There is a heated debate on whether immigration is associated with domestic and transnational terrorism. As of yet, however, we lacked rigorous evidence that could inform this debate. As a contribution to address this shortcoming, we report spatial-econometric analyses of migrant inflows and the number of terrorist attacks in 145 countries between 1970 and 2000. The results suggest that migrants stemming from terrorist-prone states moving to another country are indeed an important vehicle through which terrorism does diffuse. Having said that, the findings also highlight that migrant inflows per se actually lead to a lower level of terrorist attacks. This research significantly improves our understanding of international and domestic terrorism and has critical implications for the scholastic approach to terrorism, as well as for countries' immigration policies worldwide.
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