Frequency of terror attacks falls while casualties rise
The frequency of terror attacks in advanced markets has decreased over the past 25 years while casualties have increased, according to the latest Pool Re Terrorism Frequency Report.
The frequency of attacks across advanced markets is significantly lower than it was during the 1990s, the report shows. The annual average number of attacks in the 2010s so far is 37 percent of the average annual number of attacks in the 1990s. Since 2011, the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) has substantially increased the number of news sources on which they base their data with the potential effect that the annual frequency is comparatively lower still, the report noted.
At the same time, attacks against crowded places with the intention of maximising loss of life have become more prevalent. Consequently, yearly average deaths were 30 percent higher in the 2010s than in the 1990s (79 to 61), the report states.
There is an increase in mass casualty events and overall deaths are higher, the report says. Yearly average deaths in the 2010s are 30 percent higher than in the 1990s (79 to 61). Furthermore, attacks are deadlier. Average deaths per attack in 2010s are 316 percent of the 1990s.
Fatalities shifted from state targets to crowded places over the period, the report notes. The second highest fatalities were 35.5 deaths per year at police, military and government sites in the 1990s. In the 2010s, the highest fatalities are 41 deaths per year at tourism, hospitality and leisure sites.
The proportion of attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDS) has decreased from 49 percent in the 1990s to 43 percent in the 2000s and 29 percent in the 2010s, resulting in a decrease in property damage (PD) losses. Property losses are driven by catastrophic events, typically involving the use of explosives. Incendiary devices have increased their share of attacks from 29 percent in the 1990s to 47 percent in the 2010s.
Deaths from firearms rose from 28 percent in the 1990s to 46 percent in the 2010s. Vehicles account for 18 percent of fatalities in the latest 10-year cycle (99 deaths); they caused only a single death prior to the 2010s. The proportion of attacks using firearms has increased from 8 percent in the 1990s to 11 percent in the 2010s.
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