This past Friday, we had the pleasure of meeting with the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to present GTTAC’s terrorism research and showcase our database, methodology and discuss the challenges and opportunities of this project.
In 2004, NCTC began collecting open source information on global terrorism incidents to generate a database of terrorism incidents and attacks throughout the world. This started small with limited resources and manpower, but eventually became an essential mechanism within the US government to track the activities and capabilities of terrorist groups globally, and to report these findings to Congress every year. As the information collected and generated by this project is unclassified, the responsibility of this information was handed to the US Department of State, and subsequently contracted out to the private sector.
NCTC has a unique perspective on the issue of tracking global terrorism trends as it was the first to embark on this endeavor. The opportunity to discuss our project with NCTC, and to learn from their experience, was extremely rewarding.