Terrorist Decision Making Regarding Security and Risk

This project will start to build a better understanding of how terrorists make judgements about risk and security, and how this informs their actions (e.g., operational security measures, targeting decisions, hostile reconnaissance). As this is a relatively new area of academic inquiry, the team will start with the criminological literature to develop hypotheses, which will then be tested against two data sets.

Research questions

  • How do criminals manage their own security, and how do they make risk judgements about the actions they wish to take?
  • How are terrorists the same or different in their decision-making about risk and security?

Principal investigator

Dr Paul Gill


University College London, UK




Terrorist Decision Making in the Context of Risk, Attack Planning, and Attack Commission

Terrorists from a wide array of ideological influences and organizational structures consider security and risk on a continuous and rational basis. The rationality of...Read More »

8 things you need to know about terrorist decision making

Paul Gill gives a breakdown on eight things terrorists consider when making a planning an attack, from an analyse of over 80 terrorist autobiographies...Read More »