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LONDON, March 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The 10th annual Global Terrorism Index (GTI) reveals that attacks are deadlier, with 26% more fatalities in each incident, marking the first increase of fatality in five years.
Following substantial improvements in terrorist activity between 2016 and 2019, progress has stalled and both attacks and deaths have remained about the same since 2019. The number of countries reporting one death ranged from 43 in 2020 to 42 in 2022.
The focus of terrorism is changing rapidly, shifting to countries experiencing political instability, conflict, and ecological degradation, especially in the Sahel. Eight of the ten countries in this region have the worst scores for food and water scarcity according to the 2022 ETR. Burkina Faso is an example of this change, where deaths caused by terrorism increased by 50%, to 1,135, and the number of deaths from attacks increased by 8%, leaving the country with the highest number of fatalities.
Last year, terrorism caused 6,701 deaths, 38% less than at its peak in 2015. However, the fatality rate of the two deadliest terrorist groups is increasing. IS, the deadliest, saw a 12% increase to 2.9 deaths per attack, while al-Shabaab's death rate is at its highest level since 2017, rising 32% to 2.5 people per attack. stroke. This highlights that the effectiveness of these two groups is increasing. The next two deadliest terrorist groups were the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM). IS remained the deadliest terrorist group for the eighth consecutive year, while the BLA, operating in Pakistan, is now the world's fastest-growing terrorist group, with deaths from terrorism increasing by nine times, to 233 deaths in 2022.
Deaths from terrorism in the Sahel increased by 7% and now exceed those in South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa combined. The area is also the most affected region in the world, accounting for 43% of deaths from terrorism worldwide. The region is also facing some of the worst ecological degradation, amplified by climate change. The challenges are systemic and include poor food security, lack of adequate water, weak governance, rising crime, and some of the fastest population growth rates in the world. The region has suffered six coup attempts since 2021, four of which were successful.
In the Middle East and North Africa, the overall score continued to improve, building on the past six years, with the proportion of deaths from global terrorism falling substantially, from 57% in 2016 to just under 12% in 2022. The region recorded 791 deaths in 2022, a 32% drop and the lowest number in the region since 2013. Bombings nearly halved to 695. There has also been a substantial drop in suicide bombings in the Middle East and North Africa; in 2016, suicide bombings caused 1,947 deaths. In 2022, there were only six suicide bombings in which eight people died.
In the West, the number of attacks continues to decline, with successive declines every year since 2017. In 2022, 40 attacks were recorded, a 27% drop compared to 55 in 2021. However, the number of deaths more than doubled, going from a low base of nine in 2021 to 19 in 2022. Ten of the deaths were due to an attack in the United States, when a gunman killed civilians in a supermarket in Buffalo (New York). This is the first increase in deaths in the West since 2019. Ideologically motivated terrorism, that is, related to political extremism, remains the most common type of terrorism in the West, while religiously motivated terrorism has decreased by 89 % since the peak reached in 2016.
The dynamics of terrorism are changing, with unclaimed attacks becoming more common. Of the 3,955 terrorist attacks registered in 2022, 33% were not attributed to any group. The fastest growing segment was that of unknown jihadists, especially in the Sahel, with deaths eighteen times higher than in 2017.
Steve Killelea, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, IEP, said: "Terrorism remains a serious threat to peace, with minimal progress in the last three years. Islamic jihadists have shown their ability to adapt, seeking out areas of instability where It is becoming increasingly apparent that systemic approaches are needed to confront terrorism, including addressing poor governance, low levels of government capacity, poverty, group grievances, and the use of kinetic force."
"As the Ukraine conflict consumes the world's attention and resources, it is crucial that the global fight against terrorism remains high on the political agenda. As its nature evolves, it is imperative that the international community's response continue to evolve. This is no time for complacency, and the loss of attention will cause an increase in the terrorist threat in the future. The fight against terrorism is one of the few areas in which the world's superpowers have a common goal."
It is clear that the war in Ukraine has diverted military resources, increasing instability, including in the Sahel, where Russia and France have reduced their military presence. Contrary to the general trend in the Middle East and North Africa, IS activity is on the rise in Syria, causing 42% more deaths from terrorism than in 2021, as a result of slightly fewer attacks. The earthquake in the region will cause an increase in instability, as occurred in the areas where IS operates. The 344 deaths from terrorism caused by IS in Syria in 2022 are also likely to increase.
Violent conflicts and wars are the most important drivers of terrorism, since 88% of terrorist attacks and 98% of deaths occur in countries with active conflicts.
Several countries are currently experiencing major ecological and climatic changes, particularly in conflict-prone areas, exacerbating these problems. According to 2022 ETR, 27 countries face catastrophic ecological threats, while exhibiting low levels of social resilience. These troubled countries are grouped into three regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia, and are also the regions most affected by terrorism.
The evolution of drones is rapidly transforming the nature of conflict and has emerged as a new trend in attacks with groups like IS, Boko Haram and the Houthis using this technology. The latest estimates suggest that 65 non-state actors can now deploy drones, which have a range from a few kilometers to 1,500 kilometers for military-grade drones. Its use in the 2019 Houthi-Saudi Aramco attack illustrates the power of this technology, with drones launched from Yemen, more than 800km away. The current lack of existing countermeasures means that drones are likely to be used more frequently.
The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), the leading international think tank, has published the 10th annual Global Terrorism Index, which offers the most comprehensive resource on the latest trends in terrorism around the world. The Index assesses various factors to determine your score, including the number of incidents, fatalities, injuries and hostages, and integrates conflict and socio-economic data to provide a comprehensive understanding of terrorism.
* The Taliban took over the government in 2021, so their actions are not reflected in this year's data.
Notes to editors
The full GTI 2023 report and interactive map are available at: visionofhumanity.org
Global Terrorism Index (GTI)
The GTI of the Institute for Economics
The GTI report is compiled from data from TerrorismTracker and other sources. TerrorismTracker provides event records for terrorist attacks since January 1, 2007. The dataset contains more than 65,000 terrorist incidents for the period 2007-2022.
Institute for Economics
El Institute for Economics
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