TRAC provides researchers in the fields of terrorism studies, political science, international relations, sociology, criminal justice, philosophy and history with content that provides comprehensive data and analysis for complex topics.
With tens of thousands (and expanding) web pages of information, over 4,650 (and expanding) group profiles, and 2,800 consortium members, TRAC provides many ways to efficiently access information.
The “Search” box that appears at the top and bottom of every page allows you to search the entire database (articles, groups, chatter) for specific names or words. However, unlike Google, TRAC returns exact matches (including punctuation) and does not suggest alternative spellings. Because group names and identities constantly change, TRAC has included as many combinations of group name spellings and aliases as possible. If Universal Search does not return the group you're researching, select the “Groups” button from the menu bar and scroll through the list.
At the top of each screen the menu bar lists:
Ideology, Targets, Tactics, Vulnerable Regions, Groups, Chatter Control, Resources, Consortium Center, About.
Ideology, Targets and Tactics
Once you select any of these buttons, an alphabetical list of articles or groups appears, much like a table of contents in a book. Select the “More” button at the bottom of the page to load the next 25 articles, or “View As List” to see the titles of articles in this category. You may filter by author or by groups. For example if you want to read articles that focus on Hamas' ideologies, select the “filter by associated groups,” scroll down to Hamas and select the “Apply” button.
Once you have selected an article you wish to read, you will be taken to the introductory page. (Every article is formatted the same way for intuitive navigation.) The Table of Contents (right column) highlights (bold) the chapter you are reading. You may either read page by page by selecting the “Next” button at the bottom of the page or jump directly to any chapter by selecting the chapter title within the Table of Contents. You may also select “View All Associated Groups” associated with each article. For example, all known groups who practice suicide bombings will show up in the article on Suicide Missions. Notice the “Print” and “Cite the Page” buttons for easy printing and referencing. For citations, hit the button and simply copy and paste into your bibliography. Within the Table of Contents are associated activities (current and archived news), and primary resource material associated with that topic.
When you select “Vulnerable Regions,” you are taken to a page with each country's flag. You can scroll through the countries (select “Load More”). Or you can view a list of the countries by selecting "View as List". When you select the country you are researching, TRAC take you to a landing page listing specific vulnerable cities, threat assessments, associated articles, and every known terrorist group with areas of operation in that country. To the right of the page is an interactive geo-map that can zoom in or out of the region. Underneath the geo-map is a list of the most current news stories associated with that region. If additional news or articles have been archived, you may select the “More” button to see all the archived blogs, news stories, and incident reports for that region. Underneath the list of vulnerable cities (not yet linked to analyses) is the link for the detailed regional threat assessment. Selecting the “Read More” button takes you to the threat assessment analysis that includes counter measures and prognosis - completely crossed referenced to associated TRAC articles.
When you select the “Groups” button on the menu bar, you are taken to an alphabetical list of over 4,650 current and historical (20th century) terrorist groups. You may search for specific groups by selecting a letter of the alphabet (“Name Starts With”) or “View as List”. However, viewing as summary allows the researcher to filter by multiple topics, vastly facilitating research needs. For example, if you wanted to find groups that use arson as a tactic in Greece, TRAC easily filters through the enormous list to show the viewer only the groups that fall under these two categories. At the side of the group’s name are possible misspellings -- no more guessing if al Shabaab is the same group as Al Shabab or Hizbul Shabaab. TRAC also ranks the groups by their activity so that the most active groups appear in each list first. You can filter through many combinations to find groups that meet your criteria.
Individual Group Pages
Each group page begins with an icon or flag of that group when available; otherwise there is an image of an incident or flag of the region where the group has operated. Below the image are possible alternative known spellings and aliases, as well as the status of the group and when it was first “known to exist.” Other data about the group are listed below. Select the highlighted article titles to link directly to a TRAC Analysis, Associate Groups, Internet Resources, and news feeds. The “Associated Groups” section at the bottom of the page is extremely useful for researching how groups are connected. Underneath the geo-map are hot links to the Vulnerable Region pages associated with that group. If there are current associated activities (news, blogs, and incident reports) or Primary Resources associated with the group, they will appear beneath the geo-map.
