For the second year in a row, South Asia was the most impacted region by terrorism in 2019, recording more deaths than any other region, despite improvements in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, said Global Terrorism Index 2020 report by The Institute for Economic & Peace.
India ranked eighth - with a score of 7.353 - on the index that measures the impact of terrorism.
While Afghanistan (9.592) was reported to be the most impacted of the 163 countries, Iraq (8.682) was the second most affected nation, followed by Nigeria (8.314).
The country reporting a high score out of 10 on the index is ranked on top as the worst impacted nation.
Globally, deaths attributed to terrorism fell by 15 percent to 13,286 in 2019 over 2018. The decline is recorded for the fifth consecutive year in 2019, from the peak of 2014, the report showed.
Afghanistan reported the largest fall, registering 1,654 fewer deaths over 2018, a 22 percent decline.
As many as 63 countries reported at least one death due to terrorism in 2019; 17 countries reported over 100 deaths, while Afghanistan and Nigeria recorded over 1,000 deaths.
Taliban, Boko Haram, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Al-Shabab were the four terrorist groups responsible for the most (55 percent, or 7,578) deaths due to terrorism in the region in 2019.
Terrorist attacks in India
India reported 558 terrorist attacks in 2019, recording 277 deaths, according to the release. “Compared to other countries amongst the ten most impacted, India faces a wider range of terrorist groups, with Islamist, communist, and separatist groups active across the country,” the report said.
However, the number deaths caused by terrorism as well as the number of terror attacks in India declined by 20 percent in 2019.
The country reported the lowest terrorism-related deaths among the 10 most-affected nations. India also recorded the lowest lethality rate of 0.5 deaths per attack on an average, while the other nine countries reported 2.1 deaths per attack on average, the report showed.
Fourteen of 35 active terrorist groups in India were responsible for fatalities in 2019. “Maoists, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were responsible for over two thirds of the total deaths and almost half of the total attacks,” the report said.
In India, Jammu and Kashmir was the most impacted region in 2019, reporting 165 attacks and 103 deaths, followed by Chhattisgarh (85 attacks and 53 deaths).
The report said deaths attributed to the JeM increased by 69 percent due to the deadliest attack perpetrated in 2019. The suicide attack carried out on the Central Reserve Police Force convoy along the Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Lethpora, Pulwama, by the JeM was among the 20 most fatal terrorist attacks in 2019.
Global economic impact of terrorism estimated at $26.4 billion in 2019
The global economic impact of terrorism was estimated at $26.4 billion in 2019, down 25 percent from $35.1 billion in 2018. The economic impact of terrorism includes “the direct cost of terrorism deaths, injuries, and property damage, as well as the indirect costs from deaths, injuries, property damage, and GDP losses”.
“These estimates are considered highly conservative, as there are many items that are not included in the methodology due to the difficulty in obtaining globally comparable data, such as reduced tourism, business activity, production, and investment, in addition to counter-terrorism expenditure and government spending on securitisation,” the report said.
Afghanistan was also the worst hit by the economic cost of terrorism -almost 16.7 percent of its GDP.
In terms of region, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia reported the highest economic impact at $12.5 billion and $5.6 billion, respectively.
India was among the top 10 countries that recorded (16 percent) decrease in economic impact of terrorism in 2019 over 2018. While Sri Lanka recorded the largest increase at $954 million attributed to the multiple bombings in the island nation in 2019.