It’s easy to lose track of the terrorism headlines. These days they arrive as if written in routine, sometimes penetrating front page news, sometimes relegated to short back-page briefs. After so many campaigns in the Middle East, so much political rhetoric and editorial banter, the impact often sounds Ad nauseam.
The Global Terrorism Database 2012 World Map displays the concentration and intensity of terrorist attacks worldwide during that year.
It all notwithstanding, the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism is assiduously taking note, in December releasing data that reported 8,400-plus attacks worldwide in 2012 and more than 15,400 casualties.
In another striking statistic, the data identifies that while terrorist acts spread across 85 countries in 2012, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan account for more than half (54 percent), while also representing 58 percent of all terrorist related fatalities.
If the numbers sound high, it’s because they are. The totals represent an all-time high since the center — funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — began tracking terrorist acts in 1970. Previous record highs for fatalities were last reported in 2007 at 12,500 deaths. In a view of terrorist acts as a whole, 2011 tallied the previous high at more than 5,000 incidents recorded.
Interestingly, the level of detail in the data — accessed through an online portal called the Global Terrorism Database that allows visitors access to customizable and downloadable searches — also differentiates incidents by the type of attack, target, weapon used, city and perpetrator group, in addition to giving each event a specific geocoded tags.
Based on fatalities, the Taliban is shown as the deadliest terrorist group worldwide at more than 2,500 fatalities. Following it is Boko Haram, at more than 1,200 fatalities; al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, at more than 960; Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, at more than 950; al-Qaida in Iraq, at more than 930; and al-Shabaab, at more than 700 fatalities.
To search through the data or for more information, visit the Global Terrorism Database.