A basic model explaining terrorist group organizational structure
Terrorist groups strive to balance efficiency with their need for security. This article examines the factors that affect a group's choice of organizational structure. I classify 254 groups from the Global Terrorism Database into one of four basic structures: market, all-channel, hub-spoke, or bureaucracy. The results of a multinomial logistic regression reveal that as secret organizations, terrorist groups are not just driven by achieving efficiencies in their organization but rather by protecting against infiltration and threats. Internal factors such as target selection, operational pace, ideology, and stated goals shape a group's structure. External environmental factors such as political rights, civil liberties, polity durability, and state wealth also help shape a group's structure.