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VOL. X, Issue 5

Classification and Collection of Terrorism Incident Data in Canada

Canada is far from immune from the pressing global terrorism threat. Despite low base rates for documented attacks, it would be inaccurate to measure terrorism simply by the number of incidents investigated by authorities. This caution exists for two reasons. First, there is good reason to question current statistics as the majority of incidents either go unreported or are categorized under other labels. Second, every act carries a disproportionate harm. Even foiled attacks increase the level of fear, heighten tension between different groups, and can fragment communities. Social harm can be greater than the crime because it can affect individuals, groups and even nations. For these broad reasons a vigorous response is warranted. Specialized units have been created in many law enforcement organizations, new legislation has emerged and the collection of terrorismrelated information is well at hand. Or is it? This paper presents compelling arguments that acts of terrorism are far more prolific than Canadian statistics suggest. Furthermore, this situation will continue to exist because the true nature of terrorism is concealed by systemic failures strikingly similar to those which historically masked the problem of both partner abuse and hate crime.

About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…