The Sahel now accounts for nearly half the world’s terrorism
Saharan Africa has replaced the Middle East as the epicentre of global terror
The Sahel region in Sub-Saharan Africa is now the epicentre of terrorism worldwide, constituting nearly half (43%) of the global death toll, according to the latest edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI). Up from 1% of the global total in 2007, incidents in the Sahel have increased by over 2000% in the last 16 years. As of this year, it accounts for more terror fatalities than South Asia and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) combined, with the latter region experiencing a 32% fall this year — its lowest figure since 2013.
The report, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, uses data from sources including TerrorismTracker to study trends relating to terrorist activity across the world. The global death toll caused by terrorist attacks fell by 9% last year and is now 38% lower than its 2015 peak, with a 2022 total of 6,701. The number of attacks worldwide declined by 28% to 3,955, and 121 out of 163 countries surveyed — roughly three-quarters — recorded no deaths from terrorism. That is the highest number of fatality-free nations since 2007.
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The Sahel has for some years been viewed as the new arena for jihadi operations. There have been six coup attempts in the region since 2021, four of which were successful. It is this political instability, as well as the correlation between national involvement in war and seriousness of attacks (seven times more deadly than in peaceful countries), which goes some way to explaining these figures, while most activity is concentrated in border areas, where government reach is less extensive. All 10 of the countries most affected by terrorism last year were also embroiled in armed conflict, and 98% of total deaths occurred in warzones. Four of that top ten are in the Sahel, while the region has become a theatre for proxy conflict between Russia and the West.
The number of terrorist attacks in the West is going down, but resulting deaths have risen again after a decrease in recent years. Just 40 attacks were recorded in the West last year, yet the number of deaths from those attacks has almost doubled, from nine to 19, 11 of which took place in the United States.
Though the Sahel is a hotbed for jihadi violence, and in spite of Islamic State’s continued influence, the latest GTI demonstrates that explicitly religiously motivated terrorism has gone down by 95% since 2016. In Europe, there were just two attacks carried out by Islamist extremists last year. The UK recorded four incidents falling into the category of terror attacks, resulting in no deaths — the first time this has happened since 2014.
The GTI ascribes the Sahel’s descent into violence to a number of factors, including “weak governance, ethnic polarisation […] the growth of transnational Salafi-Islam ideology, political instability […] and geopolitical competition”. The departure of French troops from Mali in late 2022 after an eight-year counter-terrorism campaign, Operation Barkhane, has led to surge in violence against Malian civilians. Of the Sahel total, 73% of terrorism deaths took place in Burkina Faso and Mali last year.
Just out of curiosity, does the Batley Grammar School get covered by the definition of ‘terrorism’ ?
Is it, was it, an act of terrorism? Was the teacher in question ‘terrorised’, in genuine fear of his life ? Does that count ? Do ‘minority’ communities, living in fear of death, because of blasphemy laws, around the world, suffer the effects of terrorism, even if not subject to an overt armed, militant, struggle ?
Short answer: no.
All those feminists, gay rights activists etc are too comfortable screaming about patriarchy etc when it’s white men who DON’T treat them unequally and badly.
Standing up against genuinely patriarchal communities is much more icky.
Same reason why the “superior” intellectuals badmouth Israel or Hindus in India, but are speechless about China and the rest of the Middle East.
Even though your point is a bit off topic, it’s a very important point – we talk of terrorism and all as if it’s a third world issue, but it’s getting pretty close to home.
Problem is, the human rights and equity / diversity brigades have a lot in common – they too want “submission” and suppression of free speech for anyone who goes against their religious tenets.
Fascinating and disturbing in equal measures, that due to the inviolable law of ” Islamophobia” this global war gets so little media attention, especially in the US.
At London City airport, The police were called, and I was subject to an ” anti terrorist” interview by a police detective, when I casually mentioned to ” security staff” that statistics of factual record clearly showed that airline terrorism was limited to a very small number of terrorists, and that searching old ladies in wheelchairs, and treating everyone as a potential terrorist, was a waste of time, and money, and an insult to our intelligence.
The fact that I was wearing a Brigade of Guards tie and Coldstream Guards boating jacket did not seem to matter, as one policeman said ” Any terrorist could get hold of those”… Where do we find these cretins from?
I think, as a white couple in their seventies, that my wife and I very frequently get picked out and frisked (very often by security staff a majoity of whom are obviously of South Asian / Religion of Peace adherents) is a case of either extracting the urine or (at best) adhering to a ‘No Profiling here’ agenda.
On one occasion they found and triumphantly brandished my wife’s tweezers. It was not found amusing when I enquired how many airplanes had been hijacked by threats of eyebrow plucking.
A poor man’s war is called terrorism
A rich man’s terrorism is called WAR
Israel in the ‘60s
Europe in the ‘70s and ‘80s
The Middle East from the ‘90s to the ‘10s
The Sahel in the 2020’s…
Does the pattern predict the spread of freedom & democracy?
Bin Laden was far from being poor! What was his war called?
I looked into the law regarding ” confiscation” and it is a pity that more people do not challenge it? I could not find any statute that permits it, and that with no independent route or right of appeal, I believe that it is unlawful at best, and arguably illegal as theft?
I took on the BAA and Civil Aviation Authority over security staff actually stopping people boarding planes and flying. Their responses where wholly inadequate, and actually dishonest, and they have now stopped responding. Again, no right in law, and one could bring civil action against the jobsworth power crazed who grossly exceed their actually very unclear and obscure authority.
I had the most amusing conversation with CAA Head of Security, an ex RAF Regiment commanding officer, who ended up losing his temper on the telephone when put under pressure regarding the law, which he had almost no knowledge of…. and my commenting on Foot Guards views on, and experience of the RAF Regiment!
Your referencing the term “Islamophobia” is highly relevant. The article avoids explicitly stating, from the outset, that an overwhelming percentage of international terrorist incidents are of the religiously-inspired Islamic Jihad variety. A glance at the countries named in the graphic, however, makes this fact abundantly clear. Were it not for the holy warriors of Islam, the phenomenon of “international terrorism” would likely be a very minor affair.
This report of course misses the largest terror movement of 2022: The Russian Federation. What else is the nature of the brutality Putin, Terrorist-in-Chief, has wreaked on the nearly defenseless citizens of Ukraine? This is not a war; it is a monumental act of ongoing terror.
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