For the second consecutive year, deaths from terrorism have decreased according to the 2017 Global Terrorism Index (GTI). There was a 22% decrease, compared to the peak of terror activity in 2014.
Unfortunately, European countries and other developed nations continued to record a negative trend. Excluding the September 11 attacks, 2016 was the deadliest year for terrorism in OECD countries since 1988.
Improvements in counterterrorism strategies have foiled more attacks than in previous years. Two in 10 attacks were prevented in 2014 and 2015 while three in 10 attacks were foiled in 2016.
However, terrorism does not die. It simply mutates. Its modus operandi adapts. The new kind of low cost, low-tech attacks, such as using vehicles are harder to prevent. These changes can be just the start of a new wave of terror.
Drones or cyber-attacks are just two of the possible future threats.
This is the short story behind the 28th of November event in the European Parliament, under the title: THE GLOBAL TERRORISM INDEX 2017 – WHERE TO?
Participants at the debate got access to the latest Global Terrorism Index – a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 17 years and discussed with high-level speakers about the future terrorist threats that we may face.
Among the speakers, the event enjoyed the presence of His Excellency Abdulrahman Bin Mohammed Al-Khulaifi, Head of Qatari Missions to EU and NATO, who shared his vision on today’s and tomorrow terrorist threats together with a very interesting presentation of Qatar’s efforts in the war against terrorism.
Among the elements shared by His Excellency with the audience, a particular relevance has the following ideas, part of his speech:
For the last two decades, my country, Qatar, believed that searching for a peace solution starts with diplomacy, negotiations, and dialogue. It is also vital to understand the reasons for radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism. These evils have their roots in poverty, ignorance, unemployment, and marginalization.
For the last two decades, violent extremism has steadily spread into communities that lack social and political empowerment and economic opportunities. We must eradicate the causes of terrorism by tackling its roots.Qatar’s approach is characterized by three main themes:
- reconstruction projects
- education work
- youth employment
Qatar supports unprivileged and impoverished communities from Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Darfur, Somalia and Afghanistan among other places. We want to restore the dignity of these communities and protect them from radicalization.
We believe that education is the cornerstone of stability and the most effective measure to prevent terrorism. For this reason, Qatar spent 12% of its government spending on education and has allocated 25% of its foreign aid to education programs for the benefit of seven million children in 42 countries.
For example, Qatar spent over 100 million USD in Syria.