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The Ten Countries With the Most Incidents of Terrorism

The ten countries with the most incidents of terrorism

We all know the dangers of terrorism and we've all heard the statistics that show there's a higher probability of getting stuck by lightning than dying in a terrorist attack. While that may be true for some nations, let's take a look at a few countries where lighting is not exactly the largest concern. The following is a list of countries with the most incidents of terrorism. The ranking is ordered using data from a 2010 Maplecroft report. Maplecroft is an international risk management consultancy.

10. Russia

Russia has been a terrorist hot spot since violence began in 1999 over the breakaway region of Chechnya. There have been some pretty large-scale terrorist attacks in the country since then such as the 'Moscow theater marriage crisis' in 2002 and the 'Beslan school host crisis' in 2004. The conflict in the Caucasus has fallen since its height, but corruption, race tensions and a dilapidated security apparatus exacerbate the situation. With Putin on track to once again become president of the Russian Federation, it's unquestionably that any novel political solutions will be applied to Russia's security situation. Russia will probably remain on this list for the foreseeable future.

9. Yemen

Yemen grabbed the number 9 spot on this list for the 2010 year end. While Yemen has a long history of Al Qaeda activities, such as the USS Cole bombing in 2000, in recent years it has become the focal point of Al Qaeda activities. The Al Qaeda Yemen branch is now considered by many security experts to be the most active and capable branch of the terrorism organization. They were behind such dastardly plots as the 'cargo plane bomb plot' in 2010 and the 'Christmas day bomber' in 2009. The United States has placed a significant amount of effort into combating terrorism in Yemen and has been carrying out drone attacks in the country for the better part of a decade. The popular uprising against authoritarian President Saleh that started in January of 2011 has weakened the state and the country is at risk of splintering along tribal and north-south lines from its civil war almost two decades ago.

8. Philippines

The Philippines makes the list because of its Islamic militant groups who are fighting to breakaway from the central government. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been waging a campaign of violence in the Philippines since the 1970's in the hopes of gaining an independent and Muslim homeland on the island of Mindanao. Their most prolific attack was in 2007 when their militants beheaded 11 Filipino marines. Another militant group operating in the Philippines is Abu Sayyaf, a small but deadly group with links to Al Qaeda. Abu Sayyaf has been responsible for some high profile incidents, such as when its militants occupied a Malaysian dive resort in 2000, the kidnapping of 20 people from a luxury resort on the island of Palawan in 2001 and the bombing of Superferry 14 in 2004. In 2009 the militant group even killed two American soldiers on operation in the country.

7. Thailand

Definitely the most popular tourist destination on this list, Thailand is more known for its beautiful beaches and raucous nightlife than for its terrorist violence. Similar to the Philippines, Thailand's violence stems from a Muslim urgency in its south. Unlike the Philippines, Thailand's urgency is relatively new, with the violence only beginning in earnest in 2004. This armed urgency centered around the border area with Malaysia confounds most experts as the goals and membership of its militant groups are relatively unknown. The ratione of the groups is also unclear. Muslim representation in the Thai government has steadily increased over the past few decades and the economy of Southern Thailand has also improved. In 2011 the Thai government conceded that violence was increasing and not likely to subside anytime soon.

6. Colombia

A regular member on this list, in recent years Colombia has nonetheless taken steps to decrease violence. Not quite the narcoterrorist nightmare of the 1990's, certain areas of the country such as Bogota have seen marked improvement. However, violence in the country's rural areas is still a problem. Far-right paramilitary groups such as AUC still operate (albeit at a limited capacity) and the power of FARC remains far reaching. Boasting over ten-thousand militants and operating in 500,000 square kilometers of jungle, FARC shows no signs of a total defeat, despite blows to its leadership. In 2010 alone FARC was responsible for the killing of over 450 Colombian soldiers.

5. Palestine Palestine comes in at number five on this list. The country would have unduly occupied the first spot on this list ten years ago at the height of its Second Intifada. Five places is a small improvement but an improvement nonetheless. The continued violence in Palestine today stems largely from the lack of a political solution to the Israeli occupation and to Hamas's continued control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas has used its stronghold in Gaza to launch rocket attacks on Israel that have resolved not only in Israeli deaths, but in massive retaliations from the Israeli military. Politically, the hard line stage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has led to a freeze in relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This relationship must thaw before any long lasting peace can be achieved.

4. Afghanistan

The only surprise here is that Afghanistan is not higher on this list. NATO and the US military are in the midst of a decade long war in the country, initiated after the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York, that shows no signs of abating. The conflict had been muddling along for years without major commitment in manpower from the West until the end of major hostilities in Iraq, when the attention returned to Afghanistan. This increase in US and NATO involvement as well as a resurgent Taliban have made each year since 2008 deadlier than the last. The United States is expected to withdraw 40,000 soldiers from Afghanistan in 2012 and while this may reduce the volume of terrorist attacks, do not expect the security situation to improve.

3. Iraq

And to think, this is a good ranking for Iraq. After years of being the world's most dangerous country, Iraq has begun falling on this list and now occupying the number three spot. Iraq's entry onto the terrorist hot spot list began with the US invasion in 2003. The consequent power vacuum created by the ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein led to a large amount of foreign trained terrorists entering the country and to an increase in sectarian violence. This sectarian aggression and the terrorists campaign of aggression on the Iraqi people led to the gruesome deaths of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and for acronyms like IED to become ingrained into our lexicon. The US war machine played its part in this violence and if you do not believe me type 'Blackwater shootings' or 'Collateral murder' into Google.

2. Pakistan

Certainly the most precarious member of the 'nuclear club', Pakistan comes in at number two on the list of terrorist hot spots. Pakistan has had some high profile attacks over the years and its militants have been responsible for carrying out attacks in several different nations. The Pakistani Taliban has transformed into an even more dangerous organization than its Afghan inspiration and more than 2000 Pakistani civilians were killed in terrorist acts in 2010 alone. In a scene straight out of an action movie, in 2011 US Navy Seal commandos raided a compound on the oustskirts of Islamabad and killed Al Qaeda terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden. This unauthorized raid has led to a rift in Pakistani-US relations, while the presence of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan has created more questions than answers about the aims of its nefarious ISI intelligence agency. Also in 2011 there have been reports that Pakistan has been using civilian trucks to transfer its nuclear materials to avoid attention from terrorist groups. Pakistan has denied these reports, but either way you should be afraid, very afraid.

1. Somalia

As of 2010 Somalia is now the world's most at risk nation for terrorist acts. This should not be surprising as Somalia has been without a cohesive state since 1991 when its communist government collapsed. The ensuing civil war and famine led to an international military intervention that ended spectacularly after the withdrawal of reeling US forces. The chaos of these operations in Somalia led to a relationship by the international community to engage the country. This began to change in 2008 when the problem of Somali piracy against international shipping on the Gulf of Aden drew international attention and the creation of a multilateral maritime security coalition. Meanwhile the internationally recognized Transnational Federal Government has seen little success combating the Islamic urgency manufactured by Al-Shabaab. The Transnational Federal Government has such little control over fragmented Somalia, that it has at times failed to even control the capital of Mogadishu. In 2011, at the request of the Transnational Federal Government and responding to cross-border attacks, the Kenyan military invaded Somalia with a stated goal of eradicating the Islamic urgency. It remains to be seen whether this will be accomplished.

Source by Dakota Smith

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