common in the israeli-palestinian situation is you have such a strong imbalance and if there was less of an imbalance I think you'd have a civil war and you know more conventional civil war the comments you made about democracies being targeted I think that there's elements of both of that that democracies are probably more responsive to terrorism whereas a totalitarian regime can continue what it was doing without being responsive to the public it doesn't help to spread fear in a country which controls the press and is totalitarian another factor which does concern me is it might be easier for the terrorist groups to operate to move about and to go undetected in a in a democracy I think it's difficult to separate out the policies of the democracies from the fact that they're wealthier and that they have power my interpretation of why the wealthier countries were targeted was because they had more influence in the world I haven't directly connected it to the foreign policy except for the occupation measure that I had the one thing I disagree with is the figures I think where you cited Greece and Turkey and so on those are just OECD countries so if you look at a broader set of countries you would see that terrorism you you would see a less democratic countries represented if speaking English for me to be here a couple of question one is mainly technical I didn't saw your regular let's call it a regression the presence of migration rates and let's say if you have the good part of the population that migrates or the bad one it depends you could your analysis could suffer of some kind of selection bias that so that was the technical thing the other one is about your conclusion you said that we have good reason to reduce to increase the extraction level and to reduce poverty but reducing terrorism is not one of them I can read it in a different way it's okay the fact that probably we that for sure we have the terrorists belongs to the ire part of the educational group but could you also notice in your analysis that the president of democracy and of democratic institution strongly influences the presence of terrorists if it's true that economic growth influence also the Democratic institution and vice versa of course you could have the necessity to still increase the economic situation of countries because this will produce in the long run situations that would and so on okay those are both good points III agree with you on the second point and in fact what I've written is to the extent that economic factors matter it's indirectly because democracy is more common in wealthier countries my my policy recommendation would be to try to build up the institutions that support democracy around the world that would be the most direct way of trying to promote democracy and in fact I had thought after 9/11 that if you kind of looked at I gave a talk at USAID which is the foreign development wing of the US government and I said if Madison Avenue which is the advertising part of the US we're gonna look at the US and say well what is our brand what is it that we stand for that would help us to reduce terrorism it would be democracy and what we should do is build institutions of democracy now I had no idea the Bush administration would try to do that by by way of war and I I do think that to the extent that economic growth matters its indirectly through democracy and I think we could probably more directly target that channel but I would make I would make that connection the first point that you mentioned on the econometrics there are many things I worry about in the cross-country models and I think III view the molten you know mainly is illustrative one of the big problems is the quality of the data then there are other problems whenever you have count data and you have so many cells which are zero I mean most of the cells because I have 149 by 149 countries most cases there were not terrorist acts between the pairs of countries so you worry a lot about the functional form of the model fairly far down my list I would say would be migration and I guess the reason for that reaction is that I don't think migration rates are high enough that the selection of those who are left is all that different now having said that migration might account for in Ireland and it might be that the elites in Northern Ireland had an opportunity to leave and they supported the the movement not by joining the terrorist organization but by financing it so and that's actually something I write about in the book and it may be that those who would have been the can a mainstay of the organization migrated and they supported the organization through funding and that's something that we miss so there are some situations where I do think migration could matter but I don't think across the whole whole world that matters for those regressions and Avanti pre-madonna in Syria me on K molto blossom in Turkey butl opportunity lecturer professor Kreuger Vavoom met Amanda Farley Segundo la Swan Ric empirica a known a possible affirmed are asleep you diffuse Oh Nellie not shown in the religion emotion mana troponin ultra parte del del D brumbass Punta Cana statistical kinesin dodgy CDI most raqami proton a pezzi de religion a muscle man at resi Alto Alto Tasso D attack e terrorist EC per million is evident suppose big our quest apparent a contradiction it wasn't translated it was but not would you mind saying it English sure couldn't yeah so you say in your book that terrorism is not really there does not so much relation with with nation of Muslim religion but in other part of the books I think at the page 73 you have a statistic about that and did a major attack terrorist attack there are really in in this kind of nation states or territories okay if you can explain the world yes so that's an excellent question and it's a question I get often which is what is the role of religion in terrorism and my answer is that religious motivation is one of the motivations for for terrorism I think there are many motivations for why people join terrorist groups and I think if you look across religions probably all major religions have had involvement with terrorism in the past the world is focused now on terrorism from Islamic groups and comment I often get is well terrorism is mainly an Islamic phenomenon and it has to do with the religion of Islam I mean in a way it's frightening to me because I think that that is an opinion held by many Americans and it is the case in the data that I look at that you see more terrorism coming from countries that have higher proportion of Muslims on