A database of more than 100,000 terrorist attacks

Global Terrorism Database categorizes more than 100 variables from terror incidents

Credit: Image credit: Flickr/HAHATANGO

We still don't know who committed the terrible acts at the Boston Marathon on Monday that killed at least three and injured nearly 200, or whether it will be considered some kind of official act of terrorism. But for those interested in acts of terror from an academic or statistical perspective, there's a comprehensive database available online. It's called the Global Terrorism Database, and it's an open-source project that includes information on more than 104,000 terrorist attacks from 1970 through 2011, with updates planned. The principal investigator for GTD is Gary LaFree, director of START (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism), and professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland. GTD's database breaks out data by more than 120 categories:

The GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as transnational and international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes more than 104,000 cases. For each GTD incident, information is available on the date and location of the incident, the weapons used and nature of the target, the number of casualties, and--when identifiable--the group or individual responsible.

START's goal in creating the GTD was "to increase understanding of terrorist violence so that it can be more readily studied and defeated." The sooner, the better. Now read this:

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