Terrorist attacks decrease worldwide but fatalities increase in the west

Police stand by as medical personnel attend a person on the ground, right, in the early hours of Friday, July 14, 2016, on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France, next to the lorry that had been driven into crowds of revelers late Thursday. (AP Photo)

Around the world, the threat of terrorism looms large.

Last year alone there were more than 13,000 terrorist attacks, according to a new report, put out by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. But that number, as well as the number of terrorist fatalities, is actually down from the year before.

“Overall terrorism declined in terms of terrorist attacks by 9% around the world and in terms of total fatalities we saw the client worldwide of about 10%,” said Erin Miller, program manager for the START Global Terrorism Database.

She said the numbers are complicated though.

“It's not as straightforward people might expect it is in terms of good and bad,” she said in an interview Wednesday. The report also found a big increase in deaths from terrorist attacks in Europe and North America in 2016 due in large part to mass casualty attacks like the ones at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France (July 14, 2016, 86 killed) a Christmas market in Berlin (December 19, 2016, 12 dead) and the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (June 12, 2016 49 dead)

When it comes to tracking the trends of terrorists, experts also look to online publications like Inspire magazine. The recent issue encourages followers of Al-Qaeda to attack railways in the west.

They cite the high number of people who ride the train and highlight Homeland Security’s estimates that a chlorine gas tank incident could kill more than 17 thousand people.

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