Global Terrorism Database (GTD)

Which weapons have been used to target the educational institutions worldwide? Which area has seen most of these attacks? But most notably are these terrorist activities expected to rise in future?

Unfortunately enough, the answer to the latter question is yes. Terrorists have been targeting places of learning all around the globe and the attacks have risen to a new high point as of over the past 40 years or more. These attacks are universal occurrences and are rising at an alarmingly high rate.

The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) at the University of Maryland is an open-source data-bank on terrorist activities taking place around the globe. Data was picked up from this database, covering the era of 1970-2014, in order to understand the arrays of these terrorist attacks on institutions.

Plotting data which focuses on attacks on educational establishments shows concerning trends.

Is Pakistan to suffer further school attacks

Is Pakistan to suffer further school attacks - Chart

Is Pakistan to suffer further school attacks - Double Chart

Particularly in the region of Pakistan, the number of attacks which build up to the unfortunate incident of the Army Public School was startling. Thus, a massacre like the one at APS could be expected to take place. While most of the attacks prior to the APS attack were on a smaller scale, both the regularity and the loss caused were on an unmatched rise.

A world chart taken from the GTD database shows that Pakistan has the highest number of people killed by country (450) with majority casualties caused in the APS attack. Russia is on the second number with 361 lives lost of which most loss can be attributed to the Belsan School siege in 2004 in which over 300 lives were lost.

Looking at the frequency of attacks on places of learning, Pakistan holds the first name in the list of countries (850). However, most of the attacks were not as lethal as the APS massacre.