This sharp escalation in violence killed 32,658 people in 2014, compared to 18,111 in 2013, according to the Index.
The rise in terrorism can largely be attributed to two groups: ISIS; and Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist group that pledged allegiance to ISIS in March of 2015. Combined, these groups were responsible for 51% of all terrorism-related deaths in 2014.
Terrorism also has a disproportionate impact on a small number of countries. According to the index, five countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria — accounted for 78% of all terrorism-linked deaths.
This map from the Index shows the impact of terrorism on countries around the world:
Boko Haram was the single deadliest terrorist organisation in 2014, according to the Index. The group was responsible for 7,512 deaths in Nigeria, an increase of 300% from 2013. Overall, Iraq had the highest number of terrorism-related deaths, with 9,929 people killed in the course of the year.
The Global Terrorism Index also noted that beyond the number of people killed, the general scope of terrorism also increased. Eleven countries suffered over 500 terrorism fatalities in 2014. In 2013, only five countries were affected by that volume of terrorism.
Despite the rise in terrorism globally, CNN notes that the Europe and the US have remained relatively free of terrorist incidents. If the September 11th attacks are excluded, only 0.5% of terrorism fatalities since 2000 have occurred in the West.
Terrorism in the US has largely been the work of “long wolves,” or attackers without a clear operational connection to a terrorist group. According to the Global Terrorism Index, lone wolf attacks acconted for 70% of all terrorism-linked deaths in the West over the past 10 years. Of those “lone wolves,” 80% of attacks were motivated by “political extremists, nationalists, racial and religious supremacists,” rather than by jihadists.
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