Nearly half of all terror attacks in 2015 occurred in four countries, including India and Pakistan, according to an annual terrorism index which also said India last year had the highest number of attacks since 2000.
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2016 published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) found that 29,376 people died from terrorism in 2015, down 3,389 on the previous year and the first fall since 2010.
India was named among the four countries where nearly half of all terrorist attacks occurred in 2015, besides Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Improvements continued to be recorded in India, which historically has had high levels of terrorist activity. In 2015 India had the highest number of attacks since 2000, whilst paradoxically it had the second lowest number of deaths for a single year since 2000,” the report says.
“75%of attacks in India had no fatalities, compared to 44% globally...The country had 797 attacks that resulted in 289 deaths, compared to 764 attacks with 418 deaths the previous year,” the report said.
Pakistan was also named among the five countries with the highest impact from terrorism, besides Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria. These five countries accounted for 72% of all deaths from terrorism in 2015.
“Pakistan continued to see declines in its levels of terrorism due to infighting within the largest active group, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, as well as to the operations of the Pakistan Army in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas,” the report said.
The index also shows that the IS is now officially the deadliest terrorist group in the world, overtaking Boko Haram, after claiming responsibility for 6,141 deaths through attacks in more than 250 different cities in 2015.
And the number of countries in which IS has carried out attacks more than doubled, from 13 in 2014 to 28 in 2015.
Steve Killelea, executive chairman of IEP, said: “This year’s GTI report highlights the most complex set of dynamics in global terrorism in the last 16 years. While on the one hand the reduction in deaths is positive, the continued intensification of terrorism in some countries and its spread to new ones is a cause for serious concern and underscores the fluid nature of modern terrorist activity.
“The attacks in the heartland of Western democracies underscore the need for fast paced and tailored responses to the evolution of these organisations.”
Though the index identifies 274 distinct terrorist groups around the world, between them ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the Taliban were responsible for 75 per cent of all terror-related deaths, the report said.
The index suggested there were lessons to be learned, such as the fact that only 0.5 per cent of terrorist attacks occurred in countries which have no involvement in foreign conflicts and low levels of ‘state-sponsored terror’ -– extra- judicial deaths, torture and imprisonment without trial.
It said terrorism cost an estimated $89.6 billion in 2015, down 15 per cent on the previous year.