Muscat: Oman has scored zero for terrorism vulnerability in the Global Terrorism Index 2016 released recently by the Australian-based Economics and Peace Institute.
Oman came 130th in the rankings with 0 points in terms of terrorism risk perception — 0 is the highest security level against terrorism threats. It was followed by Qatar and Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the Gulf.
Iraq was ranked as the most vulnerable to terrorism, followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
The index is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database, provided by the University of Maryland in the US.
The 2016 Global Peace Index shows that the world became less peaceful in the last year. Results also show a growing global inequality in terms of the prevalence of peace, with the most peaceful countries continuing to improve while the least peaceful slide deeper into violence and conflict.
The report added that 2015 has been the second bloodiest year although it registered a decline by 10 per cent in the number of terrorist attacks compared to 2014. The report pointed out that 29,367 people were killed between 2000 and 2015 due to terror-related incidents.
The report found that the average death in terrorist attacks in the world is 1.8 per attack and that there have been terrorist attacks by 103 terrorist groups around the world that did not result in any deaths in 2016.
The report affirmed that 55 countries around the world witnessed a decline in the number of terrorist attacks in 2015. In all, 71 countries did not witness any terrorist attacks in 2015, compared to 70 countries in 2014.
According to the report, the economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2015 was $13.6 trillion. This figure represents 13.3 per cent of the world’s economic activity (gross world product) or $1,876 for every person in the world.
Observers attribute Oman’s impressive ranking to tough measures it has taken to deter extremism and sectarian intolerance.
In 2008, Oman introduced a law stipulating that anyone involved in crimes related to terrorism and sectarianism would be jailed for a minimum of 10 years. Oman signed the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in 2011.
In April, 2016, Oman introduced amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Acts. The amendments provide for heftier fines and penalties, including jail terms of up to 10 years and a fine of up to 50,000 rials. The penalties are doubled if an organised criminal group is involved.
Oman had in 2002, as per a royal decree, put in place the Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) system to target money laundering.