By Jessica Rivinius, Michael Parker, and Mary Hunt, START, 20 October 2015
To enable a better understanding of how terrorist organizations network and function over time, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has launched the Big Allied and Dangerous (BAAD) online platform. The innovative new tool features updated, vetted and sourced narratives, and relationship information and social network data on 50 of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world since 1998, with additional network information on more than 100 organizations.
Funded through the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate’s Office of University Programs, the underlying BAAD database was created and is maintained by the Project on Violent Conflict at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.
The data allow analysts, scholars and the public to investigate trends in organizational attributes and how these correlate with issues such as lethality, target selection, and use of CBRN weapons. The social network data also characterizes relationships between violent non-state organizations as well as relationships between countries and violent non-state organizations.
For instance, a quick search for al-Shabaab reveals a detailed full profile: quick facts – year founded (2006), number of fatalities (1,663), ideology (religious) – and an interactive social network diagram demonstrating its alliances with al-Qaida and affiliated movements, Boko Haram and Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).