the other hand those are also countries attend to limit civil liberties so if you do an analysis where you control from multiple factors what seems to be most important is the repression of civil liberties not the role of religion so I think it's a complicated area and I think it's certainly the case that the Islamic leaders do try to spread a religious message my sense is and it's also very hard to separate out often geopolitical issues from religion because they overlap closely in many parts of the world but my sense is we focus on religion too much and not enough on the underlying policy grievances see very very simple can you hear me can you hear me I have again a question on Muslim terrorism can you hear the translation ok the question again on Muslim religion and terrorism in Italy there's a lot of discussion on the mosques and the problems that they might bring about because they might be used not only for religious purposes but also to the messages of hatred and there are those that say that there are sometimes even terrorist groups that develop within or make use of these things do you think that this is a realistic interpretation of fact so do you believe it's definitely an invention quite far from reality well I really can't comment on the situation in Italy I see in the US this is probably true in all religious groups there are minority which are not very tolerant and they express intolerant views in their places of worship and there have been some cases where Islamic groups started around a mosque or were involved in a mosque and that's how they met each other some members of the cell met each other and then they kind of split off from the mosque but they also meet each other on soccer groups or in reading groups who are in school so one of the things I worry about is that we focus too much on kind of the past pattern or I mean I the way I feel justified about saying this before September 11th in the u.s. our main concern was with domestic terrorism in groups like Timothy McVeigh after 9/11 our concern shifted very abruptly to al Qaeda and their affiliates and we spent a great deal of resources looking at domestic you know potential domestic groups and I have to say we really came up with nothing there have been charges there have been some cases this is an area where I've been doing some research because the homeland security administration had asked me to look into the characteristics of members of this Islamic domestic cells and I said well we don't really have enough of them and they sent me a spreadsheet it was a funny story they sent me a spreadsheet with links to Wikipedia so there was nothing classified in what they sent me and I did the same kind of analysis that I showed you today where I compared the education and income religious backgrounds of members of these domestic cells homegrown terrorist groups to other Muslims living in the US and in a way the profile looked similar in a way it looked different they looked remarkably average in terms of education they were very much average they were a little less likely to have converted to Islam than other Muslims living in the US but if you look at these groups they were really minor players in fact one of the reasons why I thought they looked average whereas when I look at other terrorist groups they look more elite is that they weren't very effective they were really kind of small players and one of the things which I had been advising is I think we're focused too much on the Islamic threat and not prepared for what other threats we might face and I think Katrina is a really good example of how we weren't prepared at all for natural disaster and it's the same agencies you know the FEMA is responsible in both cases for dealing with the aftermath of natural disaster or a terrorist attack so I I think that if we focus exclusively on activities in mosques that would be that would be a mistake although I think it's probably right for in the US for the security agencies to use the legal means that they have to monitor the activities and the mosques and I would say in churches and and synagogues where more extremists views are being are being spread where we're more extremist and violent views are being spread Lamia demanda party my question starts from a methodological approach for example in the tables where terroristic acts are counted what did you actually calculate for example in Italy in the news or in the normal world we consider a terrorist attack both 9/11 but also the killing or the assassination of a politician or of a government aid that is single actions against single targets and not involved in large numbers of people so I'd like to know what you include in those numbers because it's not only a sista chol question it is also a question of definition what is a terrorist act and what is not a terrorist act and this leads me to another question relating to internal domestic terrorist act in countries at war let's think of the debate for example as to how to define a certain fact which for some is a terrorist act while for others is an act of resistance or a non-conventional instrument in a war scenario those are very good questions terrorism is extremely difficult to define and I think the main reason why it's difficult to define is that what distinguishes terrorism is the goal of spreading terror a spreading fear so it requires that we know something about the motivation of the terrorists which we have to infer so terrorism I think inherently involves a subjective interpretation one can take an alternative approach and look at bombings by sub-state groups and just call that you know terrorism or say we're looking at those bombings one could cast a very broad net include any kind of political violence at all or try to focus on political violence politically motivated violence which is perpetrated with the intention of spreading fear and that is the definition that heart of what I would like to look at now as you pointed out it's not just an incidental detail because the way you define something determines what gets measured and what's not measured and I'm also partly at the mercy of the agencies that collect the data one of the reasons why I've tried to cast a broad net is because ideally one would like to find some patterns that are generalizable and robust so alternative definitions of how terrorism is defined and I do think that that is the case when it comes to looking at the backgrounds of the terrorists as to how terrorism is defined and the data I showed you in the in the various tables it actually buries and it's different in different