In 2012, a total of 6,771 terrorist attacks occurred worldwide, resulting in more than 11,000 deaths and more than 21,600 injuries. In addition, more than 1,280 people were kidnapped or taken hostage. In this report we describe patterns of worldwide terrorist activity with respect to changes during the year, geographic concentration, casualties, perpetrator organizations, tactics, weapons, and targets.
On average, there were 564.25 attacks, 924.83 deaths, and 1,804.33 injuries per month in 2012. There were 1.64 fatalities and 3.20 injuries per attack, including perpetrator casualties.
Although terrorist attacks occurred in 85 different countries in 2012, they were heavily concentrated geographically. Over half of all attacks (55%), fatalities (62%), and injuries (65%) occurred in just three countries: Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Nearly half of all terrorist attacks in 2012 (49.4%) caused no fatalities and 53 percent caused no injuries. The majority of the non-lethal attacks were bombings (74.2%) and approximately 20 percent of them were unsuccessful attacks.
Information about perpetrators was reported for 38 percent of terrorist attacks in 2012. More than 160 organizations were named as perpetrators of terrorist attacks. In addition to carrying out the most attacks, the Taliban in Afghanistan was responsible for the greatest number of fatalities in 2012. Along with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), the Taliban was among the most lethal organizations, causing an average of 3.5 deaths per attack.
Half of all targets (50.5%) were classified as either private citizens and property or police. The most lethal terrorist attacks in 2012 were those in which the primary target was a religious institution. On average, these attacks resulted in 2.56 deaths per attack.
Diplomatic targets were attacked 95 times in 2012. More than one-third of all diplomatic targets were UN personnel or facilities. The remaining diplomatic targets included the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization, as well as consulates, embassies, and diplomatic personnel representing Bulgaria, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United States.
Ten Countries with the Most Terror Attacks (2012)
Sources: United States Department of State