Global Terrorism Index 2018

Deaths from terrorism fell for the third consecutive year, after peaking in 2014.

The Global Terrorism Index 2018 shows the total number of deaths decreased by 27 per cent in 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria.

A drop in fatalities was also reflected in country scores with 94 countries improving, compared to 46 that deteriorated. This is the highest number of countries to record a year-on-year improvement since 2004.

The two countries with the most significant falls in terrorism are Iraq and Syria with deaths falling by 5,000 and 1,000 respectively. The large falls in the number of deaths in Iraq and Syria is mainly the result of ISIL’s continuing decline.

The number of deaths from terrorist attacks attributed to ISIL fell by 52 per cent in 2017. There was a corresponding decrease in the lethality of attacks, highlighting the weakening capacity of the organisation. Despite its reduced capacity, ISIL remained the deadliest terrorist group globally in 2017. ISIL has now lost most of its territory and nearly all of its revenue with the reduced capabilities being reflected in the diminishing rate of deaths per attack. Preliminary data suggests this trajectory will continue into 2018.

Western Europe recorded a marked fall of 52 per cent in terrorism with France, Germany and Belgium all recording a significant fall in deaths from terrorism. In 2017, the number of deaths fell to 81 from 168 in the previous year. This trend has continued into 2018 with only eight deaths being recorded to October 2018.

Despite findings showing that terrorism is on the decline, the GTI also shows that terrorism is still widespread and even getting worse in some regions.

In the Middle East and Africa, five countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria recorded more than 1,000 deaths, while 19 countries recorded more than 100 deaths.

Somalia and Egypt recorded the largest increases in the number of deaths from terrorism in 2017 – one attack in Somalia killed 587 people and another in Egypt killed 311 people. Deaths from terrorism increased by 93 per cent in Somalia from 2016 to 2017.

Afghanistan recorded the highest number of terrorism deaths in 2017, replacing Iraq.

Angola and Spain had the largest deteriorations in score in the GTI, as a result of a single attack in Angola and multiple attacks in Spain.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Myanmar and The Philippines show a record number of terrorism deaths in 2017 with 166 deaths and 50 deaths respectively.

Despite findings showing that terrorism is on the decline, the GTI also shows that terrorism is still widespread and even getting worse in some regions.

In North America and Western Europe, the threat of far-right political terrorism is on the rise. In the four years between 2013 and 2017, there were 66 deaths and 127 attacks caused in Western Europe and North America by far-right groups and individuals. In 2013, there were no deaths, compared to 17 in 2017. The majority of attacks were carried out by lone actors with far-right, white nationalist, or anti-Muslim beliefs.

Alongside the fall in terrorism, the global economic impact of terrorism has also dropped, decreasing by 42 per cent to US$52 billion in 2017. Deaths accounted for 72 per cent of the economic impact of terrorism, with the remainder stemming from GDP losses, property destruction, and non-fatal injuries.  The true economic impact of terrorism is likely to be much higher as these figures do not account for the indirect impacts on business, investment and the costs associated with security agencies in countering terrorism.

The yearly report, developed by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) based on the Global Terrorism Database by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) as well as other sources, provides the most comprehensive resource on global terrorism trends.

Global Terrorism Index

Global Terrorism Index

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