On December 5th I started a little experiment in tracking terror attacks around the world. I was curious about what I would find out; how many attacks actually happen, how many are Islamic terrorism versus other religions, how many people were affected and where these attacks would occur?
I outlined my approach to gathering and reporting the data in a previous post (link). I am a single person using non-classified sources (various world news feeds) and as I outlined before this information should not be considered 100% accurate or complete but they are pretty close. Here is a link to the tracking page I created (link).
First Finding: As I mentioned before, the mainstream media (primarily in the US but also in Europe) will, in most cases, go out of their way to avoid naming the nationality or religion of attackers unless there is no way around it. Some of the terror attacks were listed as assaults, knifings, etc. and more research was required to determine whether these were terror attacks or not. In many cases overseas news media reported the full details while US media did not.
Second Finding: This was a lot of work. Partially, due to the obfuscation of the US (and some other western) media sources. This was also partially due to the fact that attacks in most third world nations get almost no coverage here in the US unless the body counts are quite high. Complex, multi-pronged attacks like those in Paris and Mumbai are often reported as individual incidents rather than a single attack. Finally, finding accurate casualty reports are difficult and frequently required going to multiple sources and just flat out guessing.
Third Finding: Terror attacks are a lot more common that most people probably think. Between 12/5 and 1/5, I was able to find and document over sixty terror attacks. So, on average there are two attacks somewhere in the world every day. There were only two days during this time where there were no reported terror attacks. There were attacks in over twenty different countries across three continents.
Finding Four: A lot of people are dying. In the month I tracked these attacks at least 476 people were killed and 924 were wounded. The number of wounded is, most likely, very low as many of the articles only reported deaths. This was especially true in reports from third world sources.
Finding Five: Despite what the talking heads might claim, no terror attacks were recorded in the name of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or any other religion during this time period. All were Islamist attacks.
- Attacks are most common in Asia and Africa
- Based on injuries and deaths Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chad are the top the list of terror attacks
- Iraq, Somalia, Bangladesh, Libya and Russia make up the rest of the top ten list
There you have it, a snapshot of finding from a month of tracking terror attacks…