On February 9th, ICDS hosted the presentation of the new edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) by the Institute for Economics and Peace (Sydney, Australia). The 2016 publication is the fourth edition spanning from 2000-2015 and drawing from the Global Terrorism Database of the University of Maryland – the most comprehensive database of terrorist activities globally, which includes more than 150,000 incidents related to terrorism. The GTI 2016 is a comprehensive study analysing the impact of terrorism for 163 countries, covering 99.7 per cent of the world’s population. Following the opening remarks by Ms. Anneli Vares, counter-terrorism policy coordinator at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the GTI 2016 was presented by Mr. Serge Stroobants, European Representative of the Institute for Economics and Peace.
In his presentation, Mr. Stroobants gave an extensive overview of the index, emphasizing that there is nothing like an unsuccessful terrorist attack—rather, there is always a permanent sentiment of fear, which is then capitalized on by extremist groups. It was then highlighted that 99.5 per cent of terrorist activities occur in countries in conflict or with high levels of political terror, shedding light on some of the root causes of terrorism. The presentation closed with the finding that the radicalization of most individuals of Islam faith does not take place inside mosques, but through the usage of social media sites, internet outlets, and personal connections.