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Nigeria: World's third most Terrorist State, after Iraq and Afghanistan

NIGERIA has been described as the third most terrorized country in the world, in a recent report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) just behind Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.

According to the GTI whose report is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace and based on data from the Global Terrorism Database, Nigeria has suffered from the twin menaces of Boko Haram and Fulani cattle herdsmen. This latest report is the fourth edition of the GTI which provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 16 years, covering the period from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2015.

Collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (Start), a Department of Homeland Security Centre of Excellence led by the University of Maryland, the GTI database is considered to be the most comprehensive dataset on terrorist activity globally and has now codified over 150,000 terrorist incidents. Its report, however, said military success against ISIS and Boko Haram resulted in fewer deaths in Iraq and Nigeria, although the two groups spread terror to neighboring states and regions.

Iraq and Nigeria saw the biggest decreases, with a combined decline of 5,558 deaths owing to the Nigerian military’s push against Boko Haram and the reduced influence of Islamic State in Iraq. However, the report said Islamic State is now officially the deadliest terrorist group in the world, overtaking Boko Haram, after claiming responsibility for 6,141 deaths through attacks in more than 250 different cities in 2015.

According to the report, Nigeria also had a reduction in the number of people killed by Fulani herdsmen by 50% amounting to over 630 fewer deaths in 2015. It added that despite the decrease in deaths from terrorism, Nigeria still experienced a high rate of violent deaths.

“In addition to terrorism victims, there were at least 4,422 battle-related deaths from the conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government in 2015, down from 8,233 in 2014. Whilst the majority of fatalities were caused by armed assaults with firearms and knives, there has been an increase in the use of bombings and explosions, a tactic Boko Haram has been increasingly using after receiving explosives training from al-Shabaab.

“In 2013, Boko Haram conducted 35 bombings which killed 107 people and in 2015 there were 156 bombings that killed 1,638. Nearly two thirds of the bombings in 2015 were suicide bombings, which on average killed 10 people per attack,” the report said.

It put the total number of people killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram at 17,097 since 2000. It pointed out that 23 countries registered their highest number of deaths from terrorism on record, compared to previous high of 17 in 2014 while France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Tunisia experienced sizable increases in terrorism influencing an overall deterioration of 6% in the GTI score.

Furthermore, the report stated that terrorism is also more likely to occur in OECD member countries with poorer performance on socio-economic factors such as opportunities for youth, a belief in the electoral system, levels of criminality and access to weapons. It said 21 of the 34 OECD member countries experienced at least one terrorist attack with the majority of deaths occurring in Turkey and France.

The report also stated that terrorism cost an estimated $89.6bn in 2015, down 15% on the previous year. Boko Haram has been waging a war against the Nigerian state since 1999, seeking to establish an Islamic Sharia-based state. Source

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