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Reports on International Terrorism:
Statistics on Incidents of Terrorism Worldwide

(Updated June 2013)


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


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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.

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

Ten Countries with the Most Terror Attacks (2012)
Country
Total Attacks
Total Killed
Total Wounded
Avg. Killed
per Attack
Avg. Wounded
Per Attack
Pakistan
1404
1848
3643
1.32
2.59
Iraq
1271
2436
6641
1.92
5.23
Afghanistan
1023
2632
3715
2.57
3.63
India
557
231
559
0.41
1.00
Nigeria
546
1386
1019
2.54
1.87
Thailand
222
174
897
0.78
4.04
Yemen
203
365
427
1.80
2.10
Somalia
185
323
397
1.75
2.15
Philippines
141
109
270
0.77
1.91
Syria
133
657
1787
4.94
13.44

Sources: United States Department of State

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