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START Special Edition: Contextualizing the Paris Attacks - Background Report; Online series on ISIL; Additional resources


START Special Edition: Contextualizing the Paris Attacks - Background Report; Online series on ISIL; Additional resources

November 16, 2015
BACKGROUND REPORT 
"Mass-Fatality, Coordinated Attacks Worldwide, and Terrorism in France" provides details on coordinated, mass-fatality attacks, perpetrators of such attacks, as well as information about terrorism in France.

FREE ONLINE TRAINING SERIES
"Core Capabilities and Potential Durability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)" are brief online training lectures that explore research-based findings on ISIL.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
START has compiled this list of additional START research-based publications, presentations and data sources that contribute to analysis of the current state of global terrorism and the Islamic State.

BACKGROUND REPORT
Mass-Fatality, Coordinated Attacks Worldwide, and Terrorism in France

 
On November 13, 2015, assailants carried out a series of coordinated attacks at locations in Paris, France, including a theater where a concert was being held, several restaurants, and a sporting event. These attacks reportedly killed more than 120 people and wounded more than 350 others. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.  To provide contextual information on coordinated, mass-fatality attacks, as well as terrorism in France and the attack patterns of ISIL, START has compiled the following information from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD).
 
The report, “Mass-Fatality, Coordinated Attacks Worldwide, and Terrorism in France,” is available on START’s website and includes details such as:

  • Between 1970 and 2014, there have been 176 occasions on which terrorist attacks killed more than 100 people (excluding perpetrators), in a particular country on a particular day.
  • Between 2000 and 2014, there were 83 days on which more than 100 people were killed by terrorist attacks in a single country. These attacks took place in 25 countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia; however, they were especially concentrated in Iraq and Nigeria.
  • Preliminary data from 2015 suggest that the unusual frequency of mass casualty terrorist attacks in 2014 has continued. Between January and June 2015 there were 11 occasions in which terrorist attacks killed more than 100 people in a single country on a single day.
  • ISIL, under its current incarnation, carried out more than 750 coordinated attacks from 2000-2014—specifically in 2013 and 2014. However, this is a conservative assessment because the Global Terrorism Database records the names of perpetrator organizations at the time of the attack. Thus, it is important to note that al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), ISIL’s predecessor, carried out at least 400 coordinated attacks as well. Also, 25 coordinated attacks were attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), another identity previously assumed by ISIL, and several other coordinated attacks were carried out by provinces of the Islamic State, including the Sinai Province and the Tripoli Province.

 
View the full report athttp://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_ParisMassCasualtyCoordinatedAttack_Nov2015.pdf.


ONLINE TRAINING SERIES
Core capabilities/durability of the Islamic State

 
START has released a free, short online training series on the “Core Capabilities and Potential Durability of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” presented by William Braniff, START executive director. These online training lectures explore research-based findings on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (referred to as ISIL in this training). These findings are the result of a research network facilitated by the Strategic Multilayer Assessment office within the Department of Defense and this training has been produced with funding from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's Office of University Programs.
 
The lessons explore two key questions:
  • What makes ISIL so magnetic, inspirational, and deeply resonant with a small, but significant, portion of the Muslim population?
  • Is ISIL a durable organization, and what are the characteristics of ISIL that can help us anticipate its durability?

 
The training is free and available to the public on START’s website athttp://www.start.umd.edu/core-capabilities-and-potential-durability-islamic-state-iraq-and-levant-isil.
 


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

In light of the recent attacks in Paris, START has compiled this list of additional START research-based publications, presentations and data sources that contribute to analysis of the current state of global terrorism and the Islamic State. A full list is being maintained on our website at https://www.start.umd.edu/news/resources-better-understand-islamic-state-global-terrorism-foreign-fighters and includes:

START Publications:

  • "A Tale of Two CaliphatesDiscussion Point by William Braniff and Ryan Pereira, August 2014. An updated presentation by Braniff on this topic is available here.

Presentations:

Data sources:

This list is not comprehensive. For any START researchers wishing to contribute to this list of resources, email Jessica Rivinius at rivinius@start.umd.edu