Terrorism by the Bomb: A National Perspective for the Year 1975

Daniel E. Georges
M. M. Zandi

DOI: 10.2190/4AGP-U5M1-KMYN-7NDM


This paper attempts a rudimentary analysis of bomb data collected by the F.B.I.'s National Bomb Data Center during the Year 1975. It concludes that crude non-military explosive devices with "little inherent" knockdown or killing power were commonly utilized. "Psychic Terror" rather than killings or maimings was the most common result of the bombings. The Pacific, East North Central and South Atlantic regions experienced considerably more bombings than their regional counterparts, while the New England, West North Central and East South Central regions experienced the fewest incidents. However, bomb rate data reveals that the Pacific and South Atlantic regions experienced below average bomb rates, while the Mountain, New England, Middle Atlantic, and East North Central regions experienced above average bomb rates. The most highly urbanized and industrialized states were also the states with the most bombing incidents. The motive was unknown in approximately 78 per cent of the bombing incidents. However, when the motive was determined, extremist motives accounted for almost 50 per cent of the known motives. No single motive was highly related to killings, but "extremist" activity appears to be more highly correlated than any other single motive category. Killings were highly related to the use of explosives. Explosives appeared to be more closely associated with killings, injuries, and property damage than were flammable liquids. The largest number of bombing incidents during the year 1975 (in the U.S.A.) took place in cities with populations of under 25,000.

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