About this Dataset
The UNC dataset is comprised of manually collected and vetted information developed using open source, web-based data gathering. It provides information about individuals arrested and charged for federal crimes linked to ‘domestic’ terrorism stemming from white supremacist, nationalist, accelerationist, and male supremacist ideological cultures and groups. This dataset does not include charges at the state level, where many such crimes are charged depending on whether or not a case meets the requirements for federal charging.
In some cases, charges will occur at both the federal and state level (e.g. The Charleston AME Church shooter was charged at both levels). Given the complexities of searching 50 separate state court systems and the limitations of our team (size and time), we were unable to include state charges in this dataset. This information is all publicly available data under US law (thus does not breach the privacy of individuals named) that we have aggregated for ease of analysis.
The file comprises more than 550 rows of total data. Some data points may be missing because the case is ongoing and that data is not yet available or because that data was not available in any of the multiple open source sites for a particular case.
This dataset provides an initial attempt to reduce barriers to the effective study of this urgent issue. The information within the dataset, and its continued development over time, may help to shed light on terrorist activity and legal responses to it in the US. This is crucial for studying questions about the efficacy of policies relative to this threat, evaluating the consistency and impacts of charging patterns, and the outcomes of prosecutions nationally, regionally, and locally.
Moreover, the dataset may help researchers explore gaps between known activity and charging by region to better understand whether such differences are related to group strategies to evade the law or organizational structures within US justice entities, or a combination of both. It also provides a vetted source for conducting network analyses between charged individuals and other known actors and groups.
Such analyses can address multiple issues stemming from the use of online technologies including whether developing interconnections between ideologies online are impacting criminal behavior and violence, whether different groups and actors are using similar strategies to develop and sustain funding, recruit members, or incite violence, and whether there is more coordination between these groups and ideologies over time.
You can download the the UNC Dataset (.xlsx file) HERE and read more about the methodology for the collection of the dataset here.
This project was completed with the generous support of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ashley Mattheis is a Doctoral Fellow at CARR and a Doctoral candidate in Department of Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. See her profile here.
© Ashley Mattheis. Views expressed on this website are individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect that of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). We are pleased to share previously unpublished materials with the community under creative commons license 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives).