Global Terrorism Index reveals the state of terror around the world
Global terrorism is at the highest level it has ever been and continues to rise at an “unprecedented pace”, according to a new report Global Terrorism Index 2015.
Over 32,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks in 2014, which reveals a dramatic rise in terrorism over the last 15 years, the report claims. There are nine times more people killed in terrorist attacks today than there were in 2000.
Deaths from terrorism increased 80% last year to the highest level ever, with 32,658 people killed, compared to 18,111 in 2013.
Two terrorist organizations, Boko Haram and ISIS, were jointly responsible for 51% of all claimed global fatalities in 2014.
Two important points highlighted by the report are that over 60% of the countries ranked by the Index experienced no deaths from terrorism, and 13 times as many people are killed globally by homicides than die in terrorist attacks.
Since 2000 there have been over 61,000 terrorist attacks, killing more than 140,000 people.
Key Facts of Global Terrorism Index 2015 Report
- Deaths from terrorism increased 80% last year to the highest level ever, with 32,658 people killed, compared to 18,111 in 2013.
- Boko Haram and ISIS were jointly responsible for 51% of all claimed global fatalities in 2014.
- 78% of all deaths and 57% of all attacks occurred in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
- Iraq continues to be the country most impacted by terrorism with 9,929 terrorist fatalities while Nigeria experienced the largest increase in terrorist activity with 7,512 deaths in 2014
- The global economic cost of terrorism reached an all-time peak at US$52.9 billion.
- Since 2000 there have been over 61,000 terrorist attacks, killing more than 140,000 people.
- Thirteen times as many people are killed globally by homicides than die in terrorist attacks.
Terrorist activity is highly concentrated in five countries
Around 78% of all deaths and 57% of all attacks occurred in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria in 2014. Despite being highly concentrated in five countries, terrorism is spreading, with more countries recording attacks and deaths.
Now in its third year, the Global Terrorism Index provides a detailed analysis of the changing trends in terrorism across 162 countries, over the last 15 years. It investigates the patterns of terrorism by geographic activity, methods of attack, organisations involved and the national economic and political context.
Nigeria experienced the largest increase in terrorist activity with 7,512 deaths in 2014, an increase of over 300% since 2013.
Iraq continues to be the country most impacted by terrorism with 9,929 terrorist fatalities the highest ever recorded in a single country.
Countries most affected by terrorism also have highest rates of refugees
“The significant increase in terrorist activity has meant that its ramifications are being felt more widely throughout the world. What is most striking from our analysis is how the drivers of terrorism differ between more and less developed countries. In the West, socio-economic factors such as youth unemployment and drug crime correlate with terrorism. In non-OECD countries, terrorism shows stronger associations with ongoing conflict, corruption and violence” Steve Killelea, Institute for Economics and Peace Founder and Executive Chairman said.
“Ten of the eleven countries most affected by terrorism also have the highest rates of refugees and internal displacement. This highlights the strong inter-connectedness between the current refugee crisis, terrorism and conflict.”
Flow of foreign fighters
The flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria continued in 2014 and 2015. Between 25,000 and 30,000 foreign fighters have arrived in Syria and Iraq since 2011, 7,000 in the first six months of 2015.
Drivers of Terrorism
The two factors most closely associated with terrorism are the levels of political violence and conflict. Ninety-two per cent of all terrorist attacks between 1989 and 2014 occurred in countries where political violence by the government was widespread, while 88% of all terrorist attacks between 1989 and 2014 occurred in countries that were experiencing or involved in violent conflicts.
However, drivers of terrorism differ: in OECD countries, socio-economic factors such as lack of opportunity and low social cohesion correlate significantly, while in non-OECD countries, internal conflicts, political terror, and corruption are strongly correlated.
“Since we can see a number of clearly identifiable socio-political factors that foster terrorism, it is important to implement policies that aim to address these associated causes. This includes reducing state-sponsored violence, diffusing group grievances, and improving respect for human rights and religious freedoms, while considering cultural nuances,” said Steve Killelea.
Report background: The data, published in the third edition of the Global Terrorism Index, was produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, and based on the Global Terrorism database aggregated by START (Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism). The study provides a comprehensive summary of the impact of terrorism in 162 countries, (99% of the world’s population). The indicators include the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage.