ISIS Terrorist Activity Mapped

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Most of ISIS’ activity is centered on the expansion and maintenance of its territory in Iraq and Syria. But since the declaring its caliphate almost two years ago, ISIS has been steadily stepping up its activity around the world. It has conducted or inspired nearly 75 terrorist attacks outside of Iraq and Syria.

ISIS has killed at least 1,280 people and injured more than 1,770 in 20 countries around the world. While some of the attacks on European or American soil have grabbed most of our attention, it is important to note the deadly tendencies of the organisation and those motivated by it.

Ray Sanchez and colleagues, writing for CNN, have compiled a detailed chronological rundown of attacks perpetrated by the group, its affiliates, and those drawing inspiration from it. The picture that emerges from this study is of a well organised group not reluctant to employ repugnant means; a group whose focus is not solely on the West.

The majority of attack carried out by ISIS themselves have been in the Middle East and North Africa region, with over 40 attacks perpetrated by the group. Only one attacker drew inspiration from the self-styled caliphate, and ISIS claimed responsibility for up to four attacks that it isn’t clear whether they even occurred at all.

In Europe, North America, and the East the situation is quite reversed. Of the seven attacks in Canada and the US all were conducted by individuals drawn inspiration from ISIS, but with no official affiliation to the group.

In Australia and Asia the division between those attackers affiliated with the group and those acting on inspiration is more equal, with three attacks attributed to ISIS or affiliates, and six to those motivated by them. The two attacks on Australian soil are of the latter group, while ISIS or affiliates are most active in Russia, Afghanistan, and Indonesia.

In Europe, the site of the most bloody of ISIS’ activity outside the MENA region, ISIS orchestrated five attacks that claimed hundreds of lives, seven of the terrorist acts associated with them were performed by unaffiliated followers. One attack claimed by ISIS on a Russian military convoy in southern Dagestan appears to be a fabrication.

Despite ISIS’ globe-engulfing ambitions, it is clear that the majority of their activity is limited to the immediate region they occupy. But when the group ventures further afield, the results are just as deadly.