Terrorism
October 15, 2018
Is ISIS still a major terrorist threat?

Terrorism is declining globally, and the Pentagon said in January that international terrorism is no longer at the top of its priority list. But a recent report found that while the Islamist jihadist group ISIS has been largely expelled from Syria and Iraq, it could still pose a threat as defeated fighters move to other countries, and al Qaeda, the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, is rebuilding its ranks. In the United States, statistics show that attacks by Islamist extremists are dubbed terrorism more often and receive more media coverage than attacks perpetrated by far-right extremists. In fact, experts say, Americans face a greater threat from white supremacists and other right-wing radicals than from Muslim terrorists.

On the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, a visitor to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa., pays respects at the Wall of Names, honoring the 40 passengers and crew members killed when the plane, hijacked by four Islamist terrorists, crashed in the field. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)   On the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, a visitor to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa., pays respects at the Wall of Names, honoring the 40 passengers and crew members killed when the plane, hijacked by four Islamist terrorists, crashed in the field. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Since peaking in 2014, terrorist attacks worldwide fell for the third consecutive year in 2017, dropping 20 percent from the previous year, according to the latest statistics available from the Global Terrorism Index maintained by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) — a leading research group funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Terrorist attacks fell to 10,900 in 2017, and deaths caused by terrorists dropped 24 percent — to 26,445, including 8,075 perpetrators. 1 So far, attacks in 2018 appear to be on track for a continued decline. 2

A report released in September by the U.S. Department of State echoed similar declines, with the number of terrorist attacks worldwide falling 23 percent in 2017 and deaths from such incidents dropping by 27 percent. 3

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