The State Department released its annual report on global terrorism showing a 40% increase in terrorism attacks last year compared to 2012.
The report incldued statistics provided by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. The report counted 9,707 terrorist attacks around the world in 2013, resulting in more than 17,800 deaths and more than 32,500 injuries. Most of those occurred in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Thailand and Yemen. In 2012, the figures were 6,771 terrorist attacks, with more than 11,000 deaths and more than 21,600 injuries. Most of those where in the same 10 countries as in 2013.
The report said that terrorist groups engaged in a range of criminal activity to raise needed funds, with kidnapping for ransom remaining the most frequent and profitable source of illicit financing. Private donations from the Gulf also remained a major source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups, particularly for those operating in Syria.
In 2013, violent extremists increased their use of new media platforms and social media, with mixed results, the report said. Social media platforms allowed violent extremist groups to circulate messages more quickly, but confusion and contradictions among the various voices within the movement are growing more common, it said.
Syria continued to be a major battleground for terrorism on both sides of the conflict and remains a key area of longer-term concern, according to the reprot. "Thousands of foreign fighters traveled to Syria to join the fight against the Asad regime – with some joining violent extremist groups – while Iran, Hizballah, and other Shia militias provided a broad range of critical support to the regime. The Syrian conflict also empowered the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to expand its cross-border operations in Syria, resulting in a dramatic increase in attacks against Iraqi civilians and government targets in 2013," it said.
Read the full report here.