Annual terrorist attacks have more than quadrupled since the September 11, 2001, attacks, a new study finds, with Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Yemen most affected. But, after peaking in 2007, the number of deaths per year in such attacks has been decreasing, Reuters reports. Last year, there were 7,473 deaths in terrorist attacks, down 25% from 2007. The Global Terrorism Index findings suggest that the war on terror has actually contributed to an increase in terrorism, since terrorist activity initially fell after 9/11, then "escalated dramatically" after the US invaded Iraq, says a researcher.
He adds that foreign powers shouldn't rush into areas like Syria, where the rebellion has led to an increase in terrorism, because unless foreign intervention brings the conflict to an end quickly, terror attacks could increase further. More findings:
- There were 982 terrorism incidents in 2002; by 2011, that number was 4,564.
- North America was least likely to see a terrorist attack, the BBC reports. Western Europe was also one of the least likely regions, but it did have 19 times more terror deaths than the US during the period studied.
- Between 2002 and 2011, just 31 of the 158 nations surveyed did not see any terrorist attacks.