Ireland ranked 10th in Europe in global index of countries affected by terrorism

Ireland ranked 10th in Europe in global index of countries affected by terrorism
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Ireland is ranked tenth out of 36 European countries in a global index of countries affected by terrorism.

Ireland is positioned behind neighbouring countries hit hard by Islamist and, more recently, right-wing, terrorism, such as Britain, France and Germany, but is ahead of states like the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark.

The Global Terrorism Index, which published the data, said that while deaths from terrorism have fallen globally, including in Europe, over the last four years, there has been a “surge” in right-wing terrorism, particularly in the West.

The index, compiled by the Institute for Economics & Peace, also found an increase in women being involved in terrorist attacks.

Speaking at the Irish launch of the report at the Institute of International and European Affairs, Serge Stroobants of the IEP, said that while the impact of terrorism was going down the phenomenon of terrorism was “spreading”.

He said that Mali, where Irish troops are serving under an EU training mission, was one of just four countries that recorded a substantial rise in deaths from terrorism in 2018.

This included two attacks, in June and April 2018, involving the deaths of 32 and 31 people respectively.

He said 103 countries recorded at least one terrorist incident in 2018, with 71 experiencing at least one fatality – the second-worst year on record.

He said terrorism-related deaths in Europe were down 70% to 62 in 2018, with 40 of those in Turkey.

Britain was ranked second in Europe (after Turkey), with 95 incidents in 2018, involving two fatalities.

It said that 80 of the 95 attacks occurred in Northern Ireland, including the two fatalities.

The report said that at least six of the 12 terrorist incidents in England “explicitly targeted Jews, Muslims and Sikhs”.

Ireland was ranked tenth in Europe, down from ninth position in 2017, out of 36 European countries.

The report said Western Europe recorded its lowest number of terrorist incidents since 2012 and that the number of countries recording a death in 2018 fell from nine to five countries.

It said the collapse of ISIS in Syria and Iraq was also reflected in Europe with no deaths attributed to the group in 2018, although 16 deaths were attributed to 'Jihadi-inspired extremists'.

Mr Stroobants said there has been an “exponential growth” in far-right terrorism, increasing by 320% in the last five years.

He said the trend would “skyrocket” in 2019, with 77 deaths recorded in the first nine months of the year.

The report said the number of arrests linked to right-wing terrorism in Europe in 2019 increased for the third year in a row.

The report said the rise in far-right terrorist attacks has been blamed on the political climate, with an increase in aggressive rhetoric, hate speech and empowerment of far-right figures.

Also speaking at the IIEA, Milo Comerford of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, said far-right extremism was on a “frightening trajectory” with tactics involving “mainstreaming” their narratives in the media and political discourse.

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