The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2018, published in November, included some very interesting statistics. The report highlights the decrease in deaths in the region – from 168 in 2016 to 81 in 2017 – but that is contrasted with an increase in the number of attacks. In other words, we’re even less likely to be killed in an attack when we travel, but potentially more likely to be indirectly affected by smaller, less deadly attacks.
Some of the most important indicators include:
- There were 282 terrorism incidents in Europe during 2017, compared with 253 the previous year.
- Eight countries in Western Europe reported at least one death due to terrorism in 2017 – the highest number in 20 years.
- Terrorism-related deaths decreased in Turkey, France, Belgium and Germany
- But there was an increase in the UK, Spain, Sweden, Finland and Austria.
- Around the world, a total of 67 countries experienced at least one death from terrorism – it remains widespread.
- It’s not only ISIL – far-right political terrorism is also increasing.
- “Egypt and Somalia had the largest increases in deaths from terrorism, with deaths increasing by 123 per cent and 93 per cent respectively.”
- Internationally, deaths decreased by 27% – the biggest decreases were in Iraq and Syria. In the table below (from the GTI2018 report) Europe’s decrease is reflected in “All other countries”.
“The lethality of terrorist attacks has declined as the operational capacity of groups like ISIL has fallen over the past three years. Twenty per cent of terrorist attacks were unsuccessful in 2017, compared to just over 12 per cent in 2014.” – Global Terrorism Index 2018
Attacks, as we have seen in the news, are often carried out by smaller groups or individuals. As a result they lead to fewer deaths and injuries, but they can still cause disruption on a very large scale. The decrease in deaths in Western Europe can also be linked to increased counter-terrorism spending and security measures.
Airport closures, grounding of flights, hotel evacuations, and closure of markets and attractions are some of the repercussions we have seen with recent attacks, with thousands of locals and visitors affected in many cases.
Bombings and armed assaults are still the most common form of attack, so “Run, Hide, Tell” is still very important advice to follow.
- Run – Get as far away from the danger as you can, as fast as you can, as long as it is safe to do so. Don’t stay to take photos or videos!
- Hide – If you can’t leave the area, take cover behind walls, in a lockable room, or behind something solid ;like concrete, and remain silent.
- Tell – Inform security or police as soon as you’re a safe distance away.
Egypt and the Philippines are among the 10 countries most affected by terrorism in 2017, but they’re still on the radar for many travellers.
169 incidents were recorded in Egypt, with 655 deaths and 481 injuries. This included an attack on a mosque in Beir al-Abd which killed 311 people, and attacks on Coptic Churches.
In the Philippines, there were attacks in more than 170 cities including the capital. Three groups were responsible for the majority of attacks, two of which are affiliated with ISIL.
During 2017, around 20% of attempted attacks failed, and the GTI 2018 chart below shows this trend in comparison to successful attacks over the years.
It’s clear from these statistics that terrorism is still very much around and despite ISIL bases being defeated in Syria and Iraq, the group’s influence remains a concern. It’s good to see that deaths and injuries are decreasing and we hope the trend continues! We are also going to continue to be vigilant however, as smaller attacks are still possible almost anywhere, Now more than ever, we’re committed to keeping comprehensive cover* for acts of terrorism simple and cost-effective, providing peace of mind for travellers affected directly or indirectly.
*Safe Journey terrorism travel insurance – including cancellation cover if there’s an act of terrorism anywhere within 40 miles of your destination, up to 6 weeks before departure – costs as little as £5.17 for a single trip of up to 8 days. Please see full terms, conditions and exclusions in our Policy Wording.