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Reports on International Terrorism:
Statistics on Incidents of Terrorism Worldwide

(Updated May 2014)


Terrorism Reports: Table of Contents | Terror Organizations | Incidents of Terrorism


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In 2013, a total of 9,707 terrorist attacks occurred worldwide, resulting in more than 17,800 deaths and more than 32,500 injuries. In addition, more than 2,990 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 808.91 attacks, 1,490.92 deaths, and 2,714.75 injuries per month in 2013. There were 1.84 fatalities and 3.36 injuries per attack, including perpetrator casualties.
  • The high number of hostages in January (986) was primarily due to a single extended hostage/barricade attack near In Amenas, Algeria in which approximately 800 people were held hostage at a British Petroleum (BP) gas complex. Al-Muwaqqi'un bil-Dima (Those Who Sign with Blood), a sub-battalion of the al-Mulathamun Battalion, claimed responsibility for the attack, which lasted three days.
  • Global patterns of terrorism throughout the year were particularly influenced by trends in several key locations. In particular, terrorist violence increased coinciding with the onset of spring “fighting season” in Afghanistan. Between February and July 2013, the number of attacks in Afghanistan increased 128% and the number killed increased 253%.
  • Pakistan and Iraq experienced similar increases in attacks during this time period. Although the number of attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan subsequently declined, the number of attacks and fatalities reported in Iraq continued to increase throughout the rest of 2013.
  • The ten countries that experienced the most terrorist attacks in 2013 are the same as those that experienced the most terrorist attacks in 2012. The ranking in terms of total attacks increased for Iraq, the Philippines, and Syria, decreased for Pakistan, Nigeria, Yemen, and Somalia, and remained the same for Afghanistan, India, and Thailand. The number of total attacks increased for nine of the ten countries in Table 2. In Nigeria, the number of total attacks decreased 45 percent between 2012 and 2013; however, the total number killed increased 31 percent.
  • Although terrorist attacks occurred in 93 different countries in 2013, they were heavily concentrated geographically. More than half of all attacks (57%) and fatalities (66%), and nearly three-quarters of all injuries (73%) occurred in three countries: Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
  • By a wide margin, the highest numbers of attacks, fatalities, and injuries took place in Iraq. The average lethality of attacks in Iraq was nearly 40 percent higher than the global average (1.84 killed per attack) and 33 percent higher than the 2012 average in Iraq (1.92).
  • The average lethality of attacks in Syria (5.07) and Nigeria (6.06) exceeded the global average by 176 percent and 229 percent, respectively. As in 2012, the average number of people wounded in attacks in Syria in 2013 was particularly high at 8.36. This was 149 percent higher than the global average for injuries (3.36), but 38 percent lower than the average number injured in terrorist attacks in Syria in 2012.
  • Among the ten countries that experienced the most terrorist attacks in 2013, the average number killed per attack was lower than the global average for five (Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Yemen), and the average number wounded per attack was lower than the global average for eight (Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Nigeria, Yemen, and Somalia).
Year
Total Attacks
People Killed
People Injured
People Kidnapped
2007
14,415
22,720
44,103
4,980
2008
11,663
15,709
33,901
4,680
2009
10,968
15,311
32,660
10,749
2010
11,641
13,193
30,684
6,051
2011
10,283
12,533
25,903
5,554
2012
6,771
11,098
21,652
1,283
2013
9,707
17,891
32,577
2,990

Ten Countries with the Most Terror Attacks (2013)
Country
Total Attacks
Total Killed
Total Wounded
Avg. Killed
per Attack
Avg. Wounded
Per Attack
Pakistan
1920
2315
4989
1.21
2.60
Iraq
2495
6378
14,956
2.56
5.99
Afghanistan
1144
3111
3717
2.72
3.25
India
622
405
717
0.65
1.15
Nigeria
300
1817
457
6.06
1.52
Thailand
332
131
398
0.39
1.20
Yemen
295
291
583
0.99
1.98
Somalia
185
323
397
1.75
2.15
Philippines
141
109
270
0.77
1.91
Syria
212
1074
1773
5.07
8.36

Sources: United States Department of State

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