Report: ISIS Attacks Grew in 2016, Despite Shrinking Territory

Deaths Grew Dramatically Across the World

A newly released report from the University of Maryland shows a disturbing trend in the ongoing ISIS war, that despite shrieking territorial holdings in 2016, the number of ISIS attacks grew substantially over 2015, and dramatically so outside of Iraq and Syria.

All told, ISIS carried out 1,400 attacks in 2016, killing over 7,000 people. This was roughly a 20% increase over the previous years, even though overall terrorist attacks and deaths were both down 10% worldwide.

This underscores that ISIS remains a large and growing threat, even as officials play up their shrinking territory. The figures in the report showed, in particular, places like Afghanistan, Yemen, Bangladesh, and the Philippines saw large growths in ISIS killings.

As ISIS loses the rest of its territory in Syria and Iraq, this may point to a growing global strategy, as ISIS tries to set up shop all around the world, and has an ability to do so in myriad environments unlike any other terror organization in the world. This means, for instance, ISIS can go from one attack in the Philippines in 2015 to 22 in 2016, to an outright war with the government in early 2017. Active in 42 countries in 2016, it’s hard to know where ISIS might crop up next.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of