IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Interdependence Between Homeland Security Efforts of a State and a Terrorist’s Choice of Attack


  • Timothy Mathews
  • Anton D. Lowenberg


Consider a state that chooses security levels at two sites (Targets A and B), after which a terrorist chooses which site to attack (and potentially a scope of attack). The state values A more highly. If the state knows which target the terrorist values more highly, he will choose a higher level of security at this site. Under complete information, if the terrorist’s only choice is which site to attack, the state will set security levels for which the terrorist prefers to attack A over B if and only if the ratio of the value of B to the value of A is greater for the state than for the terrorist. When the state has incomplete information on the terrorist’s target values, the optimal security levels may be such that: a target is completely undefended (but attacked with positive probability); the probability of attack is greater at A than at B; and the expected damage from an attack is greater at A than at B. In total, the results reveal that the state’s choice of security is heavily influenced by the terrorist’s target valuations.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Mathews & Anton D. Lowenberg, 2012. "The Interdependence Between Homeland Security Efforts of a State and a Terrorist’s Choice of Attack," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 29(2), pages 195-218, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:195-218

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:195-218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.