State Department utilizes START terrorism data and analysis
Today, the U.S. Department of State released the congressionally mandated report, "Country Reports on Terrorism 2012," which includes an Annex of Statistical Information prepared by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), headquartered at the University of Maryland. The Country Reports on Terrorism and statistical annex are available through the State Department at http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/210017.htm.
The Annex of Statistical Information is a guide to worldwide terrorist activity as reported by unclassified sources, such as the news media. In the statistical annex, START also describes the 2012 patterns of worldwide terrorist activity with respect to changes during the year, geographic concentration, casualties, perpetrator organizations, tactics, weapons, and targets.
The statistical annex documents a total of 6,771 terrorist attacks that occurred worldwide and resulted in more than 11,000 deaths and more than 21,600 injuries. In addition, more than 1,280 people were kidnapped or taken hostage. On average, there were 1.64 fatalities and 3.20 injuries per attack, including perpetrator casualties.
Although terrorist attacks occurred in 85 different countries in 2012, they were heavily concentrated geographically. As in recent years, more than half of all attacks (55%), fatalities (62%), and injuries (65%) occurred in just three countries: Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The highest number of fatalities occurred in Afghanistan (2,632); however the country with the most injuries due to terrorist attacks was Iraq (6,641). Terrorism incidents in the Annex of Statistical information are defined Title 22 of the US Code as premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.
The 2012 report marks the first year the statistical annex was prepared by START. In preparation for compiling the statistical annex, START's Global Terrorism Database (GTD) team developed new tools to improve the efficiency and thoroughness of its data collection process and evolve its data collection methodology to improve the reliability, efficiency and thoroughness of the process.
As a result of those differences in data collection methodology for the GTD and prior versions of the annex prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center, the statistics in this report are not directly comparable with the GTD or data from previous reports. START's GTD continues to collect information about additional descriptive variables for 2012 terrorism incidents and will release the updated GTD later this fall.