Over the past few months it feels like every week we have news of yet another ISIS-inspired jihadist attack, but how bad is the global terror threat really? Well, it turns out that, as is true for all things terror-related, the situation is worse than it seems. Over the last two months, there's been a new ISIS attack every 3 and a half days.
Between June 8 and July 20, 2016, there has been an ISIS-inspired or directed act of terror outside of war zones every 84 hours — many of which have been carried out in Europe, which has seen a significant acceleration of attacks following an unprecedented influx of refugees from terror-plagued regions and ISIS ramping up its calls for attacks on the West. Some of those attacks have been particularly deadly, including the heinous attack by an ISIS convert who used a truck to murder 84 people in Nice, over ten of whom were children.
The 84-hour number comes from terror-tracking group IntelCenter, its findings confirmed by CNN.
"This year has seen an accelerating pattern of attacks linked to ISIS in Europe and beyond — from Turkey to Bangladesh, the United States to Indonesia," reports CNN. "According to the group IntelCenter, which tracks acts of terrorism, there has been a significant attack directed or inspired by ISIS every 84 hours since June 8 in cities outside the war zones in Iraq, Syria, Sinai in Egypt and Libya. CNN's own tracking of attacks supports that conclusion."
According to the IntelCenter, between June 29, 2014 (when ISIS first declared its Caliphate) and July 20, 2016, there were 73 attacks in 21 countries outside of war zone that killed a total of 965 people and injured 2,797. The number of attacks since June 8 is a significant increase in frequency, signaling a concerted effort by the group to spread terror around the globe.
The group explains that the increase follows a larger pattern: "The IS rate of attack for significant attacks outside of war zones has accelerated from every 21 days in 2014 following the 29 Jun. announcement to an attack every 10 days in 2015 and now every seven days in 2016 as of 20 Jul. 2016."
The center notes that one particularly troubling aspect of ISIS' terror campaign is that over half of the attacks have not been in big cities, and thus were not areas previously believed to be terror targets. Out of the 73 attacks, the group found that 51% of the attacks "occurred in areas previously not considered at significant risk of terrorism."
"This concerning development represents a significant shift in where terrorist attacks are occurring," the group notes. "Historically, significant attacks by jihadi groups were almost always focused in high-profile areas. This meant the focus of counterterrorism efforts could be concentrated in major cities where there were typically more resources available. While the threat of attacks in smaller cities and towns, could not be ruled out, there was a much lower risk of such attacks occurring. This is no longer the case."