If it feels like deadly attacks by terror groups such as the Islamic State are in the headlines every day, new numbers from the Global Terrorism Index might explain why. The survey attributes about 18,000 deaths last year to terrorism, a rise of 60% from the previous year, reports the Guardian. Going back further to the days before the 9/11 attacks, the index sees a fivefold increase in deaths, from about 3,360 in 2000. Some facts and figures:
- 5 countries: Iraq (6,362), Afghanistan (3,111), Pakistan (2,345), Nigeria (1,826), and Syria (1,078) account for more than 80% of deaths last year.
- 4 groups: The Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Boko Haram are responsible for more than 66% of the deaths, reports the Washington Post.
- Definition: The group that puts out the index, the Institute for Economics and Peace, defines terrorism as "the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation."
- Solutions? The IEP thinks Sunni Muslim nations can lead the way by pushing moderate theologies to counter religious extremism, reports the BBC. ISIS, for instance, “needs a military response, but a military response on its own is not enough," says the IEP's leader. "Sunnis in Iraq have a lot of legitimate grievances." It's also vital that these responses come from within Islam and not "outside influences," says the report.
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