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Open AccessArticle

Cluster Analysis of Pakistani Terrorism Events to Support Counterterrorism

Faculty of Computer Science, Institute of Business Administration, P.O. Box 74400, Karachi, Pakistan
Department of Computer Science, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES), P.O. Box 75160, Karachi, Pakistan
College of Computing and Information Sciences, PAF Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology, P.O. Box 75190, Karachi, Pakistan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2018, 8(4), 127;
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
PDF [4661 KB, uploaded 18 December 2018]


The frequency of terrorist events in Pakistan has increased considerably in the past several years. These events are frequent and not random, making it important to identify useful patterns in their occurrences to assist counterterrorism organizations. In this paper, we conducted such an analytical activity for the first time in Pakistan. We acquired data of terrorist events from reliable online sources and applied data preprocessing techniques followed by cluster analysis. Based on statistical correlation, we discovered clusters over the following combinations: (1) “Event of Terrorism—Target of Terrorism”; and (2) “Event of Terrorism—Method of Terrorism”. A more significant clustering is one which groups distinct combinations into separate clusters. We analyzed these clusters along three dimensions: (1) Annually for the time period 1988–2012; (2) for each Pakistani province; and (3) for different types of terrorist events. We also proposed a statistic for gauging the intensity of terrorism and analyzed it along the same three dimensions. Our results were extensive, but generally indicated significant Event–Target and Event–Method clusters, as well as increasing and decreasing trends in terrorism intensity. These can assist counterterrorism authorities in thwarting future attacks and arresting the responsible criminals. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrorism events; counterterrorism; terrorism methods; cluster analysis; terrorism target terrorism events; counterterrorism; terrorism methods; cluster analysis; terrorism target

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mahmood, T.; Rohail, K.; Khan, K. Cluster Analysis of Pakistani Terrorism Events to Support Counterterrorism. Societies 2018, 8, 127.

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