By Vision of Humanity
For the second year running, fewer people have been killed by terrorism. The 2017 Global Terrorism Index, which was released globally on November 15, shows 22% fewer terrorism deaths compared to the peak of terror activity in 2014. This means 6,827 fewer people were killed.
However, ISIL defied this positive trend killing 50% more people in 2016 as compared to 2015. In fact last year was their deadliest to-date with over 9,000 deaths. Most of these deaths occurred in Iraq and ISIL’s terrorism activity saw Iraq again ranked as the country most impacted by terrorism.
ISIL has also been the driver behind an increase in terrorism in developed countries. There has been a 67% increase in attacks and a nearly 600% increase in deaths since 2014. But many of these deaths were caused by a small number of attacks that inflicted very high casualties. In fact just three attacks accounted for 44% of all deaths from terrorism in the West between 2014 and June 2017. These attacks included the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 137 people, the July 2016 Nice truck attack that killed 87 and the June 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting that resulted in 50 deaths.
However, despite the high media profile of terror attacks in OECD countries, a key finding of the report shows that 99% of all terrorism deaths in the past 17 years have occurred in countries that either are in conflict or have high levels of political terror. Political terror signifies the presence of extra-judicial killings, torture and imprisonment without trial. This finding demonstrates the risks associated with counterterrorism strategies that can exacerbate existing grievances that fuel extremism and terrorism.