Recommended Data Sources for the Study of Terrorism
- Global Terrorism Database (START, University of Maryland)
Open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2007 (with annual updates planned for the future).
- BAAD Terrorist Group Lethality Dataset (Asal & Rethemeyer, 2008), at SUNY Albany
- Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2007 (Marshall & Jaggers, Center for Global Policy, George Mason University; Colorado State University)
An annual, cross-national, time-series and polity-case formats coding democratic and autocratic "patterns of authority" and regime changes in all independent countries with total population greater than 500,000 in 2007 (162 countries in 2007). (SPSS and Excel data; PDF codebook)
- Terrorist Organization Profiles (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism)
Background information on more than 850 organizations that have been known to engage in terrorist activity around the world during the last four decades. Included for each organization is information on bases of operations, organizational strength, ideology, and goals.
- Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS)
The National Counterterrorism Center's database of terrorist incidents.
- John Jay & ARTIS Transnational Terrorism Database (Individual Attributes) (Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Data on various demographic, organizational, and behavioral characteristics of individuals associated with terrorist acts or groups.
- John Jay & ARTIS Transnational Terrorism Database (Attack Network Data) (Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Network data in JJATT describe the relations that individuals shared in select attack networks. The codebooks describe the nature of the data in detail, distinguishing between the operational status of network members (the role in an attack of individual "nodes") and the social ties between them.
- The Political Terror Scale (Wood, Gibney, & Cornett, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill)
A yearly report measuring physical integrity rights violations world-wide; measures levels of political violence and terror that a country experiences in a particular year based on a 5-level "terror scale."
- UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset (Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University; Centre for the Study of Civil War at the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo
A dataset primarily intended for academic use in statistical and macrolevel research, and complements the annual compendium of ongoing armed conflicts published in the Journal of Peace Research, as well as a forthcoming PCR online database, which will be aimed at students, journalists, and policymakers and contain qualitative overviews of recent conflicts worldwide.
- UN Drugs and Crime: Crime Statistics (1997-Present)
The United Nations began its world crime surveys in 1978. There are 9 surveys containing data on a wide range of offense, offenders and criminal justice process data for the years 1970-2006.
- Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq (Sinjar Records) (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
Information from captured al-Qa'ida documents maintained in the Defense Department's Harmony Data Base; records containing background information on foreign fighters entering Iraq via Syria over the last year, along with analysis report.
- Terrorism in Western Europe: Events Data (TWEED) (Jan Oskar Engene, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen)
Contains information on events related to internal (domestic) terrorism in 18 countries in Western Europe. The time period covered is 1950 to 2004.
- Protest, Rebellion, and the Onset of Civil Wars (Regan & Norton, Binghamton University)
A data set built from data from the Minorities at Risk project, used to test hypotheses concerning greed, etc. in civil wars.
- An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland (Conflict Archive on Internet, University of Ulster )
Lists all deaths connected to that conflict, both Irish and British. Fatalities outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland are included when they are connected to Republican or Ulsterist interests, such as IRA agents killed abroad.
- Dysfunction and Decline: Lessons Learned from Inside al-Qa`ida in Iraq (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
Documents declassified from the Department of Defense's Harmony Database, along with analysis report.
- Country Reports on Terrorism (U.S. Department of State)
State department's official public report on terrorist activities around the globe. Documents both terrorist acts and what country's have done to try to limit terrorism.
- State Sponsors of Terrorism (U.S. Department of State)
Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act. Currently there are four countries designated under these authorities: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.This data set relates what states are sponsoring terrorist activities and how.
- Iranian Strategy in Iraq: Politics and "Other Means" (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
Documents declassified from the Department of Defense's Harmony Database, along with analysis report on Iran's dual-strategy of providing military aid to Iraqi militia groups while simultaneously giving political support to Iraqi political parties
- The Militant Ideology Atlas (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
An in-depth study of the Jihadi Movement's top thinkers and their most popular writings. This is the first systematic mapping of the ideology inspiring al-Qaeda. The CTC's researchers spent one year mining the most popular books and articles in al-Qaeda's online library, profiling hundreds of figures in the Jihadi Movement, and cataloging over 11,000 citations. The Executive Report summarizes the main conclusions of this comprehensive effort and provides policy-relevant recommendations informed by these findings. The Research Compendium contains summaries of all the texts used in the study as well as biographies of the texts' authors and the figures they cite most.
- Cracks in the Foundation: Leadership Schisms in al-Qa'ida from 1989-2006 (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
- Documents declassified from the Department of Defense's Harmony Database, along with analysis report analyzing the history of al-Qa'ida's internal and long-running debates over the strategies and larger goals of the jihadi movement. Many of these documents, captured in the course of operations supporting the Global War on Terror, have never before been available to the academic and policy community.
- Harmony and Disharmony: Exploiting Al-Qa'ida's Organizational Vulnerabilities (Combating Terrorism Center at West Point)
Documents declassified from the Department of Defense's Harmony Database, along with analysis report on al-Qa'ida's organizational vulnerabilities. These documents, captured in the course of operations supporting the GWOT, have never before been made available to the academic and policy community. "Harmony and Disharmony" includes a theoretically informed analysis of potential opportunities to exploit al-Qa'ida's network vulnerabilities, a case study of jihadi operational failure, and specific recommendations for effectively addressing the evolving al-Qa'ida threat.
- What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism ( Alan Krueger, Princeton University)
- Adverse Regime Changes (Political Instability Task Force)
- Genocides and Politicides (Political Instability Task Force)
- Ethnic Wars (Political Instability Task Force)
- Click here to search the NCTC's Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS)
See also: Recommended Websites