Terrorist attacks soar, deaths down from 2007 peak-study
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economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation".
It did not include casualties from government-backed action such as aerial bombing or other killings.
The study said its methodology allowed researchers the scope to exclude actions that could be seen as insurgency, hate crime or organised crime and incidents about which insufficient information was available.
The upswing in attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan only occurred after the Iraq war, the study showed, coming at largely the same time as heightened U.S.-backed military campaigns there by NATO and the Pakistani government respectively.
SYRIA, YEMEN WORSENING
The findings suggested foreign powers should think twice before intervening militarily, Killelea said, even in countries such as Syria, already seeing widespread bloodshed. Unless the conflict was brought to a swift end, terror attacks might
actually increase, he said.
The greatest deterioration in 2011 took place in Syria and Yemen, the report said. Yemen has seen a dramatic upsurge in al Qaeda-linked activity in recent years, while Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad have increasingly turned to suicide attacks and bombings.
Of the 158 countries surveyed, only 31 had not experienced a single event classified as a "terrorist act" since 2001, the report said. Even when the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington were taken into account, North America remained the least-affected region over the period studied. Western Europeans were 19 times more likely to die in a terrorist attack than North Americans, the report said. Aside from the United States - whose rating improved sharply over the decade as the casualties of 2001 were no longer factored in - the greatest improvements were seen in Algeria and Colombia.