Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, PhD

Committee Chair

Higgins, George

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Vito, Gennaro

Committee Member

Vito, Gennaro

Committee Member

Swartz, Kristin

Committee Member

Richards, George

Author's Keywords

terrorism; situational crime prevention; routine activity theory; airports; aircrafts; crime prevention


This dissertation identifies the characteristics of terrorism against airports and aircrafts and the appropriate measures to prevent or reduce the damage of this crime. The situational crime prevention framework, incorporating routine activity theory, rational choice theory, and crime pattern theory, is used to identify techniques to reduce the opportunity for terrorism targeting airports and aircrafts. This study is a first attempt to determine which situational characteristics may be relevant in attacks specifically targeting airports or aircrafts. Data for this dissertation comes from the Global Terrorism Database and covers terrorist attacks targeting airports or aircrafts from 2002 to 2014. The sample includes 44 different countries and 244 terrorist incidents. Logistic regression is used to test to see which elements related to routine activity theory are significantly associated with attacks targeting airports or aircrafts. The findings suggest that attacks against airports are likely to be perpetrated by domestic terrorists groups, are successfully implemented, and are likely to include explosives and suicides tactics as methods of attacks. Aircrafts, on the other hand, are found to be perpetrated by international terrorist groups and are not likely to be successfully implemented or include explosives as a method of attack. Opportunity reduction measures are discussed based on these findings.

Included in

Criminology Commons