Global terrorism rose 25 percent last year, with a high proportion of terrorism occurring in the Middle East, according to a report by the London-based research firm IHS Markit.
“In 2016, there was a notable rise in the number of attacks compared to 2015. We saw more lower-level asymmetric attacks this past year and increases in longer-term conflict zones like eastern Ukraine,” said Matthew Henman, head of the IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC), which commissioned the report.
Over the course of the last year, terrorists conducted 24,202 attacks worldwide, compared to 18,987 in 2015 – a 25 percent increase.
The report also found that the Islamic State is the world’s leading terrorist organization, accounting for 18 percent of total terror attacks worldwide and 39 percent of civilian fatalities.
“In 2016, we saw activity attributed to or claimed by Islamic State outside of the Middle East rise. These kinds of attacks account for 16 percent of all Islamic State attacks in 2016, but this is a marked increase from just 8 percent in 2015,” Henman said.
The two countries with the highest terror activity remain Syria and Iraq, where 45 percent of the world’s attacks take place. The report found growing levels of terror activity in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea.
Although the Islamic State is “almost certain” to lose some of its main territorial holdings in both Iraq and Syria, the group is planning to expand into other regions, such as Indonesia, where Islamofascism is rising.
Another Islamic terror group, Jabhat Fath al-Sham, formerly the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, could also grow significantly in 2017, having increased the number of terror attacks executed in 2016 by 20 percent. The former Nusra Front is also seeking to merge with other rebel groups in Syria.
Other countries with rising terror threats include Turkey and Yemen, as Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, crushed a military coup in July of last year, and a civil war wages on in Yemen between government and rebel forces.
Since Barack Obama became president of the United States in 2009, annual terrorism has increased fourfold. In 2008, George. W. Bush’s final year as president, 7,654 people were killed in terrorist attacks, compared to the record figure of 32,658 people that were killed in 2016.