“The threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”
Over the past decade, terrorists killed an average of 21,000 people worldwide each year. The global death toll from terrorism over the past decade ranged from 8,000 in 2010 to a high of 44,000 in 2014. In 2017, terrorism was responsible for 0.05% of global deaths. Terrorism tends to be very geographically-focused: 95% of deaths in 2017 occurred in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia. In most countries terrorism accounts for less than 0.01% of deaths, but in countries of high-conflict, this can be as much as several percent. Airline hijackings were once common but are very rare today. Public concern about terrorism is high – in many countries more than half say they are concerned about being a victim. Media coverage of terrorism is often disproportionate to its frequency and share of deaths.
Terrorism in Afghanistan
The Islamic fundamentalist group ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Since then, it has waged an insurgency against the U.S.-backed government in Kabul. Experts say the Taliban is stronger now than at any point since 2001. It launched an offensive amid the U.S. troop withdrawal and, by summer 2021, controlled over half of Afghanistan’s districts. The Taliban started its first direct peace negotiations with the Afghan government in 2020 after signing an agreement with the United States. Little progress has been made.
Since its ouster in 2001, the Taliban has maintained its insurgency against the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan government. As U.S. troops have withdrawn in 2021, the group has rapidly expanded its control, positioning itself for a return to power.