Infographic: Visualizing ISIS Violence in Iraq and Syria

Editor’s note: We’ve partnered with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) to publish a series of infographics based on data from their Global Terrorism Database and related START projects.  Each week we’ll release a new set of graphics that depict trends in global terrorism activity.  Sign up for the War on the Rocks newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of them!

This week’s offering’s depict violence perpetrated by ISIS, in its current and previous incarnations, in Iraq and Syria.

 

Baghdad

This map visualizes the attacks have been attributed to ISIS/ISIL in Baghdad since 2009. The incidents, which have been weighted by fatalities and injuries to reveal their respective intensity, are overlaid onto Baghdad’s neighborhoods. In turn, the neighborhoods have been separated into their respective majority demographic based on religion.  As you can see, the majority of ISIL attacks in Baghdad since 2009 have occurred in Shia-majority neighborhoods. Christian majority neighborhoods, especially Dora, are also routinely targeted in ISIL attacks. Sunni neighborhoods have not been completely spared from ISIL attacks, however, as the group regularly launches attacks in Adamiyah and Mansour. (Graphic designed by William Kammerer)

Attacks in Baghdad attributed to ISIS/ISIL, 2009-2013.  Click to enlarge.
Attacks in Baghdad attributed to ISIS/ISIL, 2009-2013. Click to enlarge.

 

Iraq and Syria

This heat map visualizes the attacks that have been attributed to ISIS/ISIL from 2009-2013 in Iraq and Syria. Again, the incidents have been weighted by fatalities and injuries to reveal their respective intensity. It may be important to note that incidents in Syria only include those which are identified and confirmed in the open-source literature, and meet the GTD’s inclusion criteria. Thus, attacks in Syria are a conservative estimate. (Graphic designed by William Kammerer)

ISIS/ISIL attacks in Iraq and Syria, 2009-2013.  Click to enlarge.
ISIS/ISIL attacks in Iraq and Syria, 2009-2013. Click to enlarge.

 

Daily Fatalities

This chart shows levels of violence perpetrated by ISIS/ISIL and its precursors over the course of a decade, and indicates key events that provide context for various trends illustrated by the chart. (Graphic designed by William Kammerer)

Daily fatalities from attacks by ISIS/ISIL and its precursors, 2003-2013.  Click to enlarge.
Daily fatalities from attacks by ISIS/ISIL and its precursors, 2003-2013. Click to enlarge.

 

Organizational Relationships

START has also produced a Fact Sheet (created by Corina Simonelli) that examines the evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by enumerating the relationships the terrorist organization has held since 2004. The report profiles the group’s:

  • adversarial relationships;
  • adversarial relationships that were previously positive; and
  • collaborative relationships.
ISIS/ISIL organisational relationship, 2004-2014.  Click to enlarge.
ISIS/ISIL organisational relationship, 2004-2014. Click to enlarge.

START has published a version of this graphic on their website with further details about the nature of each of the relationship links depicted.

The data is drawn from news reports and from START’s Big Allied and Dangerous (BAAD) Project, which focuses on the creation and maintenance of a comprehensive database of terrorist organizational characteristics and their relationship to prominent event, insurgency and country-level datasets. The project is led by START investigators Victor Asal and R. Karl Rethemeyer through the Project of Violent Conflict at Rockefeller College, University at Albany-SUNY.

 

William J. Kammerer is a faculty research assistant at START and locations supervisor of the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), overseeing the collection, verification, and analysis of the GTD’s geospatial components.  Corina Simonelli is a faculty research assistant at START, where she supervises the perpetrator and target domains of the GTD.