The Database on Suicide Attacks (DSAT)

The Database on Suicide Attacks (DSAT) contains specific information for all suicide attacks committed in modern history, from 1982 through 2019. Event records in the DSAT are highly detailed and coded for over 60 variables (not including source information).

The variables are divided into five broad categories:

  1. Basic information, including attack location, date, and casualty counts.
  2. Target information, including target type category (security / political / civilian) and their relation to state or international infrastructure.
  3. Attacker biographical information, including attacker name, age, gender, nationality, and religious affiliation.
  4. Claim information, including a list of groups that explicitly claim or deny credit for an attack, as well as groups suspected of involvement.
  5. Sources, including texts of news articles and wire service alerts used in coding the attack.

Data Reliability

The DSAT goes through an exhaustive process of data verification: The data is hand-verified in two rounds by different senior researchers. Verifiers scrutinize the data in each individual attack entry independently and then resolve discrepancies between both rounds.

Once an attack has gone through the verification process and is accounted for by at least two independent sources then it is classified as a Confirmed Suicide Attack.

Whenever we update our coding methodology, we back-code all our data, meaning that all 40 years of CPOST data is coded consistently.

At CPOST, data collectors put a special emphasis on collecting attack claims from original sources.