Map charting individual attacks provides global picture of terror intensity

A global ranking, revealing the countries most at risk from terrorist attacks, has rated Iraq as the most dangerous country for the second year running, whilst Thailand has slipped into the extreme risk category for the first time.

The Terrorism Risk Index (TRI) has been developed by global risks analyst, Maplecroft for companies to assess terrorism risks to their international assets. The index measures not only the risks of an attack, but also the chances of mass casualties occurring.

Iraq (1), Afghanistan (2), Pakistan (3) and Somalia (4) top the ranking of 196 countries and are rated at extreme risk along with Lebanon (5), India (6), Algeria (7), Colombia (8) and Thailand (9).

To provide a comprehensive picture of worldwide terrorism risk Maplecroft has analyses terrorist incidents every twelve months for their frequency, intensity and number of victims, plus the proportion of attacks that were ‘mass-casualty’ in each nation. A country’s historical experience of terrorism was also factored in along with threats made against it by groups such as al-Qaeda.

According to the TRI, even though the terrorist situation in Iraq has improved, the frequency, scale and human impact of attacks still makes it the most extreme risk country for terrorism, with nearly 4,500 civilians killed in 2009.

Ranked 11th in last year’s Terrorism Risk Index, Thailand has now dropped two places in the ranking and into the extreme risk category. Terrorism incidents in Thailand’s restive Muslim south – such as the October 2009 bomb attacks in Sungai Kolok – largely account for the country’s rating.

The Philippines (10), Turkey (14), Russia (15), Nigeria (24) and Spain (34) all rate as high risk countries, whilst the UK (41), China (43), USA (46) and France (56) are considered medium risk. Countries rated at low risk include Germany (81), Canada (116) and Australia (120).

To accompany the TRI, Maplecroft has developed an interactive map recording all terrorist attacks since January 2008. The Localised Terrorism Intensity Map is updated quarterly and uses the most up-to-date data from the US based National Counter-Terrorism Unit to plot the coordinates of each terrorist incident. This approach enables users to drill down and see terrorism at a local level, as well as the intensity of attacks on a national, regional and global scale.

“Media coverage can often skew public perceptions of terrorism risk in a country by publicising mass-casualty attacks,” said Eva Molyneux, a Political Risk Analyst at Maplecroft. “However, smaller terrorist incidents often go unreported, despite having potential to disrupt business operations and supply chains. The Terrorism Risk Index and the Localised Terrorism Intensity Map have been developed to bridge this knowledge divide and give organisations the intelligence they need to help manage terrorism risks.”