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New Report Says Boko Haram World's Deadliest Terrorist Organization In 2014

Most deaths ever recorded, biggest increase ever observed, more countries affected than ever before: A new report on global terrorism in 2014 found a number of grim benchmarks were met last year.

The report finds that deaths from terrorist attacks increased by 80 percent, compared to 2013, and that Boko Haram was the deadliest terrorist group in the world last year.

More than 32,000 people were killed by terrorism in 2014, according to The Global Terrorism Index — compared to 18,111 the year before.

Boko Haram was responsible for 664 terrorist deaths and 1742 injuries, in 453 total incidents; the self-proclaimed Islamic State claimed 6,073 deaths and 5,799 injuries in 1,071 incidents.
/ Data from the Global Terrorism Index, by the Institute for Economics and Peace, and based on the Global Terrorism database aggregated by START at the University of Maryland. Chart by Camila Domonoske/NPR.

Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram was known to be responsible for 6,644 of those deaths, more than any other terrorist group, the report found. Seventy-seven percent of the group's victims were private citizens.

The self-declared Islamic State killed more than 6,000 people in terrorist attacks last year, 44 percent of them private citizens. The two organizations together were responsible for 51 percent of all claimed terrorist attacks in 2014.

The report was written by Institute for Economics and Peace, based on a global terrorism database at the University of Maryland. It found that Iraq was the country most impacted by terrorism — nearly 10,000 people were killed by terrorist attacks in Iraq last year, the most ever recorded in one country.

Nigeria, meanwhile, experienced the largest-ever increase in terrorist attacks — a jump of more than 300 percent, to 7,512 fatalities.

While terrorist attacks occurred in an unprecedented number of nations, 78 percent of all deaths occurred in just five nations, the report found — Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria. A fraction of a percent of the deaths occurred in Western countries. (The report didn't include data from any 2015 attacks).

Overall, there has been a "dramatic rise" in terrorist attacks since 2000, the think tank says, and the overall increase in deaths from terrorism from 2013 to 2014 was the largest ever recorded.

But the report also noted that a majority of countries experienced no deaths from terrorist attacks in 2014, and homicide was responsible for 13 times more deaths than terrorism.

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