The 2019 Global Terrorism Index
has been published and it has good news - deaths from terrorism fell 15 percent between 2017 and 2018. The trend is distinctly downwards and deaths have now halved in the past four years. Unfortunately, there is also some bad news and the number of countries directly impacted by terrorism has increased to 71, the highest number recorded since 2002. The report also highlighted another grim trend - an upswing in right-wing terrorism. It has increased for the third year in succession with deaths up 52 percent in Western Europe
, North America and Oceania in 2018.
Afghanistan suffered the highest death toll from terrorism
in 2018 with 7,379 people losing their lives, a 46 percent increase on 2017. Violence levels have increased amid a rise in Taliban activity in most of the country's provinces as well as one in Tajikistan. Last year, the Taliban killed more people than any other terrorist group and they were responsible for 6,103 deaths in Afghanistan, a 71 percent increase on 2017. The so-called Islamic State group experienced a decline in the number of deaths it inflicted and they fell 69 percent. Compared to the group's peak in 2016, it dropped 85 percent.
That has has a noticeable impact on long-suffering Iraq which experienced the largest decrease in terrorist-related deaths for the second year running. Since the peak of violence in the country in 2014, deaths have plummeted by 90 percent. Somalia also experienced a significant improvement and deaths there fell from 1,532 in 2017 to 646 in 2018, primarily due to a decline in Al-Shabaab activity. Elsewhere in Africa, deaths increased 33 percent in Nigeria due to increasing violence by Fulani extremists.