More Than Half of the World’s Terrorist Attacks Happen in Just Three Countries

How It Works
Dec. 19 2013 1:26 PM

More Than Half of the World’s Terrorist Attacks Happen in Just Three Countries

1387475974

Image from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)at the University of Maryland.

While the total number of terrorist attacks around the world has been steadily rising, it is also an increasingly concentrated phenomenon. New data released today by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism based at the University of Maryland shows that just three countries for the year 2012—Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan—accounted for 54 percent of attacks and 58 percent of fatalities that year. India, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, and Thailand were the next five most frequently targeted.

All in all, there were 8,400 terrorist attacks killing more than 15,400, both record numbers, though some of this may be due to improvements in data collection. (Full-size map here.) 

Advertisement

The data also shows that the post-Osama bin Laden al-Qaida Central seems to be largely a spent force in the world, but al-Qaida offshoots continue to wreak havoc:

These include the Taliban (more than 2,500 fatalities), Boko Haram (more than 1,200 fatalities), al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (more than 960 fatalities), Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (more than 950 fatalities), al-Qaida in Iraq (more than 930 fatalities) and al-Shabaab (more than 700 fatalities).

I imagine the numbers for Shabaab and Boko Haram may have increased in 2013, but it’s still worth noting that terrorism is both increasingly common in general, yet still extremely rare for the vast majority of the world. 

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.