The worldwide total of deaths relating to terrorism has fallen 59 percent since 2014, says the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), reports Politico. “Despite the overall fall in the global impact of terrorism, it remains a significant and serious threat in many countries,” said the Institute for Economies & Peace. Still, Western Europe, North America and Oceania have seen the sharpest increase in terror deaths “at any time in the last 50 years,” a 250 percent rise. The GTI foresees the West’s adverse trend continuing, citing the prevalence of “political instability and violence” caused by the economic downturn from the pandemic. Far-right attacks are more likely to be “carried out by unaffiliated individuals” compared with other strains of terrorism, with more than 60 percent not being attributed to any particular organization over the past 50 years.
“This does not mean that far-right terrorists have no contact with extremist organizations,” the report says. “Contact with likeminded individuals can be a significant factor in the radicalization process.” An overwhelming number of terror-related deaths (96 percent) are still localized in conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Syria and African countries such as Nigeria and Somalia. The GTI report ranked Afghanistan at number one for terror-related deaths. The U.S. (29) and U.K. (30) were the highest ranked Western countries, closely followed by Ukraine (36). In the past month, Europe has experienced Islamist attacks in France (38), Austria (91), and Switzerland (113), totalling seven dead and nearly 30 injured.