Thursday, December 11, 2014

'Stronger than ever' jihadists kill 5,042 in a month

London (AFP) - Jihadist attacks around the world in November killed a total of 5,042 people, showing Islamist extremism is "stronger than ever" despite Al-Qaeda's declining role, a new study published on Thursday said.

There were 664 attacks in 14 countries during the month, according to the joint report by the BBC World Service and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King's College London.

The research found Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria were responsible for around half of the violence -- 308 attacks responsible for 2,206 deaths.

"The data makes it clear that jihadists and Al-Qaeda are no longer one and the same," the report said.

It said that 60 percent of the killing was done by groups with no formal association with Al-Qaeda, pointing to "an increasingly ambitious, complex, sophisticated and far-reaching movement".

"It seems obvious that the jihadist movement... (is) stronger than ever and that countering (it) will be a generational challenge," the research said.

The worst-affected country was Iraq -- where deaths accounted for around a third of the monthly total -- followed by Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria.

The study is the first of its kind and could not be compared to previous monthly statistics.