The “War on Terror” is well over a decade long at this point, and it doesn’t seem that much progress has been made to stamp out terrorism. A new report has even shown that terrorist attacks worldwide have spiked significantly over the past few years.
The report, issued by analyst firm IHS, estimates that there were 18,524 attacks in 2013 performed by non-state armed groups. This represents a 150% rise in attacks over the past five years, up from just 7,217 attacks recorded in 2009.
Unsurprisingly, the Middle East is at the heart of this rise in violence. The instability caused by the Arab Spring in 2010 and beyond has reverberated throughout the region.
“The epicenter of 2013 activity was in the Middle East, with significant pockets of violence radiating out to neighboring regions in Africa and South Asia,” said Matthew Henman, manager of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. “We have also seen a dramatic rise in the number of militant and non-militant casualties. In 2012, 13,872 militants and 10,562 non-militants deaths were recorded from open sources. In 2013, non-militants fatalities almost doubled to 17,554 and militant fatalities numbered 21,490. These are some of the largest rises we have recorded in the past several years.”
Nowhere has the violent influence of the Arab Spring been more evident than in Syria. The country is now embroiled in a bloody civil war in which many neighboring countries have a hand. IHS estimates that terrorist attacks in Syria rose to 4,694 in 2013, a nearly 76% increase over attacks seen in 2012.
The U.S. has scaled down operations in Iraq in recent years and violence in the country has risen at the same time. The IHS report shows that terrorist attacks increased 52% year-over-year in 2013 and that non-militant fatalities in the country rose by 148%. Suicide bombings are quickly becoming a problem in Iraq, with 2013 suicide bombings rising to four times the amount seen in 2012 – more than twice the suicide bombings recorded in either Syria or Afghanistan last year.