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The Science and Technology of Counterterrorism by Carl Young

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Chapter 4

Physical Models of Terrorism

4.1 Introduction

Certain physical models are broadly applicable to risk problems in terrorism. It is useful to recognize these models and understand how they can be applied to estimate the vulnerability component of risk for various threats or threat attack vectors.

Emphasis should be placed on the word “estimate.” The utility of these models is embodied in their simplicity. This simplicity also places limits on their accuracy. Exact solutions to problems in physical security risk can be elusive. The good news is that exact solutions are often unnecessary since the effectiveness of risk-mitigation measures are not dependent on precision.

In fact, the proverbial back-of-the-envelope calculation can yield a perfectly ...

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