Extremism Watchdog: Far-Right Terrorism Has Surged 320% In Just Four Years
The Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP) annual report on extremism around the globe revealed that although the number of deaths related to terrorism has fallen in recent years, more countries are being affected by terrorist violence — with a particular rise in right-wing extremism.
According to Newsweek, the “2019 Global Terrorism Index showed a general downwards trend in the number of attacks, deaths and economic damage wrought by terrorism worldwide”; however, the report notes “that increasing activity among right-wing terrorist groups is particular cause for concern.”
Terrorism-related deaths fell 15.2 percent from 2017 to 2018, the report says, marking the fourth consecutive year that fatalities have been reduced. “Ninety-eight nations recorded an improvement in the number of deaths, which is the highest number posting an annual improvement since 2004,” Newsweek noted from the report.
Still, a total of “71 nations recording at least one related death in 2018—the second-highest number since 2002 and four more than the year before.”
With regard to the increase in right-wing extremism, Steve Killelea, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP, said the growth started from “a low base.” But he cautioned that the 320 percent rise in such violence from 2014 to 2018 warrants serious concern.
Killelea added that “most of the deaths in North America, Western Europe and Oceania linked to far-right activity were in the U.S. and Canada,” citing the ease with which firearms can be purchased in the region.
“The report noted that over the past four decades, around one-fifth of all mass shootings in the U.S. has been classified as terrorist attacks of some ideology,” Newsweek reported. “But in the last 10 years, that figure has risen to one third.”