Under Osama bin Laden's leadership, al Qa'ida has been one of the most lethal terrorist organization in the world, responsible for more than 10,000 deaths and injuries in a dozen years, finds a new analysis by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland (START).
"Al-Qa'ida, the terrorist organization Osama bin Laden founded, was responsible for fomenting more mass casualty attacks than any other group in recent history," says START Director Gary LaFree, a University of Maryland professor responsible for assembling the world's most comprehensive unclassified terrorism database.
Key Findings From START Research
- Al-Qa'ida was responsible for, or suspected to be responsible for, 84 terrorist attacks around the world since 1998, resulting in the deaths of at least 4,299 individuals. Another 6,300 people were wounded in al-Qa'ida attacks.
- More than 600 other groups have been engaged in terrorism worldwide since 1998, with al-Qa'ida being responsible for less than one percent of all attacks but more than 20 percent of all terrorism fatalities, indicative of the intensely deadly nature of al-Qa'ida operations and efforts.
- Since 1998, there have been 408 incidents of mass-casualty terrorism. Al-Qa'ida was responsible for 16 of these attacks -- more than any other group.
Additionally, START researchers Victor Asal and R. Karl Rethemeyer at the University of Albany (SUNY) count 33 separate terror groups with direct links and alliances to al-Qa'ida.
A complete report is available online at: http://www.start.umd.edu/start/publications/br/BackgroundReport_AQAttacks.pdf
In addition to the above data, the report includes:
- Al-Qa'ida Terrorist Attacks by Year
- Al-Qa'ida Terrorism Fatalities
- Responsibility for Terrorism Fatalities Since 1998
- Terrorism Fatalities by al-Qa'ida Affiliates/Allies (through 2008)
Global Terrorism Database
These data were collected and compiled from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), available at: http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/ . It contains information on more than 87,000 terrorist incidents around the world since 1970.
GTD is a project of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Based at the University of Maryland, College Park -- an initiative of the school's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences -- START aims to provide timely guidance on how to disrupt terrorist networks, reduce the incidence of terrorism, and enhance the resilience of U.S. society in the face of the terrorist threat.
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