The number of people killed by acts of terrorism in 2014 increased 80% to 32,658, according to a new study, Sky News reports. Islamist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State were between them responsible for 51% of all claimed global killings, and 78% of all deaths occurred in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
The Global Terrorism Index report compiled using data collected by the University of Maryland also reveals the economic cost of terrorism has increased tenfold since 2000. In 2014 terrorism cost a total of $52.9bn globally, an increase of 61% from the previous year’s total of $32.9bn.
The number of countries that suffered more than 500 deaths more than doubled, increasing from five in 2013 to 11 in 2014, including Somalia, Ukraine, Yemen, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Cameroon. Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace which produced the report, said: “What is most striking from our analysis is how the drivers of terrorism differ between more and less developed countries.
“In the West, socio-economic factors such as youth unemployment and drug crime correlate with terrorism. In non-OECD countries, terrorism shows stronger associations with ongoing conflict, corruption and violence. “Ten of the 11 countries most affected by terrorism also have the highest rates of refugees and internal displacement.
This highlights the strong inter-connectedness between the current refugee crisis, terrorism and conflict.” lthough so-called “lone wolf” attackers were the main perpetrators of terrorist activity in the West, causing 70% of all deaths over the past 10 years, Islamic fundamentalism was not the main driver of terrorism in Western countries.
Some 80% of lone wolf deaths were caused by political extremists, nationalists, racial and religious supremacists. The report found that since 1989 the two factors most closely associated with terrorism are the levels of political violence committed by the state, and the level of armed conflict within a country.
Some 92% of all terrorist attacks between 1989 and 2014 occurred in countries where political violence by the government was widespread.