Creation and Analysis of an Integrated U.S. Security Database (IUSSD)
The IUSSD project is a multi-faceted approach to studying terrorism and extremism in the United States. This project brings together researchers from John Jay College, Michigan State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Maryland, and Semandex Networks, Inc. to integrate, enhance, and expand empirical data on terrorist actors and events in the United States and conduct sophisticated and innovative analyses of the dynamics of U.S.-based terrorism and extremist violence.
The database integration component of this project involves the development of the Terrorism and Extremist Violence in the United States (TEVUS) relational database, which combines event data from existing START data sources including the American Terrorism Study (ATS), the Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), and the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). Each of these component databases will be validated and expanded using primary and secondary sources to maximize the accuracy and completeness of the data. TEVUS will also include newly-collected data from the Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States (PPT-US) data set, which contains both narrative and structured information on all perpetrator organizations that have been active in the United States since 1970. The enhanced and integrated database exploits the unique contributions of the ATS, ECDB, GTD, and PPT-US to create a comprehensive resource for researchers and analysts. TEVUS will also incorporate U.S. Census data in order to facilitate geo-demographic analysis of terrorism and extremist violence in the United States.
In addition, the countermeasures component of the IUSSD project is collecting and analyzing new data on counterterrorism by qualitatively and quantitatively studying five terrorist threats:
- Anti-Abortion Terrorism in the United States
- Eco-terrorism (Animal Liberation Front/Earth Liberation Front Terrorism) in the United States
- Homegrown Islamist Terrorism in the United Kingdom
- Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa
- Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States
The qualitative section consists of a series of in-depth case studies on the effect and effectiveness of one counterterrorism measure per case. The quantitative section involves building and using a counterterrorism database to evaluate the effects and effectiveness of a wide variety of counterterrorism measures.
Finally, the IUSSD project includes the development of an online interface to the integrated data in TEVUS, as well as analytic tools for homeland security practitioners. These tools provide accessible, operationally relevant information to law enforcement personnel to aid in the assessment of potential threats regarding a particular jurisdiction, perpetrator, or tactic.
This research is supported by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division.