Egypt took 13th place in a newly released report that ranks countries based on the intensity of “terrorist violence”.
The Global Terrorism Index is compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an independent think tank with offices in Sidney, New York, and Oxford. It defines terrorism as an intentional act of violence committed by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal. It does not consider cases of state terrorism.
Ali Bakr, an expert on Islamist movements at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said Egypt’s ranking is an indication of the “escalation of violence and terrorism”. Bakr, however, added that “we are part of the region” and said the situation in Egypt is natural amid the ongoing regional wave of conflict in countries like Libya, Syria, and Yemen.
The report considered the period between 2000 and 2013, based on a dataset of over 125,000 incidents. The think tank claims this is “the most comprehensive dataset on terrorist activity globally”.
Iraq topped the list, followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria, with over 80% of the deaths concentrated in these five countries. Egypt did better than Yemen and Russia, but was found to have experienced greater terrorist violence than Lebanon or Algeria.
Egypt was also mentioned in the report as one of the countries that may experience increases in terrorism due to ongoing conflict. Bakr said that the shape of terrorism has changed, and that it is “possible” Egypt may experience a rise in terrorism as part of an overall increase in regional armed conflict.
The report analysed the correlation between “group grievance” and the incidence of terrorism, and found a high correlation between these two variables. Measures of grievance were based on levels of cooperation between different identity groups within a society. “When cooperation breaks down between prominent identity groups, there is the potential for conflict including killings, assassinations, rioting, and acts of terrorism,” the report said.