Terror attacks in Bardo and Sousse have contributed to the global expansion of terror in the year 2015, according to a new report by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
While the world experienced less terror-related deaths in 2015 than 2014, (the deadliest year on record) the continued growth of terror networks across new terrain is “a serious cause for concern,” according to the report.
Tunisia, reeling from its largest terror death to date, was among the countries whose Global Terrorism Index (GTI) score deteriorated the most in the year-long interval, contributing to a serious economic downturn in the North African country.
In 2015, Tunisia “lost $1.2 billion in tourism revenue,” the report said. “One million fewer tourists visited Tunisia compared to the prior year,”
“On the other hand, Morocco, a country where no deaths from terrorism occurred, increased tourism and travel by US$400 million from 2014 to 2015,” the report noted.
Despite marginal security gains in the majority of affected countries, the evolution of terrorism in 2015 was complex and multifaceted.
“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,” said executive chairman of the Institute of Economics and Peace Steve Killelea.
“The attacks in the heartland of western democracies underscore the need for fast-paced and tailored responses to the evolution of these organisations.”
Overall, the index tracked 29,376 global terror-related deaths in 2015, down from 32,765 in 2014, but noted that conditions worsened in 53 countries, including many moderately affected countries such as Tunisia, some of which “experienced record levels of terrorism.”
The report attributed the growth of extremist ideology in Tunisia to the “exclusion and marginalization” many face in local society.
“Radicalisation in Tunisia can…be described as the result of multiple layers of exclusion and marginalization that gradually ended up in a search for inclusion in the global container of utopian jihadist ideology.”
While the Islamic State, (Daesh) was responsible for the majority of terror-related activity in Tunisia, organizations such as Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al-Qaida played a major role in heavy conflict zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria, where the majority of deaths occurred.