contexts the State Department would not include a targeted assassination of a political figure as a terrorist attack and personally I actually think that correct because an assassination which is clearly politically motivated is not intended usually not intended to spread fear in the whole population its intended to remove someone from the position that they have assassinations are absolutely horrible but not all horrible things count as terrorism an issue which the National Counterterrorism Center struggles with is genocide how do you treat genocide where the goal of the acts are to eliminate a people they don't want to spread fear they want to eliminate the entire population in some group or some area you know obviously a detestable act something which I think should be and has been studied and we should learn as much as we can to try to prevent it does that count as terrorism and I think there's an aspect of a judgement call there the National Counterterrorism Center would not I believe count something which it firmly defined as as genocide as part of terrorism there are lots of tricky issues and I suggested to the National account of charity but by the way the National Counterterrorism Center has been more open than any government agency I've dealt with on this issue they invited me to write a critique of their procedures which they published with the report a year ago and the most recent report which just came out they invited David Leighton to write a critique and David's even more of a loose cannon than I am so so it was kind of an act of bravery for them to do that the so so I think they're they recognize that there are judgments here and like many statistical agencies they prefer to avoid collecting data which requires judgments but there are many situations where we use data which require judgments I often point out the unemployment rate to be unemployed someone has to have been available for a job if one was offered to them they need to say that they would have been available to take it well only they could decide that you know were they feeling well enough to take the job was there here situation such that they were available so there's an aspect of subjectivity when it comes to two measures like unemployment one way we try to get around that problem is by using multiple definitions and seeing how robust our conclusions are what I suggested to the National Counterterrorism Center is they give they have two people review each of the cases each of the incidents they each give a score from 1 to 5 which is how confident do they are they that this was an act of terrorism is it a borderline case is it a case where some people might code it differently and then you could see how well they align and that's something which I think that their that they've taken under consideration so I think the question that you raised is a good one to me in a way it's amazing because measuring terrorism is almost an afterthought and how the US can make fighting a war on terrorism such a high priority and spend billions and billions of dollars on it and then have the process of monitoring how we're doing be such a secondary concern so so I think getting more people interested in how we measure terrorism and I don't think it has to be the US government that tracks terrorism around the world I think the UN would be perfectly if the UN had fun thing to do it would be a perfectly good organization to do it I also mentioned earlier the word terrorism is very loaded you know it's a very it's a word which evokes very strong emotions and he might be better if there was a term which was more descriptive like politically motivated violence with the intention of spreading fear we're just politically motivated violence which would include assassinations you know if that if the purpose was to look more broadly at violence of a political nature well he sort of took one today what are in your opinion the factors why Northern Ireland is an exception in your analysis I don't have a wholly satisfactory answer for why Northern Ireland is an exception one possibility is that Northern Ireland was had an education system which was such that even people with a lower level of education were literate enough to be involved politically another possibility which is raised in the literature is that in Northern Ireland there was discrimination against those who would have joined the elites and as a result they were less advantaged I think that's the case everywhere however so that doesn't strike me as so exceptional a third possibility which I mentioned earlier is that in the case of Northern Ireland there was more out migration and many of those who were involved in the cause did so from from from abroad and they helped financially I do know that Gerry Adams has said that the hardest part this was a quote from him the hardest part of humanity to organise is the impoverished so I think he found that it was very challenging to engage they'd be unemployed in their cause and I think he also in this interview that I that I heard him give made the point that it was very hard to keep their engagement keep their involvement so I don't have a good answer and the other thing that I should say the evidence which points to Northern Ireland be an exception is a little bit sketchy so the studies of the biographies and some of the public opinion polls do suggest that Northern Ireland is different studies that have been done looking at economic the the effect of the business cycle the effect of recession depression economic boom on the occurrence of terrorism in Northern Ireland don't find any relationship with economic conditions so so the evidence is also a little bit mixed for Northern Ireland I'd say Amanda ricotta salata demanda a very final question yes hello I'd like to ask if there are ways to respond to a terrorist attack in particular if the state can resort to the concept all the legitimate defense do you think that this is justifiable what you mean by legitimate defense let's also say is Eastern edema too deep I mean if there are legitimate ways by which a state which is attacked can respond in turn perhaps avoiding the use of force that's why I mean legitimate defense or an acceptable method of defense well to be perfectly honest I think that the best defense is to look at what's important about your country and to say we're going to redouble our efforts to do what we do to me terrorism only is effective if the government over reacts to it and if people over react to it so if life stops terrorism can only affect the economy if people panic I was on a panel