THE DEADLIEST TERRORIST GROUPS
Deaths from terrorism are not only concentrated in a small number of countries, but also they are perpetrated by a small number of groups. Since 2014, three-quarters of terrorism-related deaths (by known groups) were the responsibility of just four groups or networks: al-Qaeda and its affiliates, Boko Haram, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and the Taliban. Not coincidentally, these groups often operate in the countries with the most terrorism-related deaths. In 2014, Boko Haram and the Islamic State were responsible for more than 50 percent of terrorism-related deaths.
Although the Islamic State controls less territory in Iraq and Syria than it did at its peak around 2014, it remains the deadliest terrorist organization in the world. In fact, in 2016, violence perpetrated by the Islamic State resulted in a record number of deaths committed by the group. Attacks outside Iraq and Syria by individuals inspired by the Islamic State have also been rising: between 2013 and 2016, forty-two countries faced Islamic State–related terrorist attacks. Those include attacks in Australia, Bangladesh, France, Germany, Indonesia, and Pakistan. These attacks often receive intense media coverage, contributing to the heightened perception of the threat terrorism poses today.