Worldwide terrorist attacks peaked in 2012 — the year after Osama bin Laden was killed — and their number is expected to rise even further.
Nearly all the murderous attacks took place in Muslim countries. With 525 attacks killing 1,842 people, the Afghanistan-based Taliban is the deadliest terrorist group, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, known by the acronym START. The organization is funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
All but one of the most dangerous groups — the Communist Party of India-Maoist — are associated with al-Qaida, the militant Islamist organization founded by bin Laden with the mission of destroying the West and replacing it with Islamic culture and religion, according to the report obtained by CNN
In 2012, terrorism claimed the lives of 15,500 people during 8,500 deadly attacks, according to START, which classified 11 incidents in the United States that took seven lives, six of them in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.
Eight U.S. civilians died in attacks in Afghanistan.
International terrorism looks much different than it did in decades past. In the 1970s, most terrorist attacks occurred in Western Europe, and guns were the predominant weapon. Terrorism moved to Latin America in the 1980s. By the 1990s, attacks — mostly bombings and explosions — began steadily rising in South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, a trend that continues, according to CNN.
The Obama administration hoped that the May 2, 2011, operation that killed bin Laden would curtail militant-Islamic terrorist attacks, but the opposite has been the case.
Al-Qaida and similar groups are retooling their tactics with the hope of mitigating the slaying of Muslim civilians, according to Fox News
During the September siege at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, members of al-Shabab quizzed those inside on Quran scripture, asking the petrified victims to recite specific verses or name the Prophet Muhammad’s relatives, in an attempt to identify — and spare — Muslims.
Sixty-seven people died in that attack.
Eighty-five countries saw terror attacks in 2012, but more than half of those happened in just three — Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Deadliest Terrorist Groups:
• Taliban (Afghanistan)
• Boko Haram (Nigeria)
• Al-Qaida (Iraq)
• Communist Party of India-Maoist (India)
• Al-Shabab (Somalia)
• Al-Qaida (Arabian Peninsula)
• Taliban (Pakistan)
Rep. Peter King: Kenya Mall Attack Shows al-Qaida's Reach
UN Envoy for Somalia Calls for Stepping up Fight Against al-Shabab
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