Across 2019, Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre recorded 14,009 terrorist attacks globally – the lowest annual attack total recorded since 2011. Nonetheless, while the attack total represented a more than 10% decrease from the 15,822 attacks recorded in 2018, resultant non-militant fatalities (comprising security forces and civilians) increased by more than 10% in the same period from 13,547 to 14,920.
“A key driver of the downturn in violence was the decrease in activity in high-tempo conflict zones – even Ukraine, which remained the most violent country in terms of recorded attacks, saw its annual attack total decrease by more than a fifth from 2018”, said Matthew Henman, head of Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. “This was offset by a significant increase in fatalities from Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and rising mass-casualty violence in areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and Burkina Faso, in addition to major standalone attacks such as in Sri Lanka in April 2019.”
Key findings from the 2019 report:
- Taliban attacks increased by almost 90% and resultant fatalities by more than 60% as the group surpassed the Islamic State to become the world’s deadliest non-state armed group (NSAG). Indeed, JTIC data highlights that the group accounted for more fatalities than the next nine deadliest groups combined.
- Ukraine remained the most violent country worldwide in terms of recorded attacks, although this represented the localised and heavily-reported nature of the conflict.
- The 10% rise in fatalities from 13,547 in 2018 to 14,920 in 2019 was in part driven by a notable increase in mass-casualty violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and Burkino Faso.