Global Terrorism

Posted on February 5, 2018

Global Terrorism Database

The world has been conflicted for decades on how to deal with the rising threat of terrorism across the globe. From September 11, 2001 to the more recent migrant crises, terrorism has been a major talking point in every American Election cycle and many others throughout the world. Easily accessible information surrounding these topics are becoming more necessary, not just for Intelligence agencies but for the news reporter and everyday voter. This app provides easily accessible and high quality analytical data to anyone who is interested in understanding how terror afflicts each region of the world within the last decade.

This app focuses two primary questions:

How has terrorist activity changed over the last three decades?

Where are terrorist most active?

The Data

The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) is an open-source database including information on terrorist. The database is maintained by researchers at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). The GTD is supported by the US department of Homeland Security and The US Department of State.[1]

Sources: Unclassified media articles (Note: Please interpret changes over time with caution. Global patterns are driven by diverse trends in particular regions, and data collection is influenced by fluctuations in access to media coverage over both time and place.). See the GTD Codebook for important details on data collection methodology, definitions, and coding schema.[1]

Definition of terrorism:

"The threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation."

 

Variables

Time Period: 2006 to 2016

Geography: Worldwide/Regions /Countries/Provinces/cities/ longitude and latitude coordinates

Terrorist Organization,

Death toll,

Nationality of Perpetrators,

Targets of Perpetrator

Weapons used

The App

The first tab is intended to allow the User to explore every region of the and get a general sense of terrorist activity in that region across the last decade.

Once the user has Identified a region or country that they would like to explore in further detail they can use the second tab to Identify the most active terrorist in that region as well as seeing where exactly, each terrorist incident took place.

 

The final page goes into further details on individual countries, identifying the most common nationalities of the perpetrators and the most common targets of attacks.

 

Findings/Conclusion

Organizing the data demonstrated one common theme throughout almost every region or country. The amount of unknowns was prevalent. There are some countries were information was nonexistent altogether. This is said to be a result of the record keeping in those countries or cases being unsolved. This app displays all the information that was made available but cannot be taken as a complete data set for that reason.

Although this App was designed to just show available data, the data those potentially present another opportunity. It could be reasonable to predict missing information abased on patterns that we see throughout the data. For example, looking at the second tab, we see that southeast India has suffered many attacks from the Communist party of India. We also see in the same region that there were a lot of incidents that took place were the perpetrators were unidentified. It would be reasonable to predict the likelihood of one of those incidents being related to the Communist party of India by factoring in frequency of this terrorist groups in this time and year as well as looking at proximity to other incidents made by the same group.

Another interesting future inquiry would be determining predictive factors might lead to more terrorist activity. Looking at correlation between poverty, corruption indexes and other national internal indicators. In particular, it could be interesting to see how a countries corruption index correlates with the quantity of missing information in the data set.

 

References

[1]. Global Terrorism Database, http://start.umd.edu/gtd/


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chima okwuoha

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