Terrorism is on the rise, with an almost fivefold increase in fatalities since 9/11, in spite of US-led efforts to combat it in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world, according to a report published on Tuesday.
The Global Terrorism Index recorded almost 18,000 deaths last year, a jump of about 60% over the previous year. Four groups were responsible for most of them: Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria; Boko Haram in Nigeria; the Taliban in Afghanistan; and al-Qaida in various parts of the world.
The report comes after Isis released a video showing the beheading of the American hostage Peter Kassig, an aid worker in Syria, the fifth such video of the killing of western hostages since mid-August.
The terrorism index raises questions about the effectiveness of a western counter-terrorism strategy since 9/11 that has seen US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and the use of proxy forces around the world.
The “war on terror” launched by the Bush administration after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington has failed to eliminate or reduce terrorism in spite of Washington having spent $4.4tn (£2.8tn) on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and operations elsewhere.
According to the index figures, the number of fatalities has steadily grown over the last 14 years, from 3,361 in 2000 to 11,133 in 2012 and 17,958 in 2013.
Read more at The Guardian.