Global Terrorism Essay 2015 Gmc

  • The Institute for Economics and Peace released the 2017 Global Terrorism Index report.
  • Deaths from terrorism decreased between 2015 and 2016, continuing a decline from a peak reached in 2014.
  • Seventy seven countries experienced at least one death from terrorism.

Between 2002 and the end of 2016, eight of the world's nine regions experienced an increase in terrorist activity, according to the 2017 Global Terrorism Index report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

North America was the only region to see a decline.

Deaths from terrorism decreased from 2015 to 2016, continuing a decline from a peak reached in 2014. Last year's 25,673 deaths from terrorism marked the second consecutive annual decline and a 22% drop from 2014.

Despite the falling terrorism-related body count, 77 countries experienced at least one death from terrorism. The increase from 65 countries in 2015 drove the Global Terrorism Index score down by 4%.

The top-five countries in the index — Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan, respectively — had nearly three-quarters off all deaths from terrorism in 2016, but all except Iraq saw the number of deaths drop in that same year. Yemen, Somalia, India, Turkey, and Libya rounded out the top 10 countries in the index.

Here's a map of how terrorism spiked across the world in the past year:

Iraq saw a 40% increase in deaths last year — an increase driven largely by ISIS activity in response to government efforts to liberate territory held by the group.

Nigeria had the greatest decline, with 3,100 fewer deaths last year compared to 2015. That reduction was driven by an 80% drop in the number of people killed by Boko Haram.

Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria together saw more than 500 fewer deaths in 2016 than in 2015.

Globally, attacks against civilians rose 17% between 2015 and 2016.

Terrorism-related deaths have also increased, along with battle-related deaths, rising 67% and 66%, respectively, in the decade spanning 2006 and 2016.

Since 2014, attacks against nontraditional targets with unconventional tactics have grown more common in OECD countries. ISIS and ISIS-related actors have shown these tactics are more likely to be effective.

ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban were the four deadliest terrorist groups in 2016, accounting for 59% of deaths. ISIS was the most potent, with a 50% increase in deaths from the previous peak in 2015.

The majority of the 9,132 people killed by the group were in Iraq. The group also directed attacks in 15 countries last year, four more than the previous year.

The Global Terrorism Index — which defines terrorism as "the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation" — analyzes the impact of terrorism in 163 countries and covers 99.7% of the world's population.


The updated GTD WebGL Globe is an interactive geographic visualization, currently in beta, that plots the location and frequency of yearly terrorist attacks worldwide from 1970-2014. It was developed by START using the WebGL Globe open platform created by the Google Data Arts Team. Automated geocoding from the OpenCage Geocoder supplements the geocoding available in the public dataset.

Periscopic, a data visualization firm that promotes information transparency and public awareness, has produced an innovative, interactive tool that allows users to explore the impact and dynamics of GTD perpetrator groups. A World of Terror examines the 25 perpetrators that were most active between 1970 and 2013, visualizing their attack patterns across multiple dimensions including life span, recency, casualties, and geographic spread.

The GTD Data Rivers 2.0 application is an interactive visualization tool that allows users to explore patterns of terrorism in the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). The GTD Data Rivers aggregates information from the database and displays relative temporal trends as a stack chart.


Learn to navigate and analyze the GTD

START has released the first in a series of training modules designed to equip GTD users with the knowledge and tools to best leverage the database. This training module provides a general overview of the GTD, including the data collection process, uses of the GTD, and patterns of global terrorism. Participants will learn basic data handling and how to generate summary statistics from the GTD using PivotTables in Microsoft Excel.


Additional START Datasets Now Available

Utilizing the Dataverse Network Project, START has created its own repository of datasets and databases on terrorism, conflict, and preparedness. This collection includes research funded by START as well as research for which START has been given permission to release. Users can read over detailed information about each dataset regarding its time period, geographic coverage, and sampling procedure.

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How do you use the GTD?

Thousands of researchers, analysts, policy-makers, and students use the GTD every day. In an effort to better understand the strengths and limitations of the GTD in practice, START would like to learn more about how the GTD informs your work. While we always welcome feedback on the database from users, we now invite you to let us know more about your responsibilities and how the GTD has been helpful to your efforts to better understand the causes and consequences of terrorism.

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GTD Data Now Downloadable

The data files for START's Global Terrorism Database (GTD) can now be downloaded directly from the GTD's website.

GTD includes thorough data on more than 170,000 terrorist incidents that have occurred around the world since 1970. Users can now download these data via the "Contact GTD" portion of the GTD website.

Users should select the Download full GTD dataset option under Actions in the contact form provided.

Data are available in Excel format.


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