probability distribution of terrorist attacks

Following the planned terrorist attacks 2 days ago on UK-US planes, security has been beefed up majorly all over the world. I reached Mumbai airport at 5:15 for a 6:20 flight to Bangalore and I boarded the flight on the last call. Procedures have been intensified, there are multi-colored stamps on the boarding pass, and all such.

I’m sure these intensified measures will be in place for a couple of months or so after which they will die a slow death. In a few months’ time, things will be back to normal.

Now, I would like to try and figure out whether the “process” of “terrorist attack” is Markovian. Whether the fact that there was a foiled attack a couple of days ago increases or decreases the probability of an attack today.

On one hand, terrorists might have planned a series of attacks all around the world in a short period of time, and hence if it were in London on Thursday, it could be in Mumbai today. For example, the Mumbai blasts last month were serial – the first blast was followed by seven others in an hour.

On the other, having tried to attack 2 days back, terrorists now know that there will be heightened security today so they are more likely to attack next month than attack today.

The net effect could be that the two things (and many more such factors) cancel out, and indeed make the distribution of worldwide terrorist attacks markovian. Can someone provide me the necessary data with which i can test this?

As an aside, due to the strict enforcement of the “one handbag per head” rule today, there was plenty of space in the overhead cupboards on board today.

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