The report said militant groups Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Taliban were behind most of the deaths. Iraq was the country most affected by terrorism, the report said.
The report by the Institute for Economics and Peace says that nearly 18,000 people died from terrorist attacks in 2013. "Not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well," it notes. Steve Killelea, IEP executive chairman, told the BBC the latest increase in deaths from terrorism was primarily due to the civil war in Syria, which began in 2011. "The destabilisation in Syria, which has now overflowed into Iraq, is where we feel the upsurge in terrorism," Mr Killelea said.
Global terrorism index 2014
10,000 terror attacks in 2013
17,958 deaths. That's a 61% increase on 2012
14,722 deaths in just five countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria
6,362 deaths in Iraq - the country worst-affected
60 countries around the world recorded deaths from terrorism
(Source: Institute for Economics and Peace)
The report, which investigates terrorism trends between 2000 and 2013, uses data from the US-based Global Terrorism Database. It includes rankings of countries by the impact of terrorist activities, based on the number of terrorist attacks, deaths and injuries from terrorism, and damage to property. Five countries - Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria - accounted for 80% of the deaths from terrorism in 2013. More than 6,000 people died in Iraq alone. India, Somalia, the Philippines, Yemen and Thailand were the next five, with between 1% and 2.3% of global deaths by terrorism. Although Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries only experienced 5% of all deaths from terrorism since 2000, they suffered some of the deadliest attacks, the report said. These included the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, the 2004 Madrid train bombings, the 2005 London bombings, and the bombing and shooting attack in Norway in 2012. During 2013, Turkey and Mexico were the OECD countries with the highest number of deaths from terrorism, at 57 and 40 respectively.
Religious or Political?
The report said that the four main groups were responsible for 66% of all deaths from terrorist attacks in 2013: Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram and the self-styled Islamic State. All four groups used "religious ideologies based on extreme interpretations of Wahhabi Islam", it added. "To counteract the rise of religious extremism, moderate Sunni theologies need to be cultivated by credible forces within Islam," the report said, but it was important that "moderate Sunni countries and not outside influences" led such a response.
The report added that religious ideology was not the only motivation for terrorism. "There are many peaceful Muslim-majority countries that do not suffer from terrorism such as Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait, underscoring how there are other social, political and geopolitical factors at play," the report said. In many parts of the world, terrorism was "far more likely to be driven by political or nationalistic and separatist" movements. The report said the three main factors found globally to correlate with terrorism were:
- High social hostilities between different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups.
- The presence of state-sponsored violence such as extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses.
- High levels of overall violence, such as deaths from organised conflict or high levels of violent crime
Mr Killelea said religious figures in some moderate Sunni countries were already speaking out against extremism. It was "very, very hard" for Western countries to counteract radical religious ideology, he added. However, "the West can certainly be supportive in trying to create better mechanisms of policing... and also in terms of being able to address some of the underlying issues which cause group grievances". The report only includes data until the end of 2013. Mr Killelea said: "I don't want to predict the outcome for 2014, but it's certainly hard to imagine things being any better." However, the report stresses that while terrorism is on the increase, it is important to keep the numbers in context. About 50% of terrorist attacks claim no lives, while 40 times more people are killed in murders than in terrorist attacks, according to a UN report for 2012.
(Source 19 Nov 14: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-30086435)
Lebanon – 17 Nov 14 Families and relatives of seven captive Lebanese soldiers received assurances that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group would not behead their sons after they protested by burning tires and blocked roads on the 17 Nov 14 a local paper reported. The Daily Star Lebanon said the families have reopened roads across Lebanon after receiving assurances from the government that ISIS will not be beheading their sons Monday. They added that they had gained some time but were unsure how long. ISIS had given 1600 hrs as ultimatum for the Lebanese government to revoke death sentences handed down to Islamists in Roumieh Prison in order not to execute the captives. Four Islamist militants received life sentences, while a fifth was sentenced to death in absentia. ISIS and other militants in Syria seized some 20 Lebanese soldiers and police officers in Aug 14 during a brief cross-border raid. They already have killed three of the captives, beheading two. 361 COMMENT: Unfortunately there is no follow up information on this particular incident. It would seem however, that when the IS are in control they can and will dictate terms. This incident heeds well to those who attempt to negotiate with terrorists as they will always win. COMMENT ENDS
Iraq – 17 Nov 14 The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group on the 17 Nov 14 claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack against a U.N. convoy near Baghdad airport. The attacker, Abu Muawiya al-Falluji rammed the convoy for the ‘United Nations waging war against Muslims’ surrounded by heavy U.S. protection, the group said in a statement. The name given for the suicide attacker suggested he was an Iraqi from the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. In its statement, ISIS claimed the attack had left many dead and alleged the Iraqi government had taken away the bodies of U.S. personnel. “The convoy was strictly a U.N. convoy, there was nobody who isn’t U.N. staff,” a press officer for the U.N. mission in Iraq said. The world body’s top envoy in Iraq said on Sunday that no U.N. staff member was wounded in the blast. The U.N. press officer said the attack was the first in a long time against the United Nations, which pulled out of Iraq for several years after a devastating bombing against its Baghdad headquarters in August 2003.
