12 June 2007

Terrorism Database

The Global Terrorism Database, funded by the American government, is kept by the University of Maryland. I'm adding it to my resources links on the right. Something like this would have been handy when I was in charge of an encyclopedia of terrorism, although maybe not as much as one might expect. Terrorism is a loaded word, and one must always bear in mind that terrorists believe they are combatants fighting a war. How, for example, should one treat the Colombian FARC, which conducts a guerrilla war? Were Native Americans fighting against settlers on the frontier during the American Revolution terrorists avant la lettre? A straightforward list of events isn't necessarily helpful, especially if it excludes things that could be characterized as terrorism. Is dropping bombs that miss a military target and hit civilians terrorism, especially if those civilians are supporters of the military effort of the regime they live under?

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