Up To June 2014 Suicide Attack Database Now Online

Wed., May. 07, 2014    

CPOST is proud to announce the latest release of its Suicide Attack Database, which extends CPOST's data on suicide attacks through June 2014.  The database now contains all known suicide attacks from 1982 to 2013 world-wide, and through June 2014 for Iraq, comprising 3,807 attacks in over 40 countries.  For each attack, the database includes information about date, location, target, and the kind of weapon used.  In addition, the database includes systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers.  CPOST’s Suicide Attack Database is the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of suicide attacks in the world, and is available to the public for free.

What’s new in the current release? The current release improves upon the previous 2011 release in two ways.  First, it extends the period covered to June 2014, adding just under 900 new attacks and capturing several new suicide attack campaigns, including the civil wars in Syria and Mali. Second, CPOST conducted an extensive review of data from 1982 to 2010 to take advantage of new information and sources to improve variable codings, identify more detailed information on attackers and claims of responsibility, and confirm ambiguous attacks.  

What does the new data show?  The global peak in suicide attacks is still in 2007, driven largely by militant group campaigns against foreign occupiers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.  From this peak, attacks declined each year through 2010.  The new data shows that this decline continued, with attacks in 2012 at 50% of the 2007-total.  Attacks in 2013, however, shot up from 280 to 423, a 54% increase, marking a stark departure from this trend.  New campaigns (e.g., Mali and Syria) account for only a small amount of this new surge in suicide attacks. The vast majority is accounted for by Iraq, where suicide attacks in Iraq increased nearly 400%, from 49 in 2012 to 187 in 2013. CPOST is also making preliminary data available for 2014 in Iraq, current through June, adding a total of 108 attacks verified by at least two sources. The 2014 data is preliminary, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

We invite you to explore CPOST’s data on suicide attacks at the CPOST website.