- The Institute for Economics and Peace released the 2017 Global Terrorism Index report.
- Deaths from terrorism decreased between 2015 and 2016, continuing a decline from a peak reached in 2014.
- Seventy seven countries experienced at least one death from terrorism.
Between 2002 and the end of 2016, eight of the world’s nine regions experienced an increase in terrorist activity, according to the 2017 Global Terrorism Index report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
North America was the only region to see a decline.
Deaths from terrorism decreased from 2015 to 2016, continuing a decline from a peak reached in 2014. Last year’s 25,673 deaths from terrorism marked the second consecutive annual decline and a 22% drop from 2014.
Despite the falling terrorism-related body count, 77 countries experienced at least one death from terrorism. The increase from 65 countries in 2015 drove the Global Terrorism Index score down by 4%.
The top-five countries in the index — Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan, respectively — had nearly three-quarters off all deaths from terrorism in 2016, but all except Iraq saw the number of deaths drop in that same year. Yemen, Somalia, India, Turkey, and Libya rounded out the top 10 countries in the index.
Here’s a map of how terrorism spiked across the world in the past year:
Iraq saw a 40% increase in deaths last year — an increase driven largely by ISIS activity in response to government efforts to liberate territory held by the group.
Nigeria had the greatest decline, with 3,100 fewer deaths last year compared to 2015. That reduction was driven by an 80% drop in the number of people killed by Boko Haram.
Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria together saw more than 500 fewer deaths in 2016 than in 2015.
Globally, attacks against civilians rose 17% between 2015 and 2016.
Terrorism-related deaths have also increased, along with battle-related deaths, rising 67% and 66%, respectively, in the decade spanning 2006 and 2016.
Since 2014, attacks against nontraditional targets with unconventional tactics have grown more common in OECD countries. ISIS and ISIS-related actors have shown these tactics are more likely to be effective.
ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban were the four deadliest terrorist groups in 2016, accounting for 59% of deaths. ISIS was the most potent, with a 50% increase in deaths from the previous peak in 2015.
The majority of the 9,132 people killed by the group were in Iraq. The group also directed attacks in 15 countries last year, four more than the previous year.
The Global Terrorism Index — which defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation” — analyses the impact of terrorism in 163 countries and covers 99.7% of the world’s population.
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