(CNSNews.com) - Sunni Muslim terrorists committed “about 70 percent” of the 12,533 terrorist murders in the world last year, according to a report by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).
The information comes from the 2011 NCTC Report on Terrorism, which is based on information available as of March 12, 2012.
“Sunni extremists accounted for the greatest number of terrorist attacks and fatalities for the third consecutive year,” the report says. “More than 5,700 incidents were attributed to Sunni extremists, accounting for nearly 56 percent of all attacks and about 70 percent of all fatalities.”
The report says that in 2011, a total of 10,283 terrorism attacks across the world killed 12,533 people. Terrorism also is blamed for 25,903 injuries and 5,554 kidnappings.
According to NCTC, of the 12,533 terrorism-related deaths worldwide, 8,886 were perpetrated by “Sunni extremists,” 1,926 by “secular/political/anarchist” groups, 1,519 by “unknown” factions, 170 by a category described as “other”, and 77 by “Neo-Nazi/Fascist/White Supremacist” groups.
CNSNews.com asked NCTC if it could break down the fatality and incident statistics by religious groups other than Sunni Muslims.
Carl Kropf, a spokesman at NCTC, told CNSNews.com that the “only portrayal” NCTC has of terrorism perpetrators in 2011 is what is found in the report.
“We don’t break it down any further than that,” he said. “I thought it was a pretty good treatment of how it is not just Sunni extremists, but there are other elements that conduct attacks, and those are captured as best we can.”
The report showed that the number of terrorism-related fatalities “decreased by 5 percent” from 13,193 in 2010 to 12,533 in 2011, while the number of attacks dropped 12 percent from 11,641 in 2010 to 10,283 last year.
“More than half [6,418] of the people killed in 2011 were civilians and 755 were children,” the report noted.
Coming second after civilians were police: NCTC found that terrorism was responsible for the deaths of 2,423 law enforcement officers, followed by military security forces (1,389), and government representatives (768).
“Muslims continued to bear the brunt of terrorism, while attacks targeting Christians dropped nearly 45 percent from a five-year high in 2010,” stated NCTC.
“In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years,” added the report.
Countries with Muslim majorities such as Afghanistan “suffered the largest number of fatalities overall (in 2011) with 3,245 deaths, followed by Iraqis (2,958), Pakistanis (2,038), Somalis (1,013), and Nigerians (590).”
Al-Qaida (AQ) and its affiliates, considered to be Sunni extremists, were “responsible for at least 688 attacks that resulted in almost 2,000 deaths,” the report showed.
The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, also comprised of Sunni extremists, “conducted over 800 attacks that resulted in nearly 1,900 deaths,” NCTC said.
According to the report, the second largest category of terrorism perpetrators in 2011 after Sunni extremists was “secular, political, and anarchist groups,” which were primarily identified as Marxist, communist sympathizers.
“Secular, political, and anarchist groups were the next largest category of perpetrators, conducting 2,283 attacks with 1,926 fatalities, a drop of 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively, from 2010,” stated NCTC.
The most active of the secular, political, and anarchist groups in 2011 included the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC (377 attacks); the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) (351 attacks); the New People’s Army/Communist Party of the Philippines (NPA-CPP) (102 attacks); and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in Turkey (48 attacks). added the agency.
The U.S. State Department’s 2011 Country Report on Terrorism describes FARC as a fighting “in support of Marxist goals” and being “heavily involved in narcotics production and trafficking.”
The NCTC did not provide the exact number of deaths from FARC-related attacks. Most of the attacks and deaths related to terrorism that occurred across the world in 2011 involved armed conflict and bombings, according to the report.
There were 5,895 terrorism-related armed attacks resulting in 4,290 deaths that year and 6,724 bombings causing 4,150 fatalities.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) “were the most frequently used and the deadliest weapon employed,” the report said.
The National Counterterrorism Center was created in 2004 to ensure, in part, that U.S. government agencies have appropriate access to and receive the intelligence necessary to accomplish their assigned missions.
There were 6,354 deaths from 3,747 IEDs in 2011.