An Analysis on the Impact of the Urban Area Security Initiative on Terrorist Attacks in Urban Areas



Ayers, Ambrozine

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Since the September 11 terror attacks, there has been a significant increase in counterterrorism policies and programs in the United States. The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) is a program that was enacted in the post-9/11 spread of counterterrorism programs to provide grants to high-risk urban areas to help reduce the risk of terrorism. However, the effectiveness of the program is largely unknown. Basing policies and programs in evidence is important to ensure the best practices are in place. Recent incidences have led to questions about UASI’s effectiveness at reducing the risk of terrorism in urban areas. An analysis is conducted on UASI funding from 2006 to 2010 to predict the effectiveness of UASI on terrorism incidents, fatal attacks, and casualties between 2011 and 2015. The analysis found a blowback effect in urban areas that received UASI funding resulting in an increase in terrorism incidents. Analysis on fatal incidents and casualties indicated UASI had no effect on their outcome. This analysis overall indicates a lack of effectiveness in the UASI program in meeting its original goal of reducing the risk of terrorism.



Evaluation, Target-hardening, UASI Program, Evidence based-policy