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The Mineta Transportation Institute (transweb.sjsu.edu) has published a report that presents 16 case studies of attacks against Israeli bus targets between 2000 and 2005, along with detailed statistical data.
Security Awareness for Public Bus Security: Case Studies of Suicide Attacks Against the Israeli Public Bus System could help increase understanding of what can happen and of what can deter, prevent, and/or mitigate terrorist attacks against bus transit. Principal investigators were Bruce Robert Butterworth, Shalom Dolev, and Brian Michael Jenkins. The 104-page report is available for free PDF download from transweb.sjsu.edu/project/2978.html
The statistical data come from Mineta’s (MTI) proprietary Database on Terrorist and Serious Criminal Attacks against Public Surface Transportation. The report also analyzes the effectiveness of different improvised explosive devices and methods for delivering them, and it raises questions for further discussion.
“Public surface transportation has been and remains a primary target for terrorists throughout the world,” said Mr. Butterworth. “MTI’s database records 2,287 attacks against public surface transportation betweenJanuary 1, 1970 and November 1, 2011, in which 7,581 people were killed and 29,212 were injured. Of these attacks, 65 percent were against buses, bus stations, and bus stops. They accounted for 51 percent of the fatalities and 41 percent of the injuries resulting from terrorist attacks during this period.”
Some key findings include:
All 16 cases raise questions, which are purposely left for further discussion. Two questions are especially important, particularly for security officials and transportation operators in the United States: How applicable are these cases to the current environment in the U.S.? And how does Israel’s experience compare with that of India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka?
“While one might conclude that Western nations are not likely to experience the kinds of intense terrorist campaigns against public surface transportation experienced in Israel or in other developing countries,” said Mr. Butterworth, “these targets remain attractive and must be considered in security planning.”
The complete 104-page report includes 64 maps, photographs, and other figures that illustrate each case study.
Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Award Number 2008-ST-061-TS0004.
Disclaimer: The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.