Less terrorism in the world
Terror attacks take ever fewer human lives and also cause much less material damage than a few years ago shows a new report.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, 18,814 people were killed in terrorist acts in 2017. It was almost a half the number of those killed three years ago, and the decline from the previous year was 27%.
Terrorist attacks cost society just over NOK 440 billion last year, 42% less than in 2016 according to the report, made by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
The biggest improvements were in Iraq and Syria, where the extreme Islamist group, IS, largely fought their battles. Both countries experienced nearly half of the number of killed in terrorist attacks last year, but they are still high on the list of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
Problem worst in Afghanistan
Afghanistan peaked last year’s list of 4,653 terrorist attacks, followed by Iraq with 4,271, Nigeria with 1,532, Somalia with 1,470, and Syria with 1,096.
Last year’s worst terrorist action took place in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu, where a truck bomb killed 587 people.
Nobody has assumed responsibility for the bomb, but the al-Shabaab Islamist group are believed to have been behind both this and a number of other terrorist attacks in Somalia, which experienced almost a doubling in the number of killed in such actions last year.
A strong decline in Europe
67 countries experienced terrorist attacks that cost at least one life last year, but in Europe, the number of killed in such actions fell by 75% compared with the previous year.
“Although the number killed in terrorist attacks in Europe has fallen, the number of such attacks has increased. It shows that IS has lost the ability to plan and coordinate major terrorist attacks’’ said IEP’s leader, Steve Killea.
Having suffered a major defeat in Syria and Iraq, IS is no longer so attractive, he believes, while increased monitoring and greater efforts to combat terrorism in many countries have made it harder for IS to succeed with major actions.
In Asia, both Myanmar and the Philippines experienced a sharp rise in terrorism, with 166 and 50 killed respectively in 2017.
According to the Global Terrorism Index, right-wing extremists are planning ever-increasing terrorist attacks in both North America and Western Europe.
Over the past four years, there have been 127 right-wing terrorist attacks, and these have cost 66 lives. Last year there were 59 such attacks, in which 17 people were killed.
“The majority of these attacks were carried out by individuals with right-wing beliefs, white nationalists or Muslim haters,” the report said.
“Conflicts and state terrorism are the leading causes of terrorism,” said Steve Killea.
“The ten countries hardest hit by terrorism were all involved in at least one violent conflict, and eight of them have been involved in at least one major war with more than 1,000 killed,” he said.
Ten countries accounted for 84% of all terrorist attacks, including countries where extrajudicial executions, torture, and imprisonment, unlawfulness and a poor justice system account for 99% according to Killea.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today