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International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT)

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.05.10Location: The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel


The ICT was founded in 1996, and records global terrorist attacks, terrorist organisations and activists in addition to statistical reports. Its ‘Incidents and Activists Database’ is a comprehensive survey of open sources of intelligence, and is “one of the most all-encompassing non-governmental resources on terrorist incidents in the world.” The database has recorded over 33,000 terrorist incidents since 1975, including information on successful terrorist attacks, foiled attacks, and counter-terror operations. It also includes background and follow-up information.

A monthly report is published, providing a summary and analysis of terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism operations, and an annual report is released.

The ICT database includes information on suicide attacks and bombings, including IED attacks. The aim of the report, as stated by the ICT, is to identify patterns and trends of world- wide terrorist activity, which includes the scale and impact of IEDs. The report includes details of casualty figures, perpetrators, targets, organisations associated with each attack, sources of funding, and weapons used.

ICT’s global framing is broken down into regions and countries, and focuses on the most significant incidents. The ICT is an academic institute and relies solely on private donations and revenue from events, projects and programs.

The ICT reports do not mention a particular methodology, except for stating that they use open sources. In the reports themselves, incidents are referenced to news reports, but without hyper- links. For example, an incident may be coded as: “BBC, “British pair who travelled to Syria admit terror charges”, July 8, 2014”.

The data is reported in annual and monthly PDF reports, and no public database is available. This means that the data is not particularly searchable. While the reports include information regarding weapon types used in each attack, there is no way to search for results involving IEDs. Manually reviewing each incident would be required.

The reports only record those incidents defined as ‘terrorist.’ This excludes those attacks deemed not to fall under the definition of terrorism.

The ICT itself acknowledges that it is an incomplete database, stating in its 2013 report that “it should be noted that…the ICT database team tends to cover only significant attacks in ‘hotspot areas’, such as Iraq and Syria, and major incidents with high casualty figures.”

In addition to data collection, ICT is an academic institute and think tank providing expertise in issues such as terrorism and counter-terrorism. It facilitates information sharing by policymakers and academics, and allows the sharing of research papers, situation reports, and academic publication.

This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.