Title: Terrorist Targeting and Energy Security
Citation: ENERGY POLICY vol. 38 no. 8 p. 4411-4421
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC53274
ISSN: 0301-4215
URI: www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.03.070
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Sudden, short-term disruptions seriously endangering energy security can be triggered by a variety of events ¿ among them attacks by terrorists. This study investigates terrorist attack practices against energy infrastructures and discusses how we may understand them. Our results indicate that attacks against energy infrastructures are comparatively few. Also, we find no strong connection between the ideologies of various terrorist groups and their proclivity to attack. In addition, the highly disproportionate number of attacks in a handful of countries highlights the strong geographic concentration of attacks. To explain these findings, we analyze terrorist targeting incentives including intimidation levels, symbolism, attack feasibility, and concerns for stakeholders. We argue that terrorists in general have comparatively few incentives to attack energy supply infrastructures based on our assessment of these factors. Moreover, higher levels of terrorist incidents in states more prone to internal violent conflict may suggest stronger incentives to attack energy infrastructures. When outlining energy security policies, the low frequency of world wide attacks coupled with the high concentration of attacks in certain unstable countries should be taken in to consideration. Energy importing countries could benefit from developing strategies to increase stability in key energy supply and / or transit countries facing risks of internal instability.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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