Recent Trends in Global Maritime Terrorism

Dr. Patricia Scheider

Given the enormous importance of maritime trade for the world trading system, there are considerable concerns about the potential impact of terrorist attacks. Recent incidents involving shots at oil refineries or gas terminals and container or cargo ships, including at maritime bottlenecks, as well as hijackings have raised awareness of maritime terrorism. At the same time, opinions differ as to whether the phenomenon is exaggerated.
Patricia Schneider argues in her latest book chapter that in order to assess this, one must first understand the true characteristics and risk potential. This in turn is a prerequisite for deciding on appropriate security policy measures. The author uses data from the Global Terrorism Database for her research. She applies the strictest terrorism criteria available there in order to filter out only those cases in which there is essentially no doubt about the terrorist context. Patricia Schneider includes only successful attacks and thus evaluates 72 cases for the years 2010-2017. She describes regional shifts and the main actors and characteristics of the attacks. The Peace Researcher argues that a more specific analysis of the attacks as well as the actor context could lead to more specific and thus more appropriate policy response.


Schneider, Patricia: Recent Trends in Global Maritime Terrorism, in: Lucas, Edward R., Thomas Crosbie, Samuel Rivera-Paez, and Felix Jensen (eds.), Maritime Security: Counter-Terrorism Lessons from Maritime Piracy and Narcotics Interdiction (Amsterdam: IOS Press - NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, 2020), pp. 187-206.

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