Research suggests that an increase in the number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will increase terrorist attacks. However, the nuances of this relationship are unknown. This study seeks to examine the role that NGO activities have on terrorist activities in conflict areas. Specifically, it is hypothesized that, in regions where the terrorist organization (TO) holds jihadist beliefs, international NGOs will be viewed as threatening representatives of non-Islamic interests. Therefore, an increase in NGO activities will incite an increase in TO violence directed towards NGOs and foreign forces, as TOs seek to deter and eliminate non-Islamic influences. These hypothesized relationships are examined using data from the Global Terrorism Database in Afghanistan and Somalia between 1994 and 2013. Time series analyses indicate support in Somalia: an increase in select NGO activities significantly increases attacks targeting NGOs and foreign forces. Afghanistan demonstrates partial support: an increase in select NGO activities significantly increases attacks targeting NGOs but does not influence attacks targeting foreign forces.
Hodwitz, Omi. 2019. "NGO Intervention in Jihadist Conflicts: A Closer Look at Afghanistan and Somalia." Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression 11 (February): 158-177. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19434472.2018.1454973?journalCode=rirt20