Research Note on the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD)

Jennifer Giroux, Peter Burgherr, Laura Melkunaite


The January 2013 attack on the In Amenas natural gas facility drew international attention. However this attack is part of a portrait of energy infrastructure targeting by non-state actors that spans the globe. Data drawn from the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD) shows that in the last decade there were, on average, nearly 400 annual attacks carried out by armed non-state actors on energy infrastructure worldwide, a figure that was well under 200 prior to 1999. This data reveals a global picture whereby violent non-state actors target energy infrastructures to air grievances, communicate to governments, impact state economic interests, or capture revenue in the form of hijacking, kidnapping ransoms, theft. And, for politically motivated groups, such as those engaged in insurgencies, attacking industry assets garners media coverage serving as a facilitator for international attention. This research note will introduce EIAD and position its utility within various research areas where the targeting of energy infrastructure, or more broadly energy infrastructure vulnerability, has been addressed, either directly or indirectly. We also provide a snapshot of the initial analysis of the data between 1980-2011, noting specific temporal and spatial trends, and then conclude with a brief discussion on the contribution of EIAD, highlighting future research trajectories. 

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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