Suicide bombing as a strategic weapon: An empirical investigation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad

Dipak K. Gupta, Kusum Mundra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Using twice-yearly data from 1991 to 2003, we analyze the incidents of suicide attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad within Israel and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Given the exploratory nature of the question, we have first estimated the relevant coefficients by using a Quasi-Maximum Likelihood Ratio and then checked their robustness by reestimating the model with the help of a Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) as an interrelated system. The results indicate that the two groups deliberately use suicide bombings as strategic weapons within the larger Israeli-Palestinian political milieu. With the Western world locked in an armed struggle with the militant extremists of Islam based on millenarian ideologies, this study emphasizes the need to develop appropriate analytical capabilities to distinguish among terrorist groups and their motivations, ideologies, and tactics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-598
Number of pages26
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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