September 16, 2004
The Terror Index: Terrorism Is Up Under Bush's
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION | UPDATE
I have compiled a timeline and graph combo (below) that uses data from the Terrorism Research Center (TRC). I have no connection to this academic group. Their own PR describes them this way: "Global media web sites such as CNN.com, as well as Official US Government web sites, regularly list the TRC as a sole private source for online information." I am a computer technician who lives in Chicago, Illinois, and occasional fact finder.
As you may know, the US State Department released a report during this administration stating that terrorism is in decline, using its strict definition of the term. The data from the TRC and my timeline and graph fly in the face of that report which is being used by the the Bush administration to convince people that that the world is a safer place today than it was 4 years ago.
There is more terrorism in the world today than there has been in years. My graph and timeline show the general failure of the "War On Terror," and is reflective of a "terror index" or acts of violence perpetrated by terrorists in the world today. Please pass this information on, send to media, blog, etc.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
BuzzFlash received an email, reprinted below, from Matthew G. Devost, President and CEO of Terrorism Research Center, Inc., the organization that runs the web site where Andrew found his data. Mr. Devost says that "while [Andrew's] hypothesis may be correct (in fact the State Department has adjusted their report as well to indicate an increase in terrorism)...," one shouldn't assume that TRC's data proves it.
Mr. Devost does not refute Andrew's conclusion that terrorism has increased, but he cautions that the TRC data have some shortcomings, which he details.
Unfortunately, the web site Devost refers to as a better web site for terrorism trend analysis, www.tkb.org, is funded by the Department of Homeland Security, which, due to the Bush Administration's penchant for twisting all information to their benefit, makes all of TKB's conclusions suspect.
In conclusion: Andrew is still correct, terrorism is on the rise.
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From: "Matthew G. Devost"
Just to let you know, the chart you've got posted at http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/04/09/con04387.html#graph is a misrepresentation of our data. Had the author talked to someone on our staff, we would have been able to explain why the numbers jump so drastically in 2004. As it stands, this data is misrepresented and not used for its intended purpose which is to provide analysis of individual attacks, not to perform statistical analysis of terrorism trends.
If our name and proprietary data is going to be used to support a particular claim on your web site, we'd at least like to post our own disclaimer that while the hypothesis may be correct (in fact the State Department has adjusted their report as well to indicate an increase in terrorism), it can not be supported by our data for a number of reasons:
1) Our data is not as inclusive in 2001-2003 as it is in 2004, therefore more attacks took place in 2001-2003 than are actually contained within our database. Therefore, comparative analysis between years is invalid.
2) We include attacks on military targets in our database for 2004, so unless you are examining the content of each record (which the author of this chart can not do as he is not a subscriber) you can not determine which ones fall under the established State Department and FBI definitions of terrorism.
We encourage citizens like Andrew Oleksiuk to be aware of, and conduct research on these issues, but can't approve of the way our data is used. Since his email is not listed, please email him our comments. Also, you might point your readers to http://www.tkb.org which has automated tools to engage in the type of trend analysis Andrew is attempting. Our system simply wasn't designed and shouldn't be used for that purpose.
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4. Is MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base a government site?
No, MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base is not an official government site,
although the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic
Preparedness (ODP) funds MIPT's initiatives and has provided
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