India among worst-hit but terror not top concern to daily safety
A report based on the Global Terrorism Index noted India has a number of low-level conflicts in some of the border areas but the vast majority of the country’s population lives outside of these regions
India was among the 25 worst terror-hit countries but also among 56 of the 120 nations surveyed with no respondents selecting war and terror as the biggest threat to their daily safety, according to the 10th edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
A report based on the index released by Sydney-headquartered think-tank Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) on Tuesday noted India has a number of low-level conflicts in some of the border areas but the vast majority of the country’s population lives outside of these regions.
“Respondents [in places such as India] may also be desensitized to violence in their countries, especially younger respondents who have grown up alongside constant turbulence,” said the report.
The GTI score of India, which was listed among countries with a “high” impact of terrorism and ranked 13th, was 7.175 compared to 8.822 of Afghanistan which topped the index.
The calculation of the score considered deaths, incidents, hostages, and injuries from terrorism, weighted over a five-year period.
On average, 12% of South Asian respondents rated war and terrorism as the top concern to their daily safety, the highest of all regions. “In comparison, just 0.28 per cent of Central America and Caribbean respondents perceive war and terrorism as the biggest threat to their daily safety, the lowest of all regions,” said the report.
The report listed the Communist Party of India (Maoist) as the 12th deadliest terror group in 2022 ahead of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (13th) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (16th). The Maoists were responsible for 39 deaths and 30 injuries in 61 attacks last year, it said.
The report said fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company now controls the bulk of the black market for counterfeit cultural products in Mumbai. It cited observers and said D-Company’s transformation into a terrorist entity, supporting other terrorist groups, coincides with its entry into the counterfeit trade.
The report added D-Company was a criminal outfit that drew its profit from trafficking drugs, arms, and precious metals, prostitution, counterfeiting, and extortion. “In the early 1990s, D-Company decided to infiltrate the Indian film industry,” said the report, which summarises the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last decade.
The report said D-Company quickly developed links with al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in Kashmir. “Its involvement in the 1993 Mumbai attacks, which killed 257 people, is widely acknowledged,” said the report that used data including from TerrorismTracker, which provides event records on terrorist attacks since January 2007.
The report said deaths globally from terrorism fell by 9% to 6,701 in 2022. They were 38% lower than at their peak in 2015. The fall in deaths was mirrored by a reduction in the number of incidents, with attacks declining by almost 28% from 5,463 in 2021 to 3,955 in 2022.
“Afghanistan remained the country most impacted by terrorism for the fourth consecutive year, despite attacks and deaths falling by 75 per cent and 58 per cent respectively,” the report said.
Pakistan remained among the 10 countries most affected by terrorism in 2022, with deaths rising significantly to 643, a 120% increase from 292 deaths in 2021. “The [separatist] BLA [Balochistan Liberation Army] was responsible for a third of these deaths in Pakistan, a nine-fold increase from the prior year, making it the fastest growing terrorist group in the world.”
The report said in the West, the number of attacks continues to fall, with successive falls each year since 2017. “Forty attacks were recorded in 2022, a decrease of 27 per cent compared to the 55 attacks in 2021. However, the number of deaths more than doubled, albeit from a low base; from nine deaths in 2021 to 19 in 2022, with 11 occurring in the US.”