The 2023 Global Terrorism Index has finally been released, giving in depth analysis on terrorism and its trends from 2022. You can access the full report here, but I am going to summarize some key points below.
Deadliest Terror Groups
- Islamic State (ISIS)
- Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP)
- Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM)
- Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA)
- Islamic State West Africa (ISWA)
- Boko Haram
- Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
- Islamic State – Sinai Province (ISSP)
- Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
In 2022, the Islamic State and its affiliated groups were the deadliest terror organizations in 2022.
- ISIS carried out 410 attacks, leaving at least 1045 dead and 650 wounded
- ISKP carried out 141 attacks, leaving at least 498 dead and 830 wounded
- Boko Haram carried out 64 attacks, leaving at least 204 dead and 50 wounded
- ISWA carried out 65 attacks, leaving at least 219 dead and 118 wounded
- ISSP carried out 27 attacks, leaving at least 71 dead and 30 wounded
The al-Qaeda affiliated groups also ranked high in 2022, with al-Shabaab being the second deadliest group.
- al-Shabaab carried out 315 attacks, leaving at least 784 dead and 1,016 wounded
- JNIM carried out 77 attacks, leaving at least 279 dead and 215 wounded
- (2/2/22) BLA ambush on Frontier Corps (paramilitary force) buildings in Balochistan, Pakistan, left 195 dead.
- (1/20/22) ISIS prison break at the al-Sina prison and subsequent Battle of al-Hasakah in Syria left 154 dead.
- (10/29/22) al-Shabaab double car bombing outside the Education Ministry in Mogadishu, Somalia, left 120 dead.
- (6/12/22) Unknown militants carried out an attack on a village in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso left 116 dead.
- (6/19/22) Unknown militants carried out attacks in several villages in Mali’s Mopti region, leaving 110 dead.
Top Countries Impacted by Terrorism
- Burkina Faso
- Myanmar (Burma)
Deaths and Attacks Decrease Compared to 2021
Deaths due to terrorism fell to 6,701 in 2022, representing a 9 percent decrease from the prior year. This comes as the number of attacks globally fell by 28 percent, however, this is largely attributed to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 and a general reduction of fighting in the country.
Balochistan Liberation Army
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) is the fastest growing terrorist organization, with deaths due to attacks increasing by nine times to 233. The BLA is a ethnonationalist-separatist militant group primarily based in the Balochistan region of Pakistan. The group’s ideological roots are grounded in separatist and insurgency movements that have been ongoing in the region since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, which have called for greater autonomy for Baloch people. A key aspect of the group, which largely influenced its founding, is its opposition to economic and natural resource exploitation by Pakistan and other foreign actors. Their motivations are grounded along ethnic lines, not religious, as they believe the Punjabi ethnic majority and government are oppressing and exploiting them.
The BLA has been active since the early 2000s and have regularly targeted Pakistani security forces, foreign workers, and other ethnic minority groups in the region. Over the past decade, attacks have largely targeted Chinese business interests in the region due to the $60 billion+ China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which consists of vast infrastructure projects related to expanding roadways, power plants, and mining that runs right through Balochistan, which is rich in natural resources, such as gold, oil, copper, and coal. The BLA has seen CPEC as a major exploitation of their region’s natural resources and has thus opposed it militantly by attacking said business interests.
Africa Becomes Largest Growing Hotbed for Terrorism
Sub-Saharan Africa recorded the largest increase in terrorism deaths in 2022, with the Sahel region representing 43 percent of global terrorism deaths while also facing a 7 percent increase from the year prior. Terrorism deaths in the Sahel have risen by over 2,000 percent between 2007 and 2022. Burkina Faso had the largest increase in terrorism deaths at 1,135, which is an increase by nearly 400. The violence has been driven by jihadist groups such as Boko Haram, JNIM, ISWA, and other al-Qaeda affiliated groups.