Hate Crimes, Mass Casualty Attacks, and BIAS in America

A grey car drives into a crowd of protesters carrying colorful signs, sending two men airborne while onlookers rush to the sceneThe University of Maryland‘s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has released a new project evaluating the characteristics of mass casualty offenders (perpetrators who plan/execute an attack with the intention to kill or injure four or more people) and non-mass casualty offenders (perpetrators of violent and non-violent hate crimes).

The project, Bias Incidents and Actors Study (BIAS), analyzes hate crimes and acts of terrorism from 1990 to 2018, and evaluates “a dataset of 689 violent and 277 non-violent bias crime offenders who were motivated by bias based on (1) race, ethnicity, and nationality, (2) religion, (3) sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity, (4) age, or (5) disability.”

The study finds that low education and poor work history are the two highest indicators for both mass and non-mass casualty violent offenders, and that lone actors who fall into those categories are responsible for 47% of mass casualty attacks.

The highest rate of mass casualty attacks are anti-Semitic, but the same group is one of the least likely to be attacked by non-mass casualty offenders. Anti-Black attacks are a close second for mass casualty attacks, and make up the highest percentage of violent and non-violent hate crimes. The report also considers anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim/Arab, anti-Latinx, anti-White, and anti-Asian attacks and perpetrators.


For more information, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Active Shooters, Mass Gatherings, School Violence, Domestic (U.S.) Terrorism, and Lone Wolf Terrorism.

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Author: Emily Bruza

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