with the former CIA analyst and he was arguing that if there was a bomb in the Mall of the Americas the Mall of America is probably the largest mall in the country it's a shopping mall in Minnesota Minneapolis that the whole country would come to a halt and he said you know suppose it happened around Christmastime and personally I think that's pretty unlikely because the chance of getting killed is actually more likely driving to the shopping mall than it is from a terrorist attack but maybe people would panic and they would magnify small probabilities and I think there is a fair amount of evidence that psychologically people don't don't evaluate their risks in a in an appropriate way and they tend to exaggerate small risks especially ones that are salient and so forth so I think the best response that a country can have is to not panic and to go about their lives in a sensible way now of course this doesn't mean you don't take precautions and I think we should take precautions but if countries don't respond to terrorism then I think terrorism will be much less frequent because it won't be effective so you know the first response I think is to keep it in perspective and to try to relate what the risk is the the US government now contracts out most of what it does it's a remarkable feature in the u.s. one of the things they contracted out before September 11th was a little report on the signs of a terrorist attack because now we have a lot of false alarms and in the u.s. we have a lot of remote sensors and I actually think this makes it a fair amount of sense to have sensors for radiological or chemical or biological attacks but you also have a lot of type 2 errors a lot of mistakes where the sensor goes off where there was no threat and a lot of these instances have been reported in the press one case where the capital was evacuated and that pot you strong a word but the part part of it was evacuated and it was reported in the media this was the last slide that I had and it was a remarkable story because I was watching the news and it sounded like maybe there was a terrorist threat in US capital and people were herded down to the garage which was the procedures that they had yet there were no symptoms at all and what this little report had was what are the symptoms of different types of chemical agents or biological agents and so on and people's eye should be watering it was a chemical attack which is what the sensor had had had detected and of course it turned out to be a mistake and there was no problem at all I watched for four hours because of the way that this was drawn out and had the journalist been briefed had read and the report was actually for journalists that the contracting agency had prepared for the for the government you know and they had some experts on who said this doesn't seem like it's a serious problem because no one has any symptoms and people are ordering out for pizza you know that's what they were doing when they were holed up in the garage and it's a good example of them of the misreporting and sensationalizing so one of the things that I suggest considering is having a watchdog group an organization which rates the press and says which which which network television network radio station and so on did the best job reporting in this instance which experts made what turned out to be the most insightful comments and to try to have some way maybe that's a small incentive for the press to remain calm in the event of terrorist attacks and not to sensationalize maybe more can be done in that area but that's one proposal that I have that I lay out in my book something funny hey now I'm not good morning I have a question that I wouldn't want you to feel there I'm a probe push but wait sometimes have the perception that there is a kind of statistical mapping of terrorist attacks which is very often it provides a detrimental view of those countries that have internal war problems or I mean it said that the feeling we have is that there are a number of phenomena which are based on a substrate on a situation where there are many religious or economic factors that are very powerful and that therefore tend to generate terrorism possibly using local people or nationals so the question I would like to ask you in this respect is this yesterday Friedman was saying that there's a we can imagine that there's a connection between economic growth and moral growth do you feel that this is reasonable can there be some ingredients of a recipe that can be effective in reducing terrorism do you think that can be a moment where democracy can really count suppose it in the revenant in the West this doesn't seem to be true there were times where economic growth was present in debt some countries went in one direction and others in another so it might be interesting to see if there may be some particular ingredients that are responsible for these particular different choices in which they ingredients ah thank you that's a very good question and I could say I went to Ben Friedman's talk yesterday and I do tend to agree with him that there are moral reasons to favor economic growth and I think economic growth helps to cure a lot of problems but I would say helps and I think Ben would agree that it's not always sufficient and it does depend on a lot of factors many of which we don't understand at best what we could do with the types of statistics that I showed you is to look at general tendencies in a statistical sense the r-squared the fraction of the variants that we're explaining is not all that great in these models so there are a lot of factors that we can't control or that we don't understand which influence the occurrence of terrorism and many of the other phenomenon that Ben Friedman spoke about so my sense is that terrorism will likely always be with us that's one of the reasons why it's important to keep the risk in perspective and to guard against the most catastrophic aspects of that risk and to learn to cope to cope with that risk which will in turn help to reduce the threat of terrorism but I suspect that Ben Friedman would also say that economic growth helps to improve the moral situation and a lot of dimensions but not in all of them and not all not not all at the time and I would tend to agree with that when it comes to terrorism Ben okay thank you very much I think again professor Kreuger 4 is very interesting lecture and very stimulating and detailed and I want to thank all of you for your questions I hope we'll have an opportunity to see professor Kreuger again next year in Trento thank you again thank you