Timeline of Recent French Terrorism Attacks

Yesterday the French Catholic community of Rouen was attacked by an alleged IS terror group. In the aftermath the BBC put together a graphic published inside a broader piece. The graphic documented the recent history of terror attacks in France.

When you read or scroll through the overall piece, a bit more symmetry could be added by aligning dates to the central column. That would make the dates more easily comparable. Though it should be noted the important point is made by the rapid clustering of events in the most recent time period.

And for a personal quibble, I believe that timelines are more effective when the most recent date is at the top. Presume the timeline starts in the 1950s during the middle of the Algerian War fought between France and Algeria, which at the time was an integral part of France. Would we want to read all those incidents from the 1950s and 60s? Likely no. Instead, we could scroll down the entirety of the piece. Here, however, we start in the relative calm of 2012, 2013, and early 2014.

Timeline of terror attacks in France
Timeline of terror attacks in France

Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.

Covering Terrorism

Last week we witnessed the lorry attack in Nice, France. This week we have the axeman attack on a German train. Does anybody note, however, the recent terror attacks in Dhaka, Bangladesh? Probably not, according to this insightful piece from FiveThirtyEight. They took a look at journalism’s coverage of terror attacks and whether there are discrepancies based on geography. Turns out that yes, there are. But, the article does make a point to note some reasons why that might be. One, we have covered it a lot more often since 11 September 2001. Anyway, the whole piece is worth a read.

All countries are equal, but some are more equal than others
All countries are equal, but some are more equal than others

Credit for the piece goes to the FiveThirtyEight graphics department.

The Franco–Belgian Terror Network

The terror attacks in Paris and Brussels were bad. But even worse? The two attacks exposed a network of IS terrorists living within the Schengen Area. Are there cells or even other networks? One way of uncovering them would be to examine the links between the known terrorists and see if additional nodes appear at the network’s fringes. Given Friday’s piece from the New York times examining the links between the known terrorists, investigators in Europe are likely doing just that.

Looking at the terrorists' network
Looking at the terrorists’ network

Credit for the piece goes to Larry Buchanan, Haeyoun Park, Sarah Almukhtar, Josh Keller, Sergio Peçanha, and Tim Wallace.

ISIS Throughout the World

ISIS is still a threat to the Middle East, evidenced by the US announcing yesterday that it is intensifying strikes against the quasi-state in both Syria and Iraq. But just where has ISIS spread? And are its attacks spreading? This New York Times piece looks at just those two questions. The first through an obvious map.

The geographic reach of ISIS at all points over time
The geographic reach of ISIS at all points over time

What the map does is show you where ISIS has attacked around the world over all time. So yes, it has global reach. But the map alone cannot show you if things are improving or getting worse. For that you need a visualisation type that can plot things over time. And as aforementioned, the piece includes that as well.

A spike in attacks this winter presaged a summer of terror
A spike in attacks this winter presaged a summer of terror

Unfortunately, it appears that yes, ISIS is attacking or at least attempting to attack more targets in more countries both within and without the Middle East and its declared provinces.

Credit for the piece goes to Karen Yourish, Derek Watkins, and Tom Giratikanon.

Boko Haram Attacks

For those of you don’t know, there is an Islamist group operating in northeastern Nigeria. And they have been for a few years now. But recently they devastated a town and killed somewhere between 150 and 2000 people. Now they have taken to kidnapping Cameroonians, who live across the border, but whose government has been taking military action against Boko Haram. In this context, the BBC put together a map that shows the spread and scale of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

The fatal attacks
The fatal attacks

Credit for the piece goes to the BBC graphics department.

The Perception vs Reality of Islam in Europe

Last week’s terror attacks in Paris highlight the tension in Europe between secular Europe and those believing in Islamist values. The Economist looked at some of the available data and noted the gap between Europe’s perception of Islam and its reality. A quick figure called out for France, French respondents thought 31% of the French population to be Muslim. The reality is a mere 8%.

Perception vs reality
Perception vs reality

Credit for the piece goes to the Economist Data Team.

Terror Attacks Throughout the World

Last week many American observed 11 September in remembrance of the terror attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, a section of the Pentagon, and four airliners in total. So this week we are going to see some fantastic work from Periscopic that highlights several other terror groups operating in the world across the last few decades. 

Irish Republican Army attacks
Irish Republican Army attacks

The charts work as a timeline from 1970 through 2013 and then vertically from January through December. Above and below the timeline, respectively, are the numbers of people killed and wounded. When shown as small multiples, the overall piece can show you which groups have been active and lethal, active but without lots of fatal attacks, and those that are fading out or fading in.

Credit for the piece goes to Periscopic.

Recapping the Boston Marathon Bombing

After the capture this weekend of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the Washington Post published an interactive piece that looked at the entirety of the story. It captured the bombing, looked at the investigation, then the manhunt, and finally the capture of one of the suspects.

The piece incorporated static diagrams along with video and interactive navigation to tell the story in day-sized chunks on the screen. When taken together as one whole piece, it is quite impressive.

The capture of one of the suspects
The capture of one of the suspects

Credit for the piece goes to what may well be the entire graphics staff of the Washington Post: Wilson Andrews, Darla Cameron, Emily Chow, Alberto Cuadra, Kat Downs, Laris Karklis, Todd Lindeman, Katie Park, Gene Thorp, and Karen Yourish.

Terrorism in the United States

Terrorism is not new to the United States. As this graphic from the New York Times shows, even in recent decades, we experienced quite a lot of it. In 1970 there were over 400 attacks. However, since 2001, the United States has seen far fewer attacks. Fortunately the Boston Marathon bombing is not as bad as it could have been. But even then, thankfully the bombing is a relative anomaly.

Incidence of Terrorist Attacks in the United States
Incidence of Terrorist Attacks in the United States

Credit for the piece goes to the graphics department of the Times.