A suicide attack refers to an act of political violence that initiates with the attempted, and usually successful, suicide of its perpetrator (Ganor 2002). This definition does not include “suicide missions” or feda’i (self-sacrificer) operations where a perpetrator faces a high-likelihood but not a certainty of death. Nor does it include similar operations in which an attacker kills as many people as possible until he or she is killed.
The suicide-attack phenomenon refers to both the suicide-attack tactic, which attracts the sponsorship of organizations, as well as the practice of self-annihilating martyrdom, which entices individuals to participate.
A social network or network simply stands for “a set of relationships” (Kadushin 2004).
The term node stands for a single entity within a social network. In the suicide-attack network data, each node signifies a militant organization or other type of entity that conducts suicide attacks.
A tie represents a known physical relationship between agents from different but “connected” organizations.
Brokerage refers to the number of times that a node serves as the shortest path between two other nodes (Freeman 1978). In effect, brokerage captures the extent to which a node acts as a bridge linking other nodes.
Ganor, Boaz. (2002) “Suicide Attacks in Israel.” In Countering Suicide Terrorism, edited by Boaz Ganor. Herzliya, Israel: International Institute for
Kadushin, Charles. (2004) Introduction to Social Network Theory: Some Basic Network Concepts and Propositions. Accessible at