Islamist Terror Attacks in the West: Statistics


According to a recent report, over 400 people have lost their lives in Islamist attacks carried out by jihadists in western countries since December 2014.  This period follows the declaration of a “caliphate” by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in parts of Syria and Iraq in June 2014.

The report looked at attacks motivated by the Islamist ideology, attacks that involved intentional, large-scale acts of violence against civilians and acts intended to intimidate or express a message to a larger group, all three of which would fit neatly within categories of ‘terrorist’ as commonly accepted.

Although most of the Islamist attacks occur elsewhere in the world, an unparalleled number of attacks have taken place in Europe and North America – more than 50 in total.

These findings are part of a report by ISPI, George Washington’s Program on Extremism and the International Centre for Counter-terrorism in The Hague, conducted by Dr Vidino, along with Dr Francesco Marone and Eva Entenmann

Who are the attackers?

According to findings, the average age of the perpetrators is 27.

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Khalid Masood, who was shot dead during his murder rampage, is the oldest attacker at 52
  • The youngest attacker is a 15-year-old boy who has remained unnamed who battered a Jewish teacher in Marseilles with a machete. Another attacker, also aged 15, is a girl who stabbed a police officer at a train station in Hannover.
  • The majority of the attackers are in their 20s, with a quarter being in their 30s and a third being 40 or older.
  • Khalid Masood, who drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, London, is the oldest attacker at 52.
  • Whilst women are becoming more engaged online in jihadist networks, only 2 out of 65 of the attackers were female.

Who are the victims?

The 52 attacks that took place between December 2014 and early June 2017 saw 403 people die and more than 1600 people injured (which do not include perpetrators).

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Scenes from the Paris Attack in 2015, which stands as the deadliest terrorist attack in the West (Image: AP)

What role has ISIS played?

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Pictures of the victorious ISIS convoy after some of their earliest victors in iraq
  • Out of the four deadliest attacks, two of those were known to have been orchestrated by ISIS – the attacks in Paris and the one in Brussels.
  • Nevertheless, the most deadly attacks among the others – the Nice attack and the Orlando attack – were independent attacks which were apparently inspired by ISIS (as opposed to being coordinated by ISIS).
  • Of the attacks that have taken place in the West since June 2014, only 10% of attacks were directly orchestrated by ISIS.
  • However, the influence of ISIS and it’s ideology is evident in the attacks.
  • 60% of attacks saw the perpetrators pledge allegiance to ISIS – either before or after the act – signalling the increased extent of their involvement if only through their particular brand of Islamist ideology.


Full report: Fear Thy Neighbor. Radicalization and Jihadist Attacks in the West

About Benjamin David 35 Articles
Benjamin David founded Conatus News in 2016. He currently works as an editor for Parliamentary Review.

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