Challenging security reports, a new analysis has said that fatalities from international terrorism are on the rise.
The estimate about terrorism fatalities going down had been made by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), part of the federally funded National Consortium on the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) based at Maryland.
According to the new analysis, "Human Security Brief 2007," concludes that the GTD and other key unclassified US databases over-report international terrorism.
The GTD lists more than 80,000 terrorism incidents since 1970. It measures more than a hundred social, economic and security variables for each incident, including contextual and impact data.
The main discrepancy, according to the analysis, lies in "counting civilian deaths in the civil war in Iraq as terrorism", which the GTD report had not done, the main reason of which is that the intentional killing of civilians in wartime is not normally described as terrorism, but as a war crime or crime against humanity.
Removing these Iraq numbers from the analysis, revealed a sharp net decline in the incidence of terrorist violence around the world, leading the GTD report to conclude that "fatalities from terrorism have declined by some 40 percent."
"We've been very conservative in our methods and I consider the result a balanced look at the problem," said Gary LaFree, who directs the GTD.
"To me, the trends are clear - fatalities are up, terror attacks are flat," he added.