The 2014 edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), produced by an organization modestly named Institute for Economics & Peace, headquartered in Sydney
is an attempt to systematically rank the nations of the world according to terrorist activity. The index combines a number of factors associated with terrorist attacks to build an explicit picture of the impact of terrorism over a 10-year period, illustrating trends, and providing a data series for analysis by researchers and policymakers... [source]It's a major work, filled with interesting data-driven insights about terrorism in 2013 across the world, and by comparison with the past:
- 87 countries experienced a terrorist incident; the number was 81 in 2012. That's a 7.4% year-on-year increase by our figuring.
- The number of people murdered by terrorists (the study calls such events deaths, which we think is somewhat missing the point) in 2013 was 17,958. For the previous year, it was 11,133. According to our spreadsheet, that's a year-on-year increase of 61.3%.
- And for those who still think the forces of good are prevailing over the terrorists, this shrieking siren: "The number of people who have died from terrorist activity has increased fivefold since the year 2000". That's a global statistic, and it ought to shake us.
- In some ways, the data seem to say terrorism is a highly localized problem. 60 per cent of all attacks (by number) occurred in a handful of countries; Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. But the entire rest of the world, apart from these five, experienced a 54 per cent increase in terrorist events during 2013, year on year. Kind of hard to make the case that we're overcoming the threat.
- Still, the authors try to offer comfort in this statistic: more than 85 per cent of all 2013 terror incidents "were successful". (How does that compare with attempted bank robberies, attempted rapes, attempted murders, across the globe in 2013? We don't know.) The "good" news? In 2011, the success rate exceeded 90%. So, compared to that, things are looking up, right? Wonderful.
|From the GTI report|