Global Terrorism Index 2018

Muslim militant with black fabric obscuring his head and face can be seen facing away. A rifle is draped over his shoulder.The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) in collaboration with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) led by the University of Maryland has released its annual Global Terrorism Index (GTI). The report represents “a comprehensive study analysing the impact of terrorism for 163 countries and which covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population.”

Covering data from over the last 20 years, this is the sixth report of its kind that focuses on key global and regional trends in terrorism threat assessment. Based on the provided Global Terrorism Index Map and Terrorist Incidents Map, this year’s report illustrates changes in terrorism impact and numbers of associated fatalities across the world. Of particular interest are the sections covering the emerging hotspots of terrorism, as well as the drivers behind global terrorist recruitment.

The Global Terrorism Index 2018 indicates a continuous decline in deaths from terrorism, whereby the total number of deaths decreased by 27% in 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. At the same time, the GTI also highlights the persistence of terrorism in many regions coupled with a few cases of worsening conditions. In particular, Somalia and Egypt show the largest increases in the number of deaths from terrorism in 2017, while Angola and Spain record the largest declines.

Furthermore, the report indicates an alarming trend in the rise of far-right political terrorism in North America and Western Europe. According to the information provided, in these regions “the majority of attacks were carried out by lone actors with far-right, white nationalist, or anti-Muslim beliefs.” Similarly, the return of foreign fighters back to their countries of origin, coupled with continuous efforts to recruit vulnerable individuals, provides a significant cause for concern for domestic counterterrorism policy makers and law enforcement officials. In addition, expert contributions to the report focus on multi-disciplinary approaches to countering violent extremism, including economic development, cyber domain, and public diplomacy campaigns.

Additional resources on terrorism and threats can be found on the HSDL Timeline and in our Featured Topics on Domestic TerrorismGlobal TerrorismLone Wolf Terrorism, and Suicide Bombers. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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