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Rise of Global Terrorism


On the early morning of November 14, we woke up only to find earth-shattering news: terrorist group ISIS had launched a coordinated attack on Paris leaving more than 100 people dead. Following the attacks, people from across the world openly supported the affected French people, commonly through social media. While most news stations report more significant terrorist attacks based on casualty count and amount of damage done, smaller-scale terrorist attacks occur on an almost daily basis, more frequently in the Middle East region in countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.

Global terrorism has reached an all-time high and has spread across many countries, most notably in the central African region. However, the Middle East still accounts for a high volume of terrorist attacks. 78% of terrorist-related deaths in 2014 come from just five nations, four of which are in the Middle East. In 2014 alone, terrorism claimed over 32,000 lives which was a rise from roughly 18,000 lives in 2013. In 2015, the number of deaths connected to terrorism has dropped from 2014 but the number is still high, at around 26,000 lives.

The main perpetrators of global terrorism in 2015 include Al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Boko Haram, and numerous counts of lone wolf terrorists. Al-Qaeda has been active in the Middle East since 1988 and is notoriously known as an Islamist extremist group,most famously known for committing the 9/11 attacks. The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, otherwise abbreviated as “ISIS” or “ISIL,” is also an Islamist extremist group that is currently fighting in the Syrian Civil War and has been linked to many terrorist activities in 2015 alone. Boko Haram is another group of terrorists situated in Nigeria and has been the main group of insurgents operating in Africa, most extensively near Nigeria. Lone wolf terrorists operate across the world but unlike the three aforementioned groups, these lone wolf attackers often have very different motives for committing attacks. While ISIS and Al-Qaeda have straightforward agendas, lone wolf terrorists act beyond any command structure and have arbitrary motives.

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