RDWTI Search Instructions

Creating a search requires three steps: Selecting filter variables, selecting output type, and running the search.

Filter variables

Search results can be subsetted using filter variables. For instance, if you wanted to find all suicide attacks involving explosives or firearms that occurred in Africa from the beginning of the year 2000 through 2008, you would select 2000 as the "start date" and 2008 as the "end date," highlight "Africa" in the Region filter, "Explosives" and "Firearms" in the Weapon filter (select multiple values by right-clicking on each), and set the Suicide Attack filter to "true." Selecting filters is optional. If you select no filters, your search is run as if you selected "ALL" for every filter variable.

Narrative descriptions of each incident can be searched with user-specified terms using the "Search terms" filter. For instance, to find all incidents in which oil refineries are mentioned, you could enter the term "refinery" in the "Search terms" field.

Output types

RDWTI currently offers three output types, incident lists, pie charts and chronological graphs.

Incident lists

Incident lists return a numbered list of incidents matching the search criteria. Entries in this list include the date, perpetrator and country of the attack. Clicking on any list entry takes you to the incident detail page that contains a narrative account of the incident, the number of fatalities, and other information. The "Download data" button on the incident list page allows users to export an Excel file containing the list of incidents, their dates, descriptions, and several other variables. RDWTI user agreements prohibit reselling or redistributing RDWTI data

Pie charts

Most variables can be plotted as a pie chart. Pie charts require selection of the variable to be plotted (by clicking on the "plot" button next to the variable, and by selecting "Aggregated: Pie Chart" in the results format section. Pie charts will combine into an "other" category, all values of the plotted variable that account for 1% or less of the returned results. A table below the pie chart provides the exact percentages associated with every value in the plotted variable (rounded to two decimal places).

Chronological graphs

There are two types of chronological graphs, cumulative graphs and incident frequency graphs. Cumulative graphs are available for the Injuries and the Fatalities variables. These graphs show bars corresponding to the number of injuries or fatalities that occurred during each time interval over the calendar period searched. To create a cumulative graph, select the "plot" button next to either the Injuries or the Fatalities variables, and select "Aggregated: Chronological graph" in the results format section. Incident frequency chronological graphs are created when no plot variable has been selected (or they have all been cleared using the Clear Plot Options button). These graphs show the number of returned incidents matching the search criteria over each time interval during the period searched. Time intervals over which results are aggregated can be set to days, months, or years, using the aggregation pull-down menu next to the Chronological graph button.

Note on Chronological graphs and all other searches. Prior to 1998, the database includes only international terrorism incidents (see Database Scope). Beginning with 1998, the database includes both domestic and international incidents, greatly increasing the number of incidents in these years. This change in coverage must be considered when examining chronological charts, which would otherwise appear to show an enormous increase in terrorism incidents beginning in 1998. A more valid view of trends in the number of incidents could be had by, for instance, filtering the search to include only international incidents (by setting the Domestic Incident filter to "false").