A shocking new report issued by jihad watchdogs found that in the month of November, 170 people a day died at the hands of jihadists around the world with a total of more than 5,000 losing their lives in just 30 days.
The BBC is reporting on the study completed by the BBC World Service, BBC Monitoring, and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King’s College, London. The aim of the report was to record all of the reported deaths caused by jihadist violence in the month of November to produce a kind of “global snapshot” of the phenomenon.
The picture that emerged is far from pretty.
“In the course of November, jihadists carried out 664 attacks, killing 5,042 people – many more than, for instance, the number of people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks,” writes Peter Neumann, Professor of Security Studies, King’s College London, for the BBC.
This was the grisly work of jihadist groups that have largely regrouped around the world to take advantage of new conflicts and instability, many in the same countries that saw popular uprisings during the so-called “Arab Spring” of 2011.
The most “spectacular newcomer” is Islamic State, a group that has declared the creation of a caliphate and has nearly replaced al-Qaeda as the leader of global jihadism. In the past six months, the world has been shocked and horrified by the group’s brutality – the beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.
But just how much of a toll is jihad taking across the globe?
A very “important and disturbing” one, Neumann writes.
The report found that while IS is the deadliest group operating today, jihadist groups carried out attacks in 12 other countries and were responsible for almost 800 deaths each in Nigeria and Afghanistan, as well as hundreds in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan.
The total human cost equaled, on average, 20 attacks and nearly 170 deaths per day – most of them Muslim civilians. Fifty-one percent of the fatalities were civilian. If government officials and police and similar non-combatants are factored in, the number rises to 57 percent.
“While jihadist violence used to be associated with mass-casualty bombings – such as the ones in New York, Madrid and London – today’s jihadists employ a much greater variety of tactics, ranging from classical terrorism to more-or-less conventional operations,” Neumann writers. “In our data, bombings were outnumbered by shootings, ambushes, and shelling, reflecting the increased emphasis on holding territory and confronting conventional forces.”
Another important finding is that the vast majority of deaths were caused by jihadist groups that were not affiliated with al-Qaeda.
“The project tells the story of a movement in the middle of a profound transformation – one whose final outcome is impossible to predict,” Neumann concludes.”
“If anything, this highlights the movement’s scale and ambition, but also the long-term political, social, ideological, and military commitment that will be needed to counter it.”
What can be done about it?
Tom Keatinge, of the Royal United Service Institute, told the Daily Mail that there was “only so much” the international community can do to stop IS and its ilk.
“Ultimately, it will be the local people suffering from water shortages, food rationing, and power cuts that will need to determine to rid themselves of the yoke of IS as their relationship withers.”
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com