India among nations most impacted by terrorism: Study

India terror
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan were among the nations most impacted by terrorism in 2011, according to a new global study, which said the terror strikes worldwide had increased fourfold since the start of the Iraq war in 2003.

The inaugural Global Terrorism Index (GTI) said Pakistan, India and Afghanistan accounted for 12 per cent, 11 per cent and 10 per cent of global terrorist incidents respectively from 2002 to 2009.

In 2011, Middle East, India, Pakistan and Russia were the areas most impacted by terrorism.

Overall, there were 7,473 fatalities in 2011 due to terrorism, which is 25 per cent less than in 2007.

The report said the number of terrorist incidents increased virtually every year since the 9/11 attacks in the US, with most terror strikes occurring in a wider conflict situation.

The index shows that global terrorism only started to increase after the escalation of the Iraq war.

This was subsequently followed by further increasing waves of terrorism in Afghanistan and then in Pakistan 18 months later.

While terrorism fatalities fell by 25 per cent since 2007, coinciding with the wind-down of the Iraq war, Iraq still remained the country that suffered most from terrorism in 2011.

The US, Algeria and Colombia had the biggest improvements over the last ten years.

"Terrorism is one of the most emotive subjects of our time. The impact of terrorism does seem to have plateaued over the last three years but is still unacceptably high," said Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman of Institute for Economics & Peace, which produced the index.

In the decade since 9/11, fatalities from terrorist attacks have increased by 195 per cent, incidents by 460 per cent and injuries by 224 per cent.

Often perceived as a major target for terrorist attacks, North America is the least likely region to suffer from terrorism, with a fatality rate 19 times lower than Western Europe, the index said.

The US has had the largest improvement in GTI score from 2002-2011, dropping from first to 41st in the index, as the effects of 9/11 dissipated.

"The GTI highlights that many of the countries suffering the most from terrorism have also suffered from foreign military intervention. Although the 'responsibility to protect' is paramount, caution needs to be taken against unwanted consequences," Killelea said.

Only 31 of the 158 countries ranked have not experienced a terrorist attack since 2001.

Since 2002, only 6 per cent of all fatalities have been terrorists, highlighting the effectiveness of terrorism.

The index is the first index to rank countries on the impact of terrorism. It is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database, which is collected by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), headquartered at the University of Maryland.

The index scores 158 countries over the last 10 years and takes into account factors like number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage.

Other findings of the report show that low-income countries are less affected by terrorism than lower middle- income countries, indicating that poverty is not necessarily a main cause of terrorism.

Private citizens and property are the most common targets of terrorism while the military is targeted in only four per cent of the attacks.

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