New York - Acts of terrorism in the Maghreb region have recorded a dramatic increase in recent years, with the sole exception of Morocco, according to Spanish think tank Real Instituto Elcano.Jihadist groups, mainly the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIS), have perpetrated attacks targeting government institutions and civilians.
New York – Acts of terrorism in the Maghreb region have recorded a dramatic increase in recent years, with the sole exception of Morocco, according to Spanish think tank Real Instituto Elcano.
Jihadist groups, mainly the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIS), have perpetrated attacks targeting government institutions and civilians.
Since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring of 2011, acts of terrorism have dramatically increased in the region.
Terrorism in the Maghreb countries accounted for 0.33 percent of the world’s total attacks in 2011. In 2014, the figure quadrupled to 4.7 percent, according to a study published by El Cano this week.
International terrorism expert Fernando Reinares said that with the exception of Morocco, which has not suffered a terrorist attack since the attack in Marrakech in 2011, the rest of the Maghreb countries are plagued with terrorism.
Algeria, considered the home of terrorism in the region, as well as Tunisia and Libya, have seen a massive increase of violent attacks.
Between 2011 and 2014, attacks in the Maghreb have multiplied by nearly 47 times, according to a detailed analysis in the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), published by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.
“The main scenario for terrorism in the Maghreb has thus increasingly transferred from Algeria to Libya,” the study noted.
“Between 2011 and 2014 a total of 1,105 acts of terrorism were recorded in the countries that make up the Maghreb. In 2011 a mere 15 terrorist acts were committed, but there were 90 incidents in 2012, representing a six-fold increase with respect to the previous year; this figure in turn augmented threefold in 2013, when the number climbed to 302, and then more than doubled in 2014 with 698 terrorist attacks,” START numbers revealed.
Morocco, on the other hand, has recorded a decrease in terrorist acts. “Morocco stands out among the four Maghreb countries covered by this analysis for the total absence of terrorist attacks after the last one in Marrakech on April 28, 2011,” El Cano said.
The 2011 terrorist attacks in Marrakech claimed the lives of 17 people, mostly tourists, when a bomb exploded inside a coffee shop in Jemaa el Fnaa Square.
Nearly 45 percent of terrorist acts in the Maghreb between 2011 and 2014 were the result of bombs and explosive devices, the GTD study noted.
More than 54 percent of the targets were government institutions, while no less than 33 percent were civilians. The number of casualties from terrorist attacks in the region between 2011 and 2014 was estimated at 1,229, according to the same analysis.