TRAC is continually updated with the most current terrorism "news" of the day - sorted from newest to oldest. Chatter Control "news" comes for numerous sources: well known international news organizations, regional newspapers, blogs, think tank releases, terrorist group communiqués (including social media) and under the radar commentary. As with group profiles, Chatter Control is readily sortable by multiple categories under “filter by associated articles”, allowing the researcher to pull from current and archival information by dates. TRAC does not evaluate or verify the contents of the news stories but endeavors to select the stories from “reliable sources” that are most relevant to studying terrorism.
TRAC Insights feature in-depth assessments of terrorism activities in specific regions, new strategies employed by a specific group (such as ISIS' mass beheadings), and analyses of developing news. As with group profiles, TRAC Insights are readily sortable by multiple categories under “filter by associated articles, regions, and date," allowing the researcher to pull from current and archival TRAC Insights.
TRAC's publishing center provides an opportunity for professionals to publish their material to a worldwide audience. TRAC's review board approves topics that are not part of the commissioned core group of articles - to allow for maximum coverage of the constantly fluid topic of terrorism.
File a Story / Contribute Content
In the upper right corner of every page is “File a Story”. TRAC encourages everyone on the ground in terrorism hotspots to report on current activities in their region. Select this button, file your story, and it will be sent to us for immediate posting. In the right column for every article and group page is a “Submit Additions? button. You can suggest additions or corrections to existing material for our review board to evaluate. If you want to contribute a new article or group profile, contact Veryan Khan at [email protected] or go to “Publishing Center” “Become a Contributor."
Groups and individuals included in TRAC's database range from actual perpetrators of social or political violence to more passive groups that support or condone (perhaps unwittingly) such violence. The spectrum of violence represented by these groups is vast, from Jihadists who bomb train stations to financial institutions that transfer funds to terrorists. Some groups that originally engaged in violence but have since become legitimate political parties are included to provide historical perspective. TRAC is in no way attempting to determine whether groups or individuals are terrorists -- only to convey reported information about their activities and official State status. While TRAC attempts to ensure the accuracy of its database, the profiles are derived from numerous different sources deemed reliable. Hence, TRAC cannot and does not warrant the accuracy of its profiles. The editors of TRAC may modify these entries at any time and welcome comments and suggested corrections or additions. Please write [email protected] or hit the "Add Additions" button on the page of the group profile about which you wish to comment.
TRAC has assembled many types of outside resources for the researcher to further pursue topics from other perspectives. Hundreds of Universities, Think Tanks, and Databases worldwide are cataloged and readily sortable.
TRAC's consortium and forum are for professionals in the intelligence community to communicate with each other. Members of the Consortium can be filtered by the regions in which they operate or are specialists.
Who’s behind TRAC
VERYAN KHAN, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR AND ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
JASMINE OPPERMAN, DIRECTOR OF AFRICAN OPERATIONS
DAVID SNEPP, SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
ARABINDA ACHARYA, CHIEF CONSULTING EDITOR
WALTON BEACHAM, PUBLISHER
TRAC’s consortium of 2,800 experts live in and report from terrorism hotspots worldwide, including Russia, Poland, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Serbia, Brussels, Sweden, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom, Canada, and United States. If you reside in a terrorism hotspot, or have a particular interest/expertise in political violence and would like to become a consortium member, contact Veryan Khan at [email protected]
The Beacham Group
Throughout TRAC’s development, the Beacham Group sought the input and assessment from leading scholars to ensure its primary goal of helping researchers locate the most appropriate and efficient resources available, a publishing model that has been connecting people with authoritative information since 1985. Founded as Beacham Publishing Corp, the company’s acclaimed titles span the impact of climate change with Beacham's Guide to Endangered Species and Beacham’s Guide to Environmental Issues, to topical issues in literature, to important societal concerns with The Encyclopedia of Social Change.