The US State Department has issued a warning to Americans travelling to Europe of an increased risk of incidents of terrorism, particularly over Christmas.
A travel advisory statement on Monday read:
Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL the U.S. gov’t acronym for ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.
The State Department urged travellers to avoid large crowds and tourist sites, and to follow the instructions of local authorities, citing previous attacks:
While extremists have carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, the Department remains concerned about the potential for attacks throughout Europe. If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.
There are a number of warnings and alerts currently active on the State Department website.
For a full breakdown, view the interactive map, below:
For country by country advice visit the United States State Department website.
The world map of terrorism
The world’s most developed countries saw a huge increase in deaths from terrorism in the last year, although the number of terrorism deaths fell, globally.
Isis is now the most deadly terrorist group in the world, overtaking Boko Haram, claiming responsibility for 6,141 deaths in more than 28 countries in 2015 (up from 13 in 2014).
The number of terrorism-related deaths dropped ten per cent in 2015, meaning 3,389 fewer people were killed.
Iraq topped the index with a score of 9.96 out of 10, followed by Afghanistan (9.444), Nigeria (9.314), Pakistan (8.613) and Syria (8.587).
The index is calculated using the Global Terrorism Database, scoring each country for the impact of terrorism incidents in each country for the year.
View the interactive map below:
The United Kingdom ranked 34th on the index, with a score of 5.08.
The report read:
In Europe, ISIL’s transnational tactics in combination with lone actor attacks inspired by the group drove an increase in terrorism to its highest levels ever. This increase was seen in many OECD countries resulting in a 650 per cent increase in deaths to 577 from 77 in 2014. ISIL’s role in this increase was significant as more than half of the 577 deaths were in connection to the group. The attacks by ISIL in Paris, Brussels and in Turkey’s capital Ankara, were amongst the most devastating in the history of these countries and reflect a disturbing return of the transnational group-based terrorism more associated with al-Qa’ida before and immediately after September 11.
For an incident to qualify as terrorism on the Global Terrorism Database, it must meet three criteria:
1. The incident must be intentional – the result of a conscious calculation on the part of a perpetrator.
2. The incident must entail some level of violence or threat of violence — including property damage, as well as violence against people.
3. The perpetrators of the incidents must be sub-national actors. This database does not include acts of state terrorism.
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Global Terrorism Index 2016: Developed countries suffer dramatic rise in terrorism-related deaths
As international terrorist groups are squeezed in their heartlands, the number of attacks in OECD countries has risen 650%.
The world’s most developed countries have suffered a dramatic increase in deaths as a result of terrorism in the last year, according to the new Global Terrorism Index, despite a drop in the global number of terrorism-related deaths.
The index shows Isis 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.
And the number of countries in which Isis has carried out attacks more than doubled, from 13 in 2014 to 28 in 2015.
Globally, the number of terrorism-related deaths dropped 10 per cent in 2015 from the year before, which had been a record in the 16 years covered by the index from the Institute of Economics and Peace.
The fall in deaths has been driven by military action against Isis and Boko Haram in Iraq and Nigeria respectively, but the index suggests those groups have expanded their influence in neighbouring countries and regions.
A 650 per cent increase in deaths from terrorism in OECD countries and a marked rise in transnational terrorist attacks means the world is now a yet-more dangerous place in terms of terrorism, according to the IEP.
Though the index identifies 274 distinct terrorist groups around the world, between them Isis, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the Taliban were responsible for 75 per cent of all terror-related deaths.
In terms of developed countries, 2015 was the second-deadliest year since records began. It was surpassed only by 2001, when the 9/11 attacks accounted for 2,996 deaths.
The index suggested there were lessons to be learned, such as the fact that only 0.5 per cent of terrorist attacks occurred in countries which have no involvement in foreign conflicts and low levels of “state-sponsored terror” – extra-judicial deaths, torture and imprisonment without trial.
The report found terrorism is also more likely to occur in OECD member countries with poorer performance on socio-economic factors such as opportunities for youth, belief in the electoral system, levels of criminality and access to weapons.
Despite receiving far greater international news coverage than any other terrorist incident of 2015, the Paris attacks with a combined death toll of 136 do not even feature in the top 10 most deadly events of the year.
The most fatal attack of 2015 was in April in Qaim, Iraq, when Isis fighters rounded up and executed 300 civilians.
Other incidents in the top 10 include the bombing of the Russian Metrojet passenger plane in October 2015, which killed all 224 people on board, and the April attack on Garissa University in Kenya when al-Shabaab militants executed at least 154 people, mainly non-Muslim students.
Steve Killelea, Executive Chairman of IEP, said, “This year’s GTI report highlights the most complex set of dynamics in global terrorism in the last 16 years.
“While on the one hand the reduction in deaths is positive, the continued intensification of terrorism in some countries and its spread to new ones is a cause for serious concern and underscores the fluid nature of modern terrorist activity.
“The attacks in the heartland of western democracies underscore the need for fast paced and tailored responses to the evolution of these organisations.”