Every year, the U.S. Department of State evaluates the threat posed to society by global terrorism and issues a report, as mandated by the U.S. Congress. The Country Reports on Terrorism, as it is called, breaks down global terrorist attacks and terrorist group activity by region and country.
This year's report, issued on August 18th, states that terrorists staged 11,604 attacks in 72 countries last year. The attacks claimed 49,901 victims, of which 13,186 people died. Comparing these figures with those from previous years, the report concludes that "although the number of attacks rose by almost 5 percent over the previous year, the number of deaths declined for a third consecutive year, dropping 12 percent from 2009." More than half of the victims in 2010 were civilians, over 600 were children. Police officers and other paramilitary or private security officers accounted for over 2,000 deaths.
South Asia continued to be a hotbed of terrorist activity in 2010, registering more attacks than any other region. It also had the largest number of victims for the third consecutive year.
The Near East region, too, remained one of the most active in terms of terrorist activity last year. In fact, according to the report, more than 75 percent of the world’s terrorist attacks and deaths took place in South Asia and the Near East.
"Our counterterrorism strategy involves building a genuinely multilateral approach to this global threat," said State Department Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Daniel Benjamin. "The United States has been working hard to reinvigorate alliances and strengthen existing partnerships; this is especially true in the arena of counterterrorism. Through consistent diplomatic engagement, we are seeking to boost the political will and strengthen the resolve of leaders around the world to confront terrorist threats. That will is essential for our long-term capacity building efforts," said Daniel Benjamin.
"Ultimately, our success will hinge on strengthening the ability of others around the world to deal with terrorism in their countries and regions."