The overall picture gives us some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the number killed by Islamic terrorists is down 30% from last year’s totals. The bad news is that they are running out of people to kill. With the number of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, they are running out of targets there. The further bad news is that ISIS has gained a foothold in Afghanistan and has gained strength in Libya- two “great” Clinton/Obama achievements.
The year was full of spectacular attacks but most of the focus was on the Paris attack in November and the earlier attack against the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Also, the ISIS-inspired attack in California gained much attention. But, overlooked were attacks on a Christian school in Kenya, a January 2015 brutal Boko Haram attack in Nigeria that left over 2,000 dead in one day, and the discovery of mass graves throughout Syria and Iraq at the hands of ISIS. What is interesting is the reach of Islamic terrorism as deaths at their hands were reported in most countries, except Central and South America. Even places like China, India and now Bangladesh have seen an increase in attacks over the past year.
So where do these attacks occur? Although attacks in Paris and San Bernardino gained most of the attention, Islamic terrorism is a daily fact of life in the Middle East and Africa. Greater than 85% of all terrorist deaths occur in either the Middle East or sub-Sahara Africa. Iraq and Syria account for the bulk of the deaths in the Middle East while Nigeria is the main culprit on the African continent. And although dominating the headlines, only 1% of all deaths at the hands of terrorists occurs in Europe, the United States and Australia combined.
We have often heard it mentioned that Muslims are the overwhelming victims of Islamic terrorism. In reality, statistics from 2015 show that close to 19% of all victims are non-Muslim. Of course, slaughtering over 2,000 non-Muslim villagers in Nigeria inflates these statistics, but making a blanket declaration that Muslims are the primary victims of Muslim violence is a little off the mark. Obviously, there is a Sunni versus Shiite component to the phenomena, but Hindus, Christians, religious minorities and Jews have been the targets of Islamic terrorism also throughout the year.
And what is the preferred choice of weapon to your Islamic terrorist? Close to 40% of all terrorist deaths were attributable to explosive devices. These ranged from planted bombs to suicide bombers to car bombs to the good, old IED, although IED deaths are relatively low. When you throw in the indiscriminate use of lobbing rockets and mortars into civilian areas, deaths attributable to explosives account for about 48% of all terrorist deaths.
Guns come in second on the preferred weaponry. Perhaps Obama and company can propose some commonsense gun control reforms in these countries. The remainder of the killings are attributable to executions or other means. The common, everyday beheading gets all the news coverage, but ISIS (and Boko Haram) have become diverse in their methods. Homosexuals, for example, are simply thrown off of buildings to their death. If they are unfortunate enough to survive, they are usually then beaten to death by the throngs. There are mass shootings and the inevitable mass graves. And my favorite: strapping a victim in a moving car in the desert and using it for mortar fire practice. Ingenious- killing the infidel while improving your shooting skills.
There were over 250 terrorist actions that killed at least 20 people in one fell swoop. In fact, the average number of deaths per terrorist act was 10 victims. That is not including the fortunate survivors who happened to lose a limb or two…or three…or four. We often hear that a group remains anonymous. FALSE. Almost 60% of all terrorist acts have someone claiming responsibility. When you throw in an additional 25% where we know who the perpetrators are whether they claim responsibility or not, terrorist groups are not anonymous when taking claim for their butchery.
In terms of deaths, the big three are ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Taliban. It is funny how Obama policies seem implicated. For example, wasn’t it Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State who was reluctant to recognize the Islamic terrorist threat in Nigeria? Wasn’t it Barack Obama who refused to leave behind troops in Iraq? Wasn’t it Obama who ignored his own “red lines” in Syria? Wasn’t it Obama who telegraphed the removal of troops in Afghanistan?
When one adds the number of injured to the number of deaths, it was another banner year for Islamic terrorism. Besides wreaking havoc in Europe, particularly France, and the spread of ISIS to Northern Africa and taking root in Libya (congratulations to Clinton and Obama for that foreign policy success), there were greater than 50,000 casualties at the hands of Islamic terrorists in 2015.
While the body count rises, our “leaders” insist that terrorism is on the run. This is strange since they won’t even acknowledge a war on terrorism lest they offend the Muslim world. Of course ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States. They don’t have to be; they only need one or two attacks on American citizens or soil to be effective. They hide behind our laws and our openness as a society. Worse, they hide behind the stupidity of an administration more inclined to apology, ignorance and, ultimately, surrender.