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

Geospatial Analysis of Terror Finance


Geospatial Analysis of Terror Finance

Investigators: 

Project Details

Abstract: 

The United States Department of the Treasury houses the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) which serves as the US Government’s main program to identify, track, and pursue the financing of terrorists and their support networks. The study of terrorist financing through systematic empirical research, however, continues to be a lacuna in the academic research agenda, despite widespread interest in the topic. Therefore, as an initial foray into the cross-national study of terrorist financing, START proposes the creation of a database which will combine sources of unstructured data open to the public and available from eight entities (including: The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the UN Security Council, Australia, Canada, and Russia). This database would focus on groups, businesses, organizations, and institutions which have ties to, or fund, terrorist groups. It will not include individuals on these disparate lists. The focus on institutions which serve as a means of laundering monies and/or directly funding terrorist organizations will be the initial focus of this research.

The relational database will include areas of operation, which of the eight lists the groups appear on, and other information available from the lists including, but not limited to, the leader of the institution, addresses, which groups the institution supports, etc. The goal of this research will be to better aid researchers in understanding the international linkages of terrorist finance. 

Deliverables:

  • A relational database management system (RDBMS) of organizations listed on eight lists available to the public.
  • A codebook and users’ guide.
  • Research brief/highlight with visualizations and descriptives, briefing materials.

End-Users/Customers:

DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of the Treasury, DHS Office of Risk Management and Analysis, Fusion centers, State and local law enforcement, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of State

Timeframe

Project Period: 
July 2015 to July 2016