• land use;
  • methods;
  • targets;
  • terrorism;
  • United States

ABSTRACT. The geography of terrorism remains underexplored. By focusing on the spatial patterns of terrorist attacks, the settings and land uses in which attacks occur, and the methods used to perpetrate violence, this analysis helps build a theory of terrorism geography. Between 1 January 1997 and 11 September 2005, 178 terrorist incidents occurred in the United States. Analysis of these incidents suggests three insights. At the national scale, terrorism in the United States clustered in large urban areas, with regional differentiation of terrorist motives and targets. At the scale of individual attack sites, terrorist motivations pinpointed offices, clinics, and public spaces; right-wing violence, military, government, and infrastructural targets; and religious terrorism, commercial and special land uses. At the scale of individual interactions, terrorists crossed paths with victims in various ways. For example, the 2001 anthrax-attack letters and lone-wolf terrorism created alternative intersections of perpetrators with victims.