Since 2001 religious extremism has overtaken national separatism to become the main driver of terrorist attacks around the world, according to the Global Terrorism Index.
Islamic extremism has become the main driver of terrorism in recent years, according to this year’s Global Terrorism Index.
The report recorded 18,000 deaths in 2013, a rise of 60% on the previous year. The majority (66%) of these were attributable to just four groups: Islamic State(Isis) in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and al-Qaida.
Overall there has been a fivefold increase in deaths from terrorism since the 9/11 suicide attacks.
The report’s authors attribute the majority of incidents over the past few years to groups with a religious agenda.
While the chart below shows that this varies across region, bear in mind that more than 80% of deaths from terrorism in 2013 occurred in just five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
Before 2000, it was nationalist separatist terrorist organisations such as the IRA and Chechen rebels who were behind the most attacks. The number of incidents from nationalist separatist groups has remained relatively stable in the years since while religious extremism has grown.
The prevalence of Islamist groups in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria is the main driver behind these trends.
Just 5% of terrorist fatalities occur in OECD countries. The UK had the largest number of incidents with 131, while Turkey had the most fatalities (57).
The Global Terrorism Index gives a score to each country dependent on how affected they are by terrorism.