NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 21, 2005

Most terrorists may regard America as their number one enemy, but the majority of their attacks have been against other targets, says the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

Under the new definition of terrorism, which includes domestic attacks without an international element, nearly 3,192 attacks have occurred worldwide, with 28,433 people killed, wounded or kidnapped, says NCTC.

According to the chronology of terrorist attacks in 2004:

  • Only 10 percent of "international terrorist" incidents -- acts of violence by politically motivated nongovernmental agents against noncombatants from another country -- were aimed at a U.S. interest.
  • Only 103, or about one percent, of the 9,321 people killed, wounded or kidnapped in such acts were Americans.
  • The vast majority of incidents took place in South Asia and the Near East.
  • About 19 percent of terrorist incidents were attributable to Islamic extremists; a quarter were recorded as secular or political attacks, but the motives for 56 percent of attacks remains unknown.

However, the extraordinary casualty rates of the Madrid bombings (in which 191 people died and 1,900 were injured) and the Chechen hostage-taking incident in Beslan, Russia (331 killed and more than 600 injured), pushed Europe's total victim rate higher than any other region, says NCTC.

Source: "A Chronology of Significant International Terrorism for 2004," National Counterterrorism Center, April 29, 2005.


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