The report, developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace and based on data from the Global Terrorism Database of START, reveals that terrorism killed more than 32,600 people last year, an 80 per cent increase from 2013 and the sharpest yearly rise on record, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2015.
The index is compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a global think tank based in Sydney, New York and Mexico. The Global Terrorism Index measures the scale and impact of terror attacks across the world.
The report highlights the link between US military intervention and terrorism in Iraq.
The index shows that global terrorism only started to increase after the escalation of the Iraq war. This was subsequently followed by further increasing waves of terrorism in Afghanistan and then in Pakistan 18 months later. The start of the increases in deaths from terrorism in Iraq coincided with the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Deaths from terrorism spiked in 2007 with the surge in US troops in Iraq and then subsequently fell by 56 per cent, it was only in 2013 with the rise of ISIL [Islamic State] that Iraq suffered from the same level of terrorism again.
Report stated that- Islamic fundamentalism was not the main driver of terrorism in Western countries. It found “lone-wolf” attackers posed the greatest threat, causing seven out of 10 deaths over the past decade.
[A lone wolf or lone-wolf terrorist (also called a “stray dog”) is someone who commits violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but who does so alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group. Although the lone wolf prepares and acts alone, he/she may be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group.]
Policies that reduced political violence by governments, increased respect for human rights and religious freedoms and “diffused group grievances” would help address causes of terrorism, Mr Killelea said.
The Global Terrorism Index is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database, compiled by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. The data starts from 1970.
Putting the numbers in context, the index notes that homicides (the killing of one person by another) kill 13 times more people worldwide than terrorism.
Separately, World Health Organisation figures show 38 times more people die worldwide in road traffic accidents than from terrorism.