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

Through curricular and experiential learning, START educates, mentors and trains the next generation of national security scholars and practitioners.

Using the Global Terrorism Database

Using the Global Terrorism Database


The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) is an open-source database including information on terrorist attacks around the world from 1970 through 2015. The GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist attacks that occurred during this time period and now includes more than 150,000 cases.

START is developing a series of modules to improve GTD users' understanding of terrorism and terrorism data, and to improve their analytical and critical thinking skills while advancing their competency in Microsoft Excel. The full training will contain five modules including:

The modules will be available in two formats.

  1. Each individual module will be available for rent via Vimeo On Demand. In this format, there will be no pre-tests, post-tests, or additional requirements.
  2. The full course will be available for Continuing Education Units and administered via ELMS, UMD’s e-learning management system. This course will include evaluation, knowledge checks, and additional activities to help users master use of the GTD.

Modules will be released as they are completed.

Announcements will be made in START’s newsletter regarding future module release dates. To sign up for the newsletter, complete the registration form. In addition, START Training sends training product release notices directly to you via email. To receive email notifications and be added to the training list serve, complete the registration form with your personal information and preferences.

Training Objectives: 

Upon completion of these modules, participants will be able to optimize their use of the existing data in the GTD, better understand the challenges of data collection on terrorist attacks, and leverage analytical tools for use with other data sets.

Intended Audience:
AnalystEducator/TrainerGeneral PublicResearcherStudent
Delivery Format: 
Asynchronous Online
Contact Info: 

For more information about any of START's trainings, contact START Training at 301-405-6600, training@start.umd.edu, or make an online request for more information.


The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and the GTD Training Modules are funded through the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Office of University Programs. Additional funding for the GTD comes from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism. The views and conclusions contained in this presentation are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the United States Government

Training and Research Team: