The Global Terrorism Trends and Analysis Center (GTTAC) documents the thousands of terrorist attacks—globally and domestically—that occur each year. GTTAC, by detailing various dimensions of each attack, familiarizes analysts, policymakers, scholars, and journalists with patterns of terrorism. The center defines terrorist attacks as the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a nonstate actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation. Data are collected daily. Updates are published annually in the Department of State’s report to Congress on terrorism, known as the Annex of Statistical Information: Country Reports on Terrorism.

State Department Releases 2020 Country Reports and Annex of Statistical Information on