chapter  9
Evolution of Global Terrorism
The Growing Lethality of Attacks
ByGary LaFree, Laura Dugan
Pages 11

This chapter reports results from the latest available version of the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), which includes data on the characteristics of more than 141,000 terrorist attacks that occurred worldwide between 1970 and 2014. We provide an update of baseline information about the trends and regional patterns of terrorist attacks. In addition, our analysis concentrates on the associated fatalities and how they are distributed across attacks, regions, countries, cities, targets, tactics, and weapons. Of note, total attacks and fatal attacks worldwide were at their highest level in 2014 since the GTD data series began in 1970. A major contributing factor is the recent rapid rise of the Islamic State of Iraq on the Levant (ISIL), which accounted for five of the 20 deadliest terrorist attacks over the entire time period.