Monday 16 September 2019

Most terror attackers work alone, Dutch security service report shows

Photo: Depositphotos.com

There have been 112 jihadi-inspired terrorist attacks in the western world over the past 15 years, of which three quarters actually led to damage, injury or death, the Dutch security service AIVD said on Tuesday in a new report.

But the success rate and the number of attacks has soared since 2014, when ISIS arrived on the scene, the AIVD said in its report The sharp drop in the number of attacks last year  – from 29 in 2017 to seven – follows the ‘collapse of the ISIS ‘caliphate’ and the group’s reduced power,’ the AIVD said.

Although the geographical spread is broad, just over a quarter of the attacks took place in France, followed by the US (20%), Britain (13%) and Germany (10%). Some 80% of the attacks were carried out by people operating alone and in 20% there were no victims, the report said.

The analysis of attacks and failed attacks also shows a wide variety of targets, ranging from public transport and open paces to cafes and bars. Just a handful of attacks took place at major open air events and resulted in a large number of casualties such as the Nice firework show in France in 2016.

And although the image of terrorist attacks is one of bombs and suicide bombers, in almost half the cases over the past five years, the victims were stabbed, the attack timeline shows. Guns were involved in a quarter of cases and vehicles 17%.

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