Study: Terrorism Deaths Declining Globally

Sirwan Kajjo

Deaths caused by terrorism have fallen in the past three years worldwide, a new global study found.

The sixth annual Global Terrorism Index, published by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), said terrorism deaths decreased globally by 27 percent in 2017, which is the third consecutive year of declining death tolls.

Terrorism, however, remains a major threat to global peace, the report said.

Global Terrorism Index Map 2016

The report also showed that most terrorist attacks affect countries where political violence is rampant.

The 10 nations most affected by terrorism were Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and India.

“Conflict and state terror are the principal causes of terrorism,” wrote Steve Killelea, executive chairman of IEP.

The terrorism hot spots “all were involved in at least one violent conflict, and eight were involved in a major war with at least 1,000 battle deaths. These 10 countries accounted for 84 percent of all deaths from terrorism in 2017,” the report said.

Islamic State

 The report said terrorist attacks by the Islamic State (IS) terror group fell by 23 percent, and deaths caused by the group fell by 53 percent compared with 2016.

With help from the U.S.-led coalition, local Iraqi and Syrian forces have pushed IS out of most areas it once held, including its two major strongholds of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria.

“The reduction of the [IS] caliphate has a great deal to do with this,” said Karen Greenberg, director of Center on National Security at Fordham Law. The setbacks for IS hurt the group’s image and recruiting of foreign fighters, she said.

Other analysts, like Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, believe that other militant groups continue to pose threats in different parts of the world.

“In Syria, it’s not just IS,” said Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington think tank.

“You also have another part of the insurgency driven by other organizations like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, who are legitimately jihadists,” he told VOA.


Much of the 2017 global decline in terror attacks followed declining terrorism in Iraq, where U.S.-backed government forces took control of territory once held by IS.

But despite this decline, a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington research center, said that Islamic State might still have 20,000 to 30,000 militants in Iraq and Syria.

According to the CSIS report, compared with 2017, IS attacks against Iraqi government targets increased in 2018. The terror group has been carrying out an average of 78 attacks per month.

Maxwell Markusen, the author of the report, said that political differences between the central Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government in areas like Kirkuk and parts of Nineveh, Saladin and Diyala provinces in Iraq have hampered their operations against IS.

“If you look at what’s going on right now, there are very limited operations and the ability of the government to target IS has been significantly reduced,” he told VOA.


Afghanistan had the highest number of terrorism deaths in 2017, while Iraq saw 5,000 fewer deaths, and Syria’s death toll fell by 1,000, according to the IEP report.

In Afghanistan, battle-related deaths soared 151 percent. while deaths that resulted from terrorism rose just less than 70 percent.

“The Taliban has been gaining a significant amount of ground in Afghanistan,” said Gartenstein-Ross of FDD.

“Usually, when a militant group is on the decline, you see it losing territory amidst intensified attacks. But that’s not the case in Afghanistan, because when you have an offensive undertaken by a militant group, you will also see a jump in the numbers [of deaths],” he told VOA.

For this decline in deaths from terrorism to continue globally, leading nations should work to reduce the conditions that lead to radicalization and terrorism, experts said.

“There is a need to be vigilant as jihadists move away from the territorial model of [IS] and reinvent themselves as more diffused cell structures in Africa and Asia,” said Aykan Erdemir, a Washington-based Middle East analyst.

“Building competent and inclusive institutions and ensuring efficient delivery of services in territories liberated from [IS] and implementing deradicalization programs would be key to eradicating [IS] and its ideology of hate,” Erdemir told VOA.

VOA’s Rikar Hussein and Mehdi Jedinia contributed to this report.  VOA


Related Article

Posted on: Saturday, March 23, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

US-Backed SDF: IS ‘Caliphate’ Eliminated But Challenges Ahead

The first indications the fight against IS in Baghuz had ended came early Saturday, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali using Twitter to announce the “total elimination of so-called caliphate”

Posted on: | By: crimeandmoreworld - News Desk

Islamic State Defeated, Syrian Force Says

The biggest worry: upward of 60,000 people, including more than 5,000 IS fighters, who have surrendered or been captured since the SDF and coalition launched their final assault last month

Posted on: Thursday, March 21, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Analysts: IS Ideology Still a Threat Despite Setbacks

IS online communication and propaganda over the years has declined as the group lost territory in Iraq and Syria. Nevertheless, the jihadists have continued to recycle old propaganda messages and even create new ones

Posted on: Saturday, January 19, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Somali Military: About 70 Somali Militants Killed in Fighting, Air Strike

Both the militants’ claim and that of the Somali military could not be independently verified due to the remoteness of the area

Posted on: Monday, January 7, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

97 Taliban Killed In Kandahar Ongoing Operations

The operation was launched in Shah Wali Kot district of the province on December 26 and is ongoing, according to official


Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy more information

Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy