Nearly 18,000 people died in terrorist attacks in 2013 — 66% by Taliban, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State

“The index added that poverty rates, educational achievement and most economy factors aren’t related with terrorism.”

boko-haramFierce Homeland Security (Nov 25) — In 2013, nearly 18,000 people around the world were killed in terrorist attacks, a 61-percent increase from the prior year, according to the recently published annual Global Terrorism Index report.

Most of the terrorist incidents were concentrated in only a handful of countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria – collectively accounting for nearly 15,000, or 82 percent, of the fatalities, the report noted.

Of those countries, Iraq was the most impacted, accounting for nearly 2,500 attacks that killed more than 6,300 people. By comparison, the index showed that the United States had nine incidents last year, resulting in six fatalities.

Twenty-four countries experienced terrorist attacks that killed more than 50 people, while 75 countries did not experience an attack.

The index, which was released Nov. 16, is published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank based in Australia. It defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”

It said four groups – the Taliban, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is also known as the Islamic State – accounted for 66 percent of all fatalities.

The three main factors that contribute to terrorism, the index noted, are state-sponsored violence such as extra-judicial killings, group grievances and high levels of criminality. However, the index added that poverty rates, educational achievement and most economy factors aren’t related with terrorism.

“Terrorism doesn’t arise on its own; by identifying the factors associated with it, long term policies can be implemented to improve the underlying environment that nurtures terrorism,” said Steve Killelea, an IT entrepreneur who founded the institute in 2007.

“The most significant actions that can be taken are to reduce state-sponsored violence, reduce group grievances and hostilities, and improve effective and community-supported policing,” he added.

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