Egypt ranks 13 on global list of countries affected by terrorism - report

Tuesday 17-11-2015 07:55 PM
Egypt ranks 13 on global list of countries affected by terrorism - report

A map included in the Global Terrorism Index 2015, showing all attacks that took place in 2014 in red, scaled for number of fatalities and the worst attacks in blue. Courtesy of Global Terroism Index report


CAIRO, Nov. 17 (Aswat Masriya) - Deaths from terrorism in 2014 were at the "highest level ever recorded," according to a report issued on Tuesday, and its economic cost in the past year alone hit $52.9 billion.

The  Global Terrorism Index 2015 says the cost of terrorism in 2014 was higher than it was in 2001, when it was $51.51 billion. This was the year that the World Trade Centre in New York was attacked, killing thousands in the Twin Towers and other coordinated attacks that were carried out in the U.S.

The third edition of the report, which is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace think tank, focuses on 2014 and says that the total number of deaths from terrorism in that year was 32,685, "constituting an 80 percent increase from the recorded 18,111 deaths in 2013.

The majority of deaths last year occurred in three countries, Syria, Iraq and Nigeria. In these countries, the militant group the Islamic State Fighters in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, Boko Haram and the Fulani militants are active.

"While terrorism is highly concentrated in a small number of countries, the number of countries which have had a terrorist attack is also increasing," the report said.

The report comes at a time when terrorism is high on the global agenda, after numerous high profile attacks that left a large number of civilian casualties and attracted international media attention. The latest of these being the successive deadly attack in Paris on Friday night, which left 129 people dead, the Beirut twin bombings killing 41 and the sabotage of a Russian plane over Sinai killing 224.

The Global Terrorism Index 2015 includes 162 countries and features a list placing them in the order of the extent to which they were impacted by terrorism.

It says that although 69 of the countries included in the report did not experience attacks, the "spread of terrorism" is increasing. Ninety-three countries have experienced an attack in 2014, an increase from 88 in 2013.

The rankings of the countries assesses the impact of terrorism based on several factors, including civilian deaths, property damage, business and the effects on police, military and militia or militant groups.

Together with Nigeria, Iraq accounts for 53 percent of deaths from terrorism in 2014. "The levels in Iraq are the highest ever recorded in a single country," the report said. Yet, Boko Haram has overtaken ISIS to become the world's deadliest group.

Iraq has been among the 10 countries most affected by terrorism between 2000 and 2014 for 12 years and Syria has been on the list for three years.

Syria comes in fifth place on the list of countries affected where terrorism "is a direct result of the Syrian civil war," according to the report.

Foreign fighters countined to flow into both Syria and Iraq in 2014 and 2015, where ISIS is based. The report says that from 2011, "between 25,000 and 30,000 fighters, from 100 different countries" went to these two countries.

"This highlights that the attraction of these jihadist groups is still strong," it said.

The report says that in the West, "lone wolf" attacks have a "striking prevalence", adding that "Islamic fundamentalism" was not the primary driver behind them. "Right wing extremists, nationalists, anti-government elements, other types of political extremism and supremacism," were all cited as reasons.

It says that ISIS "has replaced al-Qa’ida as the biggest threat for attacks in the West through lone wolf tactics." The five deadliest attacks in the West took place in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Belgium.

Along with the U.S., Egypt has been on the list of 10 countries most affected for a year between 2000 and 2014.

Among the "worrying trends" cited by the report is the increase in the number of countries with "major terrorist activity." The report defined this as countries with over 500 deaths from terrorism and says that there is a 120 percent increase between 2013 and 2014, as the number jumped  from five to 11 countries.

"Ten of the 11 countries with more than 500 deaths from terrorism also had the highest levels of refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDP) migration in the world," the report says. 

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