The Taliban has overtaken the Islamic State as the world's deadliest terror group, according to the latest report from Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. The report from the open-source defence intelligence agency highlights a 25% decrease in the number of non-militant fatalities caused by the Islamist group's activities.
"JTIC recorded 2,381 fatalities attributed to Islamic State activity in 2019 - down from 3,151 in 2018," said Matthew Henman, head of Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. "The increase in Taliban activity - with an 87.6% increase of Taliban-attributed attacks - has taken the group to be the world's deadliest, with casualties exceeding the total number for the next nine groups combined."
Down but not out?
The 18.4% decrease in Islamic-State attributed attacks reflected a substantial downturn in activity in Iraq and Syria, although the group's continued operations in West Africa and the Sahel underline the ongoing significant threat posed.
"While Islamic State activity in Iraq and Syria was largely reduced to a steady tempo of insurgent-style violence, in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Burkina Faso in particular, the group continued to perpetrate mass-casualty violence and challenge state control of territory."
Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre notes that Islamic State held the position as world's deadliest terrorist organisation between 2014 and 2018.
JTIC recorded 1,077 attacks by the Taliban in 2019, up from 574 in 2018 - an increase of 87.6%. Despite being the third most active group worldwide in terms of attacks - behind Ukrainian pro-Russia separatist group the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Islamic State - the Taliban was by far the deadliest group worldwide in terms of civilian casualties.