Global Terrorism Index: PH 9th most affected by terrorism in 2018

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FILE PHOTO. The Global Terrorism Index noted that the communist group New People’s Army remains the deadliest terror group in the Philippines after it dominated extremist violence in the country.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 21) – The Philippines remains the only Southeast Asian country which ranked in the top ten countries most impacted by terrorism, even climbing up to the ninth spot in the 2019 Global Terrorism Index.

With a “high” score of 7.137, the country recorded 424 terror-related attacks which resulted in 297 deaths. This is a 13 percent decrease from 487 terror-related incidents in 2017.

The report, conducted by think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, noted that the communist group New People’s Army (NPA) remains the deadliest terror group in the country after it dominated extremist violence in the country with 36 percent of deaths and 39 percent of terror-related incidents at 107 and 179, respectively.

A total of 39 provinces recorded NPA attacks in 2018, predominantly in Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. This is equivalent to a 111 percent increase in Negros Island since 2017, with violence committed against police, military and the government on land rights issues.

The NPA has engaged in an insurgency against the government for over 50 years, causing 2,387 deaths since 1970.

The index also reported that the Islamist militant group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), the second deadliest group in the country, recorded a surge in violence by 115 percent since 2017 driven by an uptake in violence in Maguindanao.

This was followed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) through its affiliations with the Abu Sayyaf, the BIFM and the Maute group. The ISIL caused 18 casualties from three separate attacks in 2018.

Attacks vs government increased

Attacks on government targets also increased by 45 percent between 2017 and 2018, with over 139 deaths.

The Global Terrorism Index ranking was also attributed to the resurgence of terror groups in Mindanao to a lack of government response.

“The government’s response to the terrorist threat has been hampered by limited coordination, lack of capacity and geographical challenges,” the report read.

The index said 34 terror groups worldwide became actors in an internal armed conflict against the government, often remaining terrorist organizations in the long run.

Afghanistan was the country most affected by terrorism, replacing Iraq, which held the position since 2004.

Other countries which topped the index were Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Global Terrorism Index ranked 163 countries, attributed to the total number of incidents in a given year, number of fatalities caused by terrorists in a given year, number of injuries caused, and a measure of the total property damage from terrorist incidents.