Concentrated and Close to Home: The Spatial Clustering and Distance Decay of Lone Terrorist Vehicular Attacks

Badi Hasisi*, Simon Perry, Yonatan Ilan, Michael Wolfowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study examines the spatial characteristics of vehicular terror attacks in Israel from a “micro place” perspective at the street segment level. Utilizing data obtained from the Israel Security Agency, Israel National police, and open sources, the study analyzes the 71 vehicular attacks carried out in Israel between 2000 and 2017. In addition to examining the hot-spots at which attacks occurred, we also identify “hot routes”, estimated journey to attack routes. Methods: We move beyond traditional approaches by calculating and comparing generalized Gini coefficients and their Lorenz curves for both the hot spots and hot routes. Results: Tight spatial clustering in Jerusalem and the West Bank is found to be characteristic of this type of attack, which is limited by a range geographic constraints. Hot routes are identified as being highly concentrated at the street-segment level, although they are relatively less concentrated than hot-spots. Additionally, the presence of a strong distance decay function is confirmed. Conclusions: The findings indicate that the laws of crime concentration are applicable to the case of lone terrorist vehicular attacks. The results demonstrate the utility of the methodological approach to examining specific types of terror attacks. Such approaches may be useful for informing environmental based prevention policies and strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)607-645
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Quantitative Criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Concentration
  • Hot-spots
  • Terrorism


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