Terrorist attacks in Western Europe dozen times deadlier in 2 years – report



Despite an overall drop in the number of terrorist attacks in Western Europe in 2016, such atrocities have become far deadlier, Reuters reported citing data from the Global Terrorism Database.

There were 30 terrorist attacks resulting in fatalities in the region in 2016, which equals 11.2 percent of fatal attacks compared to 239 non-fatal incidents, the report says.

The UK topped the blacklist, judging by the number of attacks in 2016 and in 2013, with nine and four fatal incidents respectively; last year, it was followed by Germany, France and other countries.

The 2016 victims included fatalities in such large attacks as the Nice truck attack in July, in which dozens of people became victims of a jihadi-inspired extremist; and a similar attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in December, when a massive industrial truck unexpectedly plowed through the crowd, leaving a dozen dead.

Fatalities of smaller attacks not related to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), with several incidents in Belfast, UK were also included in the statistics.

In an effort to make the attacks "more cost-effective and simpler," the IS terrorist group – which is responsible for seven of the 10 deadliest attacks since 2012 – was increasingly encouraging the use of knives and vehicles over firearms and explosives by extremists, Reuters reported, citing experts.

However, firearms remain the primary weapon used by perpetrators in Western Europe.

In 2014, there were only two fatal attacks across the region, which stood at 0.9 percent compared to 183 incidents in which no one had been killed.

With perpetrators included in the number of fatalities cited by the report, the deadliest such incident in 2014 was a shooting near the Jewish Museum in the Belgian capital of Brussels, in which three people became victims of a gunman.

In 2015, there were 23 fatal attacks and 298 non-fatal, according to the data. 

The deadliest incident recorded in Western Europe was a November 13 attack on Paris, when the Islamic State terrorist group claimed the lives of 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks.

The ratio of fatal attacks compared to non-fatal stood at 7.2 percent in 2015.

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