Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dramatic increase in global terrorism

The London Times reports:

There were nearly 3,200 terrorist attacks worldwide last year, the Bush Administration said yesterday, using a broader definition that increased fivefold the number of incidents that Washington had previously tallied for 2004.

In figures published in April, the US State Department said that there were 651 significant international terror incidents, with more than 9,000 victims.

But under the newer, less-stringent definition of terrorism, which counts domestic attacks without an international element, the National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) reported 3,192 attacks worldwide, with 28,433 people killed, wounded or kidnapped.

Iraq, with 866, had the most attacks against civilians and other non-combatants, according to the report. Under the April figures, Iraq was considered to have suffered 201 attacks in 2004.
The story also rehashes the controversies over the State Department's annual report on terrorism.

The 2004 report initially claimed terror attacks had dropped significantly, an announcement that the Bush administration hopped on to prove that it was winning the "war on terror." Then, after revision, the report was re-released, showing that the number of global terrorist acts had actually increased significantly, to its highest level in 20 years.

This year's report was scrapped altogether, with many suspecting that political motives mandated it wouldn't be a good idea to publicize an even further increase in terrorism from the year before.