Security Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 139–146 | Cite as

Space Time Dynamics of Insurgent Activity in Iraq

  • Michael Townsley
  • Shane D Johnson
  • Jerry H Ratcliffe


This paper describes analyses to determine whether there is a space-time dependency for insurgent activity. The data used for the research were 3 months of terrorist incidents attributed to the insurgency in Iraq during U.S. occupation and the methods used are based on a body of work well established using police recorded crime data. It was found that events clustered in space and time more than would be expected if the events were unrelated, suggesting communication of risk in space and time and potentially informing next event prediction. The analysis represents a first but important step and suggestions for further analysis addressing prevention or suppression of future incidents are briefly discussed.


terrorism space-time dynamics security in Iraq 



The authors would like to thank Jeff Reichman and Aiden Sidebottom for comments on an earlier draft of this paper, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. This research was supported by a British Academy International Collaborative Network grant, and additional funding from UCL Futures, NSCR and the Research Incentive Fund at Temple University.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Townsley
    • 1
  • Shane D Johnson
    • 2
  • Jerry H Ratcliffe
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Mt Gravatt Campus, Griffith UniversityAustralia
  2. 2.UCL Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, University College LondonLondon
  3. 3.Department of Criminal JusticeTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaU.S.A.

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