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Spatio-temporal patterns of IED usage by the Provisional Irish Republican Army

  • STEPHEN TENCH (a1) (a2), HANNAH FRY (a2) and PAUL GILL (a1)
Abstract

In this paper, a unique dataset of improvised explosive device attacks during “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland (NI) is analysed via a Hawkes process model. It is found that this past dependent model is a good fit to improvised explosive device attacks yielding key insights about the nature of terrorism in NI. We also present a novel approach to quantitatively investigate some of the sociological theory surrounding the Provisional Irish Republican Army which challenges previously held assumptions concerning changes seen in the organisation. Finally, we extend our use of the Hawkes process model by considering a multidimensional version which permits both self and mutual-excitations. This allows us to test how the Provisional Irish Republican Army responded to past improvised explosive device attacks on different geographical scales from which we find evidence for the autonomy of the organisation over the six counties of NI and Belfast. By incorporating a second dataset concerning British Security Force (BSF) interventions, the multidimensional model allows us to test counter-terrorism (CT) operations in NI where we find subsequent increases in violence.

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European Journal of Applied Mathematics
  • ISSN: 0956-7925
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  • URL: /core/journals/european-journal-of-applied-mathematics
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