Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)
Sociology and Criminal Justice
Christopher A. Shields
Casey T. Harris
Second Committee Member
Brent L. Smith
Social sciences; Incident scale and success; Informants; Material support; Terrorism; Terrorism incidents; Terrorism investigations
Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, material support of terrorism charges have served as a cornerstone in the U.S. Government’s fight against terrorism. However, empirical research looking at the usage of material support charges is lacking. The primary focus of this study is to determine if material support charges are related to increases in terrorist attack success and scale. Using the American Terrorism Study (ATS), 177 post-9/11 Islamic Extremist-linked court cases including material support charges and 140 terrorist incidents were coded and analyzed using chi-square, logistical regression, and linear regression models. Results revealed that material support charges are related to decreases in the likelihood of incident success due to the presence of human intelligence sources while increasing the potential or actual scale of incidents through the number of participants. In conclusion, the material support of terrorism charge remains to be a highly controversial charge that is often used when human intelligence sources are present in an investigation but is not related to increases in incident success.
Brecht, Ian David, "An Analysis of Material Support of Terrorism and Violent Plots: Scale and Success" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 1925.