Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Wednesday, November 25 2020 - 16:00
2020 Global Terrorism Index: Deaths from terrorism reach five-year low, but new risks emerge
LONDON, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

- Globally deaths from terrorism fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 to 
13,826, a 15 per cent decrease from the prior year
- In North America, Western Europe and Oceania, far-right attacks have 
increased by 250 per cent since 2014 - they are higher now than at any time in 
the last 50 years
- 63 countries recorded at least one death from terrorism, the lowest number 
since 2013
- The global economic impact of terrorism was US$16.4 billion in 2019, a 
decrease of 25 per cent from the previous year
- ISIL's centre of gravity moves to sub-Saharan Africa with total deaths by 
ISIL in the region increasing by 67%
- ISIL and their affiliates were also responsible for attacks in 27 countries 
in 2019

The 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) has found that deaths from terrorism fell 
for the fifth consecutive year since peaking in 2014. The number of deaths has 
now decreased by 59 per cent since 2014 to 13,826. Conflict remains the primary 
driver of terrorism, with over 96 per cent of deaths from terrorism in 2019 
occurring in countries already in conflict.

The annual Global Terrorism Index, now in its eighth year, is developed by 
leading think tank the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) 
[ ]and provides the most comprehensive 
resource on global terrorism trends. 

The largest decreases in deaths occurred in Afghanistan and Nigeria, however 
they are still the only two countries to have experienced more than 1,000 
deaths from terrorism. The fall in deaths was also reflected in country scores, 
with 103 improving compared to 35 that deteriorated. This is the highest number 
of countries to record a year-on-year improvement since the inception of the 

Despite the overall fall in the global impact of terrorism, it remains a 
significant and serious threat in many countries. There were 63 countries in 
2019 that recorded at least one death from a terrorist attack, and the largest 
increase in terrorism occurred in Burkina Faso – where deaths rose by 590 per 
cent. Other countries to deteriorate substantially are Sri Lanka, Mozambique, 
Mali and Niger.

Some of the other key findings: 
- The ten countries with the highest impact from terrorism are: Afghanistan, 
Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, India, Democratic Republic of 
Congo and the Philippines
- For the second year in a row South Asia is the region most impacted by 
terrorism, while Central America and the Caribbean region recorded the lowest 
- MENA recorded the largest regional improvement in terrorism for the second 
consecutive year, recording the lowest number of deaths since 2003

Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman of IEP: "As we enter a new decade we are 
seeing new threats of terrorism emerge. The rise of the far-right in the West 
and the deteriorations in the Sahel are prime examples. Additionally, as seen 
in the recent attacks in France and Austria, many smaller groups sympathetic to 
ISIL philosophies are still active. To break these influences three major 
initiatives are needed – to break their media coverage and online social 
networks, disrupt their funding and lessen the number of sympathisers."

The GTI uses a number of factors to calculate its score, including the number 
of incidences, fatalities, injuries and property damage. The Taliban remained 
the world's deadliest terrorist group in 2019; however, terrorist deaths 
attributed to the group declined by 18 per cent. ISIL's strength and influence 
also continued to decline, for the first time since the group became active it 
was responsible for less than a thousand deaths in any one year.  

Despite the decrease in activity from ISIL in the Middle East and North Africa, 
ISIL's affiliate groups remain active across the world, with 27 countries 
recording an attack by ISIL or its affiliates. Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit 
the hardest, with seven of the ten countries with the largest increases in 
terrorism deaths residing in the region. ISIL affiliates are mainly responsible 
for the increase with 41 per cent of all ISIL related deaths occurring in 
sub-Saharan Africa.

For North America, Western Europe, and Oceania, the threat of far-right 
political terrorism has been rising over the past five years. In these regions 
far-right incidents increased by 250 per cent between 2014 and 2019. There were 
89 deaths attributed to far-right terrorists in 2019. Over the past decade 
measures of societal resilience have been falling in many of the economically 
advanced economies. This trend is likely to continue because of the extended 
economic downturn caused by COVID-19, which is likely to increase political 
instability and violence.  

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization 
(WHO) in March 2020, preliminary data suggests a decline in both incidents and 
deaths from terrorism in most regions in the world. However, the COVID-19 
pandemic is likely to present new and distinct counter-terrorism challenges. It 
is important that counter-terrorism initiatives are not curtailed because of 
decreases in government expenditure due to the economic downturn. Reductions in 
international assistance for counter-terrorism operations in MENA and 
sub-Saharan Africa could prove to be counter-productive.

Thomas Morgan, Senior Research Fellow at IEP, explains the findings: "Between 
2011 and 2019, riots and violent demonstrations in the West increased by 277 
per cent. There are serious concerns that the deteriorating economic conditions 
will lead to more people becoming alienated and susceptible to extremist 

The fall in terrorism has also been accompanied by a reduction in the global 
economic impact of terrorism, decreasing by 25 per cent to US$16.4 billion in 
2019. Compared to other forms of violence such as homicide, armed conflict, and 
military expenditure, terrorism is a small percentage of the total global cost 
of violence, which was equal to US$14.5 trillion in 2019. However, the true 
economic impact of terrorism is much higher as these figures do not account for 
the indirect impact on business, investment, and the costs associated with 
security agencies in countering terrorism. 

Notes to Editors 
The full GTI 2020 report and interactive map are available at: [ ]or  
Follow: @GlobPeaceIndex 

Global Terrorism Index (GTI)
The GTI by the Institute for Economics & Peace provides a comprehensive summary 
of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 18 years. The 
report ranks 163 countries (99.7 per cent of the world's population) according 
to how impacted they are by terrorism. The indicators include the number of 
terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage. 

Global Terrorism Database
The GTI uses data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) datasets on 
terrorism by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses 
to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence 
led by the University of Maryland. It provides the most comprehensive resource 
on global terrorist trends.

Institute for Economics & Peace
The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) is the world's leading think tank 
dedicated to developing metrics to analyse peace and to quantify its economic 
value. It does this by developing global and national indices, including the 
annual Global Peace Index, calculating the economic cost of violence and 
understanding Positive Peace which is the attitudes, institutions and 
structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.

Logo -  

Source: Institute for Economics & Peace