Who makes bomb threats?


Mostly middle-aged men who want money:

This study examined telephone bomb threats and offender characteristics in Japan (N = 101). The results showed that the most frequent offenders were middle-aged men (mean 42.6 years), motivated by desire for money (46%), resentment (26%), or diversion (24%). In the case of female offenders, most were connected with the targets (83%). Categorical principle component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis differentiated the offenders into three themes. ‘Instrumental’ offenders telephoned the target directly (e.g. a bank or department store), demanding money by public phone. ‘Expressive/affective’ offenders motivated by resentment telephoned from their home and almost never had a criminal record. ‘Expressive/cognitive’ offenders motivated by diversion targeted railways and mostly telephoned emergency numbers.

Source: “Bomb threats and offender characteristics in Japan” from Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling

Obviously, motivations can vary: when he was in middle school, a friend of mine used to phone in a bomb threat every time his math class had a quiz. Eventually, the administration caught on…

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