Of 452 Suicide Attacks Worldwide Last Year, How Many Do You Think Were Perpetrated by Muslims?

A new study by Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University found that of the 452 suicide attacks it tallied last year, 450 were carried out by Muslims.

The Times of Israel reported:

Of course, we cannot avoid mentioning the religious element as the most significant factor that motivates the suicide terrorists throughout the world. Here’s the most dramatic statistic: 450 of 452 suicide terror attacks in 2015 were perpetrated by Muslim extremists. One of the remaining two attacks was carried out by the Kurdish underground. The other was perpetrated by a woman supporter of a leftist group in Turkey.

Even the attack in Turkey initially attributed to a “leftist group” may actually also have been carried out by a Muslim. According to media reports, police were investigating if the perpetrator was a Russian woman “radicalized by Wahhabi ideology.” If that turns out to be the case, that would mean 451 of the 452 attacks were perpetrated by Muslim extremists.

The study counted the November 2015 Paris attacks as a single suicide attack even though multiple assailants were involved. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
The study counted the November 2015 Paris attacks as a single suicide attack even though multiple assailants were involved. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

The research team included in its list only attacks it verified by two sources as being a suicide attack.

Yoram Schweitzer who directs the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies told the Times of Israel, “We do not count every claim of a suicide attack. In other words, it’s not enough if Islamic State claims a certain number of suicide attacks.”

“Quite a few groups like to claim that they carried out suicide attacks to make themselves look more important and powerful. We always rely on at least two sources to determine that a suicide attack really did take place,” Schweitzer explained.

“Even then, every determination we make is always qualified because we can never be exact about the percentages, and certainly not in places like Syria,” the researcher added.

The team defined suicide attacks as those which involved suicide bombers equipped with explosives.

They also did not count every suicide bomber as a distinct attack. For example, the Paris attacks were counted as a single event, even though there were seven assailants.

(H/T: Times of Israel)

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