Feds see dramatic spike in global terrorism

Feds see dramatic spike in global terrorism
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The number of terrorist attacks and people killed from terrorism has risen dramatically in the last year, according to new State Department research.

Between 2013 and 2014, the number of attacks rose by 35 percent, to 13,463, the department said in a report on the state of global terrorism released on Friday. The number of deaths from terrorism increased by 81 percent, to a total of 32,727. 

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The State Department claimed that the startling increase was due largely to activity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria. While terrorist attacks took place in 95 countries last year, the majority of them happened in those three countries, as well as Pakistan and India.

Additionally, more than 9,400 people were kidnapped or taken hostage as part of a terrorist attack last year, a threefold increase from 2013.

Twenty-four Americans were killed as a result of terrorism abroad in 2013, and three were kidnapped. 

The report points to the growing deadly role of groups like Nigeria’s Boko Haram and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which have the ability to launch attacks that kill scores of people at once. 

There were 20 attacks that each killed more than 100 people last year, according to data compiled by the State Department, compared to two in 2013. Five of those attacks were carried out by ISIS in Iraq, and nine were by Boko Haram.

“Despite the fragmentation of al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, weak or failed governance continued to provide an enabling environment for the emergence of extremist radicalism and violence,” the State Department said in its report.

The report analyzed the broader trend of terrorism throughout the globe, and State Department counterterrorism coordinator Tina Kaidanow said the numbers do not the tell the whole story.

“Aggregate totals or numbers of attacks are not a particularly useful metric of measuring the aims of extremist groups or of our progress in measuring or countering their activities,” she told reporters on Friday.