A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Global Terrorism Database Data Files Now Available through Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center


Global Terrorism Database Data Files Now Available through Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center

July 17, 2008

START is happy to announce that the data files from its Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the most comprehensive unclassified database of terrorist events in the world, are now available to all users. These data are available through the Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center (TPDRC) a joint project of START and the University of Michigan's Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). These data files contain information on over 80,000 international and domestic terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2004. For each attack, information is provided on:

  • date of the event
  • type of attack
  • weapons used
  • target and location
  • number of casualties
  • group claiming responsibility
  • and over 100 other variables.

GTD identifies more than 30,000 bombings, 13,400 assassinations, and 3,200 kidnappings and provides details on more than 1,200 terrorist events within the United States since 1970. These data were first made available to government officials in 2007, and users can continue to access information about specific events from the GTD Web portal. The links below direct users to data files, codebooks, and supporting materials for: ~ GTD1 (cases from 1970 to 1997) (TPDRC Study #22541) ~ GTD2 (cases from 1998 to 2004) (TPDRC Study #22600) History of GTD

The Global Terrorism Database?or GTD?began in 2001 when researchers at the University of Maryland obtained a large database originally collected by the Pinkerton Global Intelligence Services. From 1970 to 1997, Pinkerton trained researchers to identify and record terrorism incidents from wire services, government reports, and major international newspapers.

With funding from the National Institute of Justice, the Maryland team finished computerizing the original Pinkerton data in December 2005, making corrections and adding information wherever possible. With the launch of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2005, additional funds were made available to conduct validity and reliability checks of the existing data.

In April 2006, the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), working directly with START, received additional funding from the Human Factors Division of the Department of Homeland Security to extend the GTD beyond 1997.

By May 2008 data collection and coding was completed through 2004. During the next year, data on events after 2004 will be collected, and the new data (1998-present) will be systematically integrated with the original data to form a single source of information on terrorist attacks, from 1970 to early 2008.

History of TPDRC The Terrorism & Preparedness Data Resource Center (TPDRC) archives and distributes data collected by government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and researchers about the nature of intra- (domestic) and international terrorism, perpetrators, and victims; governmental and nongovernmental responses to terror and natural disasters; and citizen attitudes towards terrorism, terror incidents, and the response to terror, around the world.

The goal of TPDRC is to organize and streamline access to existing resources from across the world; that are relevant to the study of terrorism and the response to terrorism. TPDRC is a partnership between the START and (ICPSR). It is jointly managed by researchers from START, Michigan State University's School of Criminal Justice, and staff at the University of Michigan's National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. TPDRC is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, and the National Science Foundation. New data is systematically added to the resource center on an ongoing basis. Researchers are encouraged to contribute their relevant data or resources to this archive.

Please send inquires about archiving data to to tpdrc@start.umd.edu.