The number of deaths caused by terrorism increased more than six-fold in developed countries in 2015.
This is as attacks orchestrated or inspired by the extremist group Islamic State spread across the world, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
While military intervention against Islamic State and Boko Haram resulted in a 32-per-cent reduction in terrorism-related deaths in Iraq and Nigeria, GTI data showed that such deaths in OECD countries rose from 77 in 2014 to 577 in 2015.
The majority were in Turkey and France – which saw two high-profile attacks in Paris – but 21 of the 34 OECD member states experienced at least one terrorist attack.
Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman of Institute for Economics and Peace, points to a pattern in the profile of the fighters from developed countries joining Islamic State who pose such a threat to many OECD countries: they are highly educated but have low incomes and often feel excluded in their home countries.
“While on the one hand the reduction in deaths is positive, the continued intensification of terrorism in some countries and its spread to new ones is a cause for serious concern and underscores the fluid nature of modern terrorist activity,” he said.
Islamic State has expanded its global presence, targeting 28 countries in 2015, up from 13 the previous year, and the group orchestrated attacks in 252 different cities that caused 6,141 deaths last year.(dpa/NAN)