Understanding Global Terrorism

The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) contains information about more than 140,000 terrorist incidents occurring between 1970 and 2014. The data in the GTD are gathered from information gathered through multiple news sources (LaFree, Dugan, & Miller, 2015). Because of the large quantity of information contained in the GTD, we constructed an app to help visualize the data.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

In this activity, we will study the extent to which chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons have been used so far. We analyze whether or not their past use fits with our perceptions. Have CBRN weapons been used successfully in the past? Which weapons are more historically dangerous (more fatalities, injuries) in the hands of terrorists? What are the implications of past usage of CBRN weapons compared to other weapons in determining our priorities in counter-terrorism policies?


Terrorism and Country Religions

These visualizations identify patterns with terrorism and the major religion of each country. Some religions do correlate with greater levels of terrorism, particularly Catholicism and Islam. However, this connection only applies for certain time periods. This lab demonstrates that we cannot show a causal relationship with terrorism and religion.


The following link connects you to All Grinnell Data Visualization Apps.


The following link connects you to a GitHub account with Rmarkdown files, datasets, and code for the Shiny Apps.


Datasets for thes materials are collected from:


Materials were created by Zachary Segall, Ying Long, and Krit Petrachaianan as a 2015 Grinnell College summer project. Thanks to Project MOSAIC for their support of this work.