The Suicide Attack Database (SAD)

The CPOST Suicide Attack Database, the foundation upon which the institute was built, comprises the most complete list of suicide attacks since 1974 currently available. We are proud to make our data freely available to the public. This allows users to review and analyze the complete set of suicide attacks independent of CPOST’s analysis and findings.

The database includes information about the location of attacks, the target type, the weapon used, and systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers. The database expands the breadth of the data available in English using native language sources (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Tamil) that are likely to have the most extensive relevant information. SAD data is collected from multiple sources including newswires, tweets, and video sources, and codes for over 70 variables.

The SAD was created in 2004 at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, a research institution operating in the University of Chicago’s Department of Political Science under the direction of Dr. Robert Pape. The SAD has been the foundation of two books, as well as numerous academic articles and editorials. The database is a product of the work of numerous graduate and undergraduate research assistants, staff, and faculty members.

Search the Database

CPOST works hard to make the SAD fully available to the public. A major update is currently in the works and is expected to launch in August 2018. Once we are done developing the improvements, the complete dataset will be posted here. The database will be updated quarterly. Thanks for your patience!

Citing the SAD

Use of CPOST-SAD data should be acknowledged using the following citation:

Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST). 2018. Suicide Attack Database (September 2018 Release). [Data File]. Retrieved from