Fewer terror victims globally, far-right attacks on the rise | News | DW | 20.11.2019
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Fewer terror victims globally, far-right attacks on the rise

The fall of al-Shabab and Islamic State partly accounts for the decrease in deaths by terror worldwide. Far-right attacks are on the rise, and deaths at the hands of far-right terrorists are increasing.

The number of deaths caused by terrorist attacks has fallen globally, but the number of countries experiencing terror has increased, largely as a result of the rise in far-right attacks, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2019, published Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) think tank.

Global deaths from terrorism totaled 15,952, a 15.2% decrease in 2018. The number has more than halved when compared with a high of 33,555 deaths in 2014, according to the think tank's report.

The report attributed the fall in terrorism-related deaths to the fall of Islamic State in Iraq and victories in Somalia over al-Shabab insurgents.

"The collapse of ISIL in Syria and Iraq was one of the factors allowing Western Europe to record its lowest number of incidents since 2012, with no deaths attributed to the group in 2018," IEP executive chairman Steve Killelea wrote in a statement, referring to Islamic State by an alternate acronym.

Western Europe also saw numbers of deaths from all terrorist incidents fall for the second year in a row, down from 200 in 2017 to 62 deaths in 2018. The region also recorded its lowest number of incidents since 2012.

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Far-right terrorism is growing

However, the report said an increasing number of countries are experiencing terrorist attacks, as a result of the rise of far-right terrorism.

In 2018, 71 countries suffered at least one terrorism-related death, the second-highest number since the beginning of the century.

The report highlights the March 2019 attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where 51 people were killed as an example of terrorism spreading to countries with "almost no prior history" or terrorist activity" as a result of far-right ideology.

Over the past five years western Europe, North America and Oceania have seen an increase of 320% in attacks committed by far-right terrorists.

Deaths from far-right terrorism on the rise

Deaths from right-wing terrorist attacks have risen, as far-right terrorists have become more active.

There was a total of 77 deaths attributed to far-right terror between January and September 2019, a 52% increase from 2018 when 26 people were killed in far-right attacks and 11 deaths in 2017.

However, these numbers still remain low, relative to other forms of terrorism, the report notes.

The report also highlights the tendency within the far-right for individual actors or "lone wolf" attackers, compared with other types of terrorists.

The report classifies 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."

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