A suicide attack has left at least five people killed in the Iraqi Kurdish capital city of Erbil, when the assailant tried to drive his vehicle into the governorate building and was stopped short by guards' gunfire it was reported on the 19 Nov 14. The attack, which is the first to target the city's centre in seven months, also left dozens wounded. The assailant - along with three civilians and two police – were killed in the attack. Erbil in the autonomous Kurdish region, is a very well-secured area, and has succeeded in sparing itself much of the violence and blasts rocking other cities, especially Baghdad. The region has been under recurring threats. Fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who overran swathes of northern Iraq this summer have repeatedly threatened to launch attacks against Kurdistan. The last major attack in Erbil was more than one year ago, when fighters launched a coordinated suicide and car bomb attack on the headquarters of the security services. Another blast took place in Aug 14, but there were no casualties.
The Iraqi army says it has held off a fierce assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the city of Ramadi open sources claimed on the 28 Nov 14. The claim comes amid an announcement by the Iraqi government that it will triple its defence budget in an effort to defeat the group. Ramadi is one of the last major urban areas in the crucial Anbar province under Baghdad's control. Iraqi security forces, backed by tribesmen, managed to defend a government complex in the city on the 27 Nov 14 in the latest in a series of drives which have seen the return of some territory lost to ISIL. Ramadi has been in danger of falling to ISIL several times this year, and is a key city for ISIL as it seeks to consolidate its grip over all of Anbar. Parts of Anbar, which borders Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and the Baghdad governorate, have been out of government control since Jan 14.
Israel – A BBC news report on the 27 Nov 14 stated that Israel's internal security service uncovered a Hamas cell in the West Bank that was planning to carry out a series of attacks in Jerusalem. Shin Bet said it had arrested more than 30 militants who were trained abroad, and recovered weapons and explosives. They planned to kidnap Israelis and their targets of attack included a football stadium in Jerusalem and the city's light rail system, it alleged. Shin Bet said the militants who were arrested had plotted to attack Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium and a tram, as well as carry out car bombings and kidnap Israelis in the West Bank and overseas. The suspects - who include a number of Palestinians from the West Bank, two Jordanians and a Kuwaiti - had received orders from Hamas officials based in Turkey, it added. The agency alleged that the cell was responsible for two bomb blasts in the northern West Bank on 31 Aug 14 which caused no casualties. One bomb was rigged to explode shortly after the other in order to target emergency services personnel sent to the scene, it said. Shin Bet said some members of the cell had been recruited in Jordan in 2012 and that they had received some military training in Turkey, Syria and the Gaza Strip before being sent to the West Bank at the start of 2014 to set up infrastructure and gather intelligence. Over the past month, 11 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians, including four rabbis and a policeman who were stabbed and shot at a synagogue in Jerusalem last week. Twelve Palestinians have also been killed, including several of those who carried out the attacks.
Syria/Canada – Canada said on the 30 Nov 14 that it was "aware of reports" that one of its nationals may have been kidnapped in Syria, amid suggestions it could have been a woman fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Kobane. The U.S.- based monitoring group SITE said Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants claimed a woman described as a "female Zionist soldier" had been captured in the embattled Syrian border town. Some jihadists said the woman might be Gill Rosenberg, a Canadian-Israeli dual national who had served in the Israel Defence Forces and had volunteered to fight with the Kurds, the monitoring group said. SITE said jihadists were discussing on the Internet whether the woman should be executed or traded for Muslim prisoners.