Terrorism in 2018

From the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) October 2019

In 2018, there were more than 9,600 terrorist attacks around the world, which killed more than 22,980 people, including 7,290 perpetrators and 15,690 victims. The patterns described here provide a general overview. We encourage you to explore the Global Terrorism Database and consider contextual information for a comprehensive assessment.


  • 2018 was the fourth consecutive year of declining global terrorism since terrorist violence peaked in 2014 at nearly 17,000 attacks and more than 45,000 total deaths. The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide decreased by 43% between 2014 and 2018, and the total number of deaths decreased by 48%. Regional trends varied substantially.
  • Global statistical trends were heavily impacted by patterns of terrorism In Iraq, which suffered more terrorist attacks than any other country each year from 2013 to 2017. The number of terrorist attacks in Iraq decreased by 46% between 2017 and 2018 and the number of people killed in terrorist attacks decreased by 78%.
  • In particular, from the declaration of the caliphate in June 2014 to the liberation of Mosul in July 2017, Islamic State carried out more than 100 terrorist attacks in Iraq and killed more than 500 victims each month, on average. The group’s violence in Iraq subsequently decreased dramatically and continued to decline throughout 2018 and early 2019, but remained deadly. More than 650 Islamic State attacks in Iraq killed more than 800 victims and 300 perpetrators in 2018 and caused hundreds of additional casualties in Syria and other locations.

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