Islamist Terror Fatalities ‘Skyrocketed 774%’ Worldwide in Past 5 Years

Barbara Hollingsworth | March 29, 2016 | 3:00pm EDT
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Members of Boko Haram, a jihadist group in Nigeria. (AP photo)

( --  Islamist terror-related deaths across the globe “have skyrocketed 774 percent” since 2011, according to an analysis of multiple databases by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

“IPT research found that an average of 3,284 people died in Islamic terror attacks only five years ago. Today that average is 28,708 per year,” the IPT report noted.

“At least 10,780 deaths” since 2013 were attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“The global statistics clarify that tactics employed by the United States and Western allies to counter the Islamist threat are failing and the threat may be much worse than what has been imagined previously,” the report stated.

“There may be isolated successes against jihadist groups, but there still is no effective, broad-based strategy for containing or defeating them. We are losing this war.”

(Investigative Project on Terrorism)

In 2014-2015, Iraq had the most terror-related fatalities (8,134), followed by Nigeria (7,520) and Afghanistan (4,207), IPT found.

“The five countries in which the U.S. involved itself militarily – Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen - … “account for 55 percent of all fatalities caused by radical Islamist terror” over the past two years.

But fatal terror attacks are also occurring over a much larger geographical area, IPT found.

“From 2001-2006, the threat was dispersed in area and occurring primarily in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Russia. By 2014-2015, significant Islamist terrorist activity could be found in 18 countries, with most concentrated in Africa and the Middle East,” the report stated.

IPT predicts that the next two years will see even more terror-related deaths worldwide.

“Attacks will continue increasing in 2016-2017 in lethality and geography” in a number of countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, the group warned.

Former House Intelligence chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), now a senior fellow at IPT, said that the recent sharp increase in the number of terror-related fatalities is due to both the Syrian civil war and the spread of jihadists in other parts of the globe.

“Number one, bad guys are attracted into failed states. Failed states also breed bad people. So places like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, failed states, they really do breed them. They are the hotbed of what these radical jihadist groups are and where you see the majority of the fatalities,” Hoekstra told Fox News.

“But the other thing that you start to see is they are the hotbed, but they also become kind of a genesis from where radical jihadist movements spread throughout the region.

“So you have both tendencies. They are the epicenter of where the attacks are taking place, but they are also breeding grounds for the expansionist movements on a global basis.”

Warning that terrorist groups like ISIS have already learned how to exploit social media for propaganda and recruitment purposes, Hoekstra predicted that terror attacks will increase over the next three years, mostly in Europe, Africa and Asia.

“They’re really going to focus on Europe and other parts of the world as well,” he said. “The ocean still provides some kind of a barrier for them to come into the United States. The United States will be a market of opportunity… If they can attack us here, they will, but I think there’s other regions of the world that are going to be at greater risk than the United States in the next 24 to 36 months.” 

Hoekstra noted that Western nations have been unable to stop the jihadists’ advance.

Islamic State terrorists. (AP photo)

“The West has demonstrated an ability to remove regimes relatively easily, but it has been unable to transition these countries toward stable governments that can maintain order and stability within their own borders,” Hoekstra wrote in a March 28 oped.

“Western military and security leaders….do not appear willing to commit the short-term resources necessary to completely eradicate” the two caliphates - “one the size of Indiana in Iraq and Syria and the other along the Mediterranean coast in Libya.” 

“They need to recognize the magnitude of the defeat that [the West] is facing and develop bipartisan solutions that will diminish and eliminate the swelling threat,” Hoekstra concluded.

The data in the IPT report was collected by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) and the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database, which contains information on over 140,000 terrorist attacks that occurred worldwide since 1970. 

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