Annual decline: New fall in terror deaths in 2019: think tank


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On the other hand, the strength and influence of the Daesh a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, India, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Philippines as the top 10 countries that experienced the highest impact from terrorism in 2019, while Central America and the Caribbean region recorded the lowest impact. This is the highest number of countries to record a year-on-year improvement since the inception of the index.

The number of terror-related deaths in 2019 fell to 13,826, a 15 per cent decrease from the previous year, according to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

Despite the overall fall in terrorism deaths, the report found a 250 per cent increase in far-right attacks between 2014 and 2019, with 89 deaths attributed to far-right terrorists previous year. Some 63 countries in 2019 recorded at least one death from a terrorist attack; and 17 countries recorded over 100.

Despite an overall fall in the impact of terrorism across the world past year, it remains a significant and serious problem in many countries, according to a study launched this morning.

The Taleban was still "the world's deadliest terrorist group" a year ago, IEP noted, adding that the strength of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continued to decline while its affiliates remained active, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

"The rise of the far right in the West, and the deteriorations in the Sahel, are prime examples", he said.

Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman of IEP: "As we enter a new decade we are seeing new threats of terrorism emerge". Additionally, as seen in the recent attacks in France and Austria, many smaller groups sympathetic to ISIL philosophies are still active.

Despite the decrease in activity from ISIL in the Middle East and North Africa, ISIL's affiliate groups remain active across the world, with 27 countries recording an attack by ISIL or its affiliates.

He said counterintelligence agencies in the west would need to work to break the group's influence on social media, as well as target its finances and reduce the number of sympathisers who could convert into members of the group.

According to the report on the terrorism situation in South Asia, Bangladesh ranks second among the seven countries in the region.

However, Western Europe, North America and Oceania have seen the sharpest increase in terror deaths "at any time in the last 50 years", experiencing a 250 percent rise.

Almost 50% of the 332 far-right attacks since 2002 have occurred in the USA, followed by Germany with 48 incidents and Britain with 35.

Morgan also said he feared the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could have an impact on both the level and the types of terrorism that would happen in the coming years.

"Traditionally, far-right terrorism has been conducted by individuals", said Carolyn Gallaher, an expert on right-wing extremism and organized violence at American University in Washington.

The Institute of Economics and Peace warned that although terrorism-related deaths and incidents have declined since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March, the disease is likely to present a "new and distinct counter-terrorism challenge". It is important that counter-terrorism initiatives are not curtailed because of decreases in government expenditure due to the economic downturn.

Keys to the decline include the steady withering of the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq and what the institute calls "increased counter-terrorism coordination at both the state and worldwide level" around the world.

It summarises global trends in terrorism and ranks countries in order of those most affected in terms of both casualties and economic costs in 2019. "There are serious concerns that the deteriorating economic conditions will lead to more people becoming alienated and susceptible to extremist propaganda". However, Bangladesh is the most successful South Asian country in countering terrorism.

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