The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2017 decreased by 23%, primarily due to far fewer attacks and deaths in Iraq, according to analysis by the US State Department.
There was a total of 8,584 attacks in 2017, compared to 11,150 attacks the previous year. And there were almost 7,000 fewer deaths during this same period.
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Although the attacks took place in 100 different countries in 2017, they were particularly concentrated geographically. Five countries – Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines – alone accounted for 59% of all the attacks.
And a majority of the deaths – seven out of 10 – were concentrated in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was responsible for more attacks and deaths than any other terrorist organization. But its power is diminishing – especially in Iraq – and it carried out 23% fewer terrorist attacks causing 53% fewer deaths last year, when compared to 2016.
In another notable shift from previous years, the number of kidnapping victims and hostages declined by 43% between 2016 and 2017.
Despite a positive overall picture, some countries saw an increase in the number of deaths due to terrorist attacks in 2017, most notably Egypt (+124%), Somalia (+100%) and the Philippines (+20%).