Dubai: In the month of November 2014, there were 664 reported Islamist militant attacks in 14 countries, resulting in 5,042 deaths. The total figures were recorded for the first time in a study by the BBC World Service in collaboration with ICSR.
The data which was gathered over one month (November 2014) illustrates a daily average of 22 attacks and 168 fatalities around the world as a result of Islamist militant-related violence.
The worst single day was Sunday 2 November when 410 people were killed in 41 attacks. The majority of those killed were citizens (2,080), closely followed by a large number of military personnel (1,723).
In total 16 militant groups claimed responsibility for the attacks or were identified as being perpetrators. Daesh was the deadliest group, with its 308 attacks across Iraq and Syria resulting in 2206 deaths – 44% of the total death toll.
Together, the worst four countries affected – Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Afghanistan accounted for 80% of all deaths (4,031). Iraq suffered the most deaths, with 1,770, over a third (35%) of the total death toll. It also recorded the highest number of attacks, with 233.
Nigeria followed with 786 deaths from just 27 incidents, highlighting the deadly nature of Boko Haram’s bomb attacks. Boko Haram carried out far fewer attacks - 30 over the month - but these were large and deadly, killing 801 people in Nigeria and Cameroon. 151 incidents from which 720 people died are attributed to the Taliban.
In Afghanistan, 152 attacks led to 782 deaths. Syria followed with 693 deaths from 110 attacks. Some 37 attacks in Yemen led to 410 fatalities.
Taken together, bombs accounted for the most deaths with 1,653 people killed this way in 241 blasts. The deadliest single attack was the assault on the Grand Mosque at Kano, Nigeria on the 28th in which 120 died.
Gun attacks took at least another 1,574 lives and a further 666 deaths were described as ambushes, many of which will have involved shootings. Some 426 people were executed including 50 who were reported to have been beheaded. The beheadings took place in Syria (34), Yemen (12) and Libya (4).
Peter Neumann, Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at Kings College London says: “First and foremost, our data highlights the significant human cost of jihadism. In just one month, jihadist groups killed 5,042 people – the equivalent of three attacks on the scale of the London bombings in July 2005 each day. The data makes it clear that jihadists and Al Qaida are no longer one and the same. 60 per cent of jihadist deaths were caused by groups that have no formal association with Al Qaida, and they are the ones who will vie for leadership of the movement. The overall picture is that of an increasingly ambitious, complex, sophisticated and far-reaching movement. Though comparisons are difficult, it seems obvious that the jihadist movement - which, only three years ago, everyone expected to be in a state of terminal decline - are stronger than ever, and that countering them will be a generational challenge.”
Andrew Whitehead, Editor, BBC World Service News says: “‘Every week, every day, acts of violence by jihadist groups – whether in Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan or elsewhere – are making news headlines. With this initiative, we are seeking to find out more about the overall impact of those groups pursuing violence in the name of jihad: where are they active? What is the human cost of their actions? How do they get their money? The BBC, with its global reach and bureaus around the world, is better placed than any other news organisation to undertake a task of this sort. And we’ve been pleased to work with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College, London and civil society organisations to ensure that our survey is as comprehensive as possible.”