Our analysis of global terrorism relies uniquely on data from open-source intelligence. Important global issues always have an impact on the availability of quality open-source material; COVID-19 and political changes in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burma, and Mali and the war in Ukraine are examples. In 2022 there were 7,342 terrorist incidents — a 12 percent reduction from 2021. Most of the reduction can be explained by the absence of reliable open-source reporting in Afghanistan. In 2022, terrorist incidents occurred in 73 countries. Of these, 84.9 percent were concentrated in three geographic regions: Western Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southern Asia. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Yemen, Burma, Burkina Faso, and Somalia were the countries that experienced the greatest number of terrorist incidents in 2022. Burkina Faso had the greatest increase, with 157 percent more than in 2021. Incidents in these 10 countries accounted for 74 percent of all global terrorist incidents in 2022.
Among global perpetrators of terrorism, ISIS-Core (ISIS elements in Iraq and Syria, including connections in surrounding countries) had the highest number incidents in 2022, followed by CODECO, Ansar Allah, ISIS-DRC, and al-Shabaab — to round out the top five. During 2022, ISIS-Core was responsible for 535 incidents and 1,329 fatalities — a decrease of 17 percent in the number of incidents and 7 percent increase in the number of fatalities from 2021. CODECO, with 418 terrorist incidents — an increase of 14 percent from 2021 — was the next-most-active terrorist organization, responsible for 1,074 fatalities and an increase of 24 percent from the previous year; followed by Ansar Allah, responsible for 300 incidents, with a slight 1 percent reduction from 2021, and 420 fatalities. ISIS-DRC was the fourth-most-active perpetrator group, responsible for 299 incidents — a drop of 8 percent from 2021 and of 1,603 fatalities. Finally, al-Shabaab’s responsibility for 248 incidents was a reduction of 7 percent from 2021 and for 1,342 fatalities was an increase of 29 percent from 2021. For a deeper dive on these numbers please access the full data set here.