Since 9/11, Islamist extremists have perpetrated at least 31,221 attacks and killed 146,811 people worldwide, a study by the German outlet Die Welt am Sonntag has found out. According to its article “18 Years of Terror”, the number of violent attacks with at least 12 victims exceeds 3,000 acts, with 95,934 dead. Most of the victims have been Muslim.
The geography of Islamist terror stretches from European cities, such as Brussels, Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid, and Barcelona – to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, where attacks are more frequent. India and Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria – all these countries have witnessed numerous deadly strikes.
The newspaper analysed information from the Global Terrorism Database compiled by the University of Maryland and counted the attacks carried out by jihadists and members of different terror groups, including al-Qaeda, Daesh*, Boko Haram, and al-Shabaab.
9/11 as Point of No Return
The attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 mark the beginning of the tragic count. On that day 18 years ago, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked aeroplanes to bring down the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Centre and attack the Pentagon, with one crashing in a Pennsylvania field. The attack — the worst in the history of the US — claimed the lives of some 3,000 people.
2004 Madrid Bombings
One of the deadliest Islamist terrorist strikes hit Spain on 11 March 2004, when multiple explosions on commuter trains during rush hour in Madrid left 193 dead and 2,000 injured. The bombings, said to be the most deadly attack in the history of Spain and Europe’s worst terror act since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, were attributed to a radical Jihadist cell linked to al-Qaida.
Boko Haram Atrocities
Islamist militants from Boko Haram have been behind the most gruesome attacks in Nigeria. One of their most egregious acts was an operation against the towns of Gamboru and Ngala in May 2014. Over the course of 12 hours, the extremists killed some 300 residents.
Attack on Air Force Cadets in Iraq
In recent years, Daesh has carried out numerous attacks in Iraq. In 2014, the terrorists targeted Iraqi Air Force cadets in Tikrit, slaughtering some 1,570 Shia and non-Muslim students. One of the deadliest attacks came two years later, in July 2016, when coordinated car bombings in a predominantly Shia district in Baghdad took the lives of at least 340 people.
2015-2016: Massacres in Paris and Nice
The terrorist attacks in the French capital on 13 November 2015 were considered the worst in France’s history and resulted in a two-year-long nationwide state of emergency. Three coordinated groups of terrorists staged a series of attacks in Paris and one of the city’s northern suburbs, Saint-Denis, which left 130 dead and over 350 wounded. A series of explosions occurred outside Stade de France. In north-eastern Paris, three gunmen burst into the Bataclan concert hall with approximately 1,500 people inside, opening fire and taking some of the audience members hostage.
Half a year later on July 14 2016, a 19-tonne cargo truck drove into a crowd of people who were celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. The incident took the lives of 86 people and injured 434 more. Daesh claimed responsibility for the terror attack.
2016 Brussels Attacks
Belgium became yet another target of terrorists in 2016. On March 22, 2016 two explosions hit Brussels Airport, with a third detonating inside a train carriage at the Maalbeek metro station half an hour later. A total of 32 people were killed, and over 300 more were injured. Daesh claimed responsibility for these attacks as well.
2017 Attacks in Africa
One of the deadliest attacks in Africa dates back to 2017. In October of that year, 588 people were killed and more than 300 injured in suicide truck bombings in Mogadishu, Somalia. The attack was attributed to Islamist terrorists from al-Shabaab. Just a month later, Egypt’s deadliest terrorist act was carried out by dozens of Daesh radicals. They stormed a mosque near the city of Bir al-Abed, killing 311 people.
2018 Syrian Bombings
Syria has suffered numerous terror attacks since the civil war broke out there in 2011. One of the deadliest strikes was carried out last July by Daesh. At least 255 people died in suicide bombings and gunfire in the Syrian city of Sweida.
2019 Sri Lanka Bombings
This list of the deadliest terror acts concludes with the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019, when multiple blasts killed at least 253 people and injured over 500 others in hotels and churches. The Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) has reportedly claimed responsibility for them.
* Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia