World terrorism deaths rise by a third

Global deaths from terrorism have risen by 30 per cent compared to the previous five-year average, a British risk analysis company says.

The number of people killed in acts of terrorism across the world has risen by nearly a third in the past year, British experts have found.

UK-based risk analysis company Maplecroft found that over the past 12 months, global deaths rose by 30 per cent compared to the previous five-year average.

The figures come as part of Maplecroft's Terrorism and Security Dashboard (MTSD), released on Wednesday, which logs, analyses and maps every reported incident of terrorism worldwide - forming a global ranking of 197 countries on their risk of terrorism attacks.

It found that in the 12 months before July 1, there were 18,668 fatalities compared to an average of 14,443 for the five years before that - a 29.3 per cent increase.

Over the same period, the MTSD recorded 9471 attacks - an average of 26 a day - down from a five-year average of 10,468.

The dashboard says Iraq has endured the highest number of attacks in the past year with 3158 incidents, while terrorism in Nigeria is the world's deadliest, recording the highest number of deaths per attack.

The dashboard, which draws on Maplecroft's seven years of global data to reveal terrorism and security trends across the 197 countries, found that China, Egypt, Kenya and Libya have seen the most significant increases in the risk of terrorist attacks.

"The dynamic nature of terrorism means individual events are impossible to predict," chief executive Alyson Warhurst said.

"However, up-to-date global intelligence on the intensity, frequency, precise location and type of attacks can help organisations to make informed decisions relating to market entry, security measures for in-country operations, duty-of-care obligations, supply chain continuity and risk pricing."

The MTSD classifies 12 countries as "extreme risk", with Iraq on top, as well as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Libya. It also includes the growth economies of Nigeria, the Philippines, Colombia and Kenya.

Iraq recorded more than three times as many acts of terrorism as Pakistan with 3158 attacks resulting in 5929 deaths - an increase of 2188 on the previous year.

In Nigeria, the campaign of violence by Islamic militant group Boko Haram saw the country record the highest number of fatalities per attack, with Maplecroft's figures recording 146 reported attacks between July 1 last year and June 30 this year, resulting in 3477 killed - an average of 24 people killed per attack, compared to two deaths per attack in Iraq.

Maplecroft also warned of rising risks in China, Egypt, Kenya and Libya and the impact on their economies.

With terrorism incidents in Libya doubling in the past year, violence is having a toxic impact on its economy, especially its oil sector, while attacks in Egypt have hit its tourism industry, as well as in Kenya, which has been hit by increasing attacks by Somali-based Islamic militant group al Shabaab, Maplecroft says.

Maplecroft said June 2014 represented the bloodiest month in Kenya since the Westgate shopping mall attack in September 2013 in Nairobi that killed almost 70 people. In June, more than 60 people were killed by an al Shabaab attack on Mpeketoni village, in Lamu County.

The MTSD also showed attacks were on the rise in China, which is ranked 32 on the list and is classed as "medium risk". Deaths in 2014 have reached 76, compared to 16 over the first six months of 2013, Maplecroft says, and could worsen.

Jordan Perry, a principal political risk analyst at Maplecroft, said: "Libya, Kenya and Egypt are among a handful of countries to witness a significant increase in risk in the MTSD and investor confidence in key sectors, including tourism and oil and gas, has been hurt.

"When faced with rising security costs and decreasing safety for their personnel, companies can, and do, reconsider their country-level commitments."

4 min read
Published 23 July 2014 at 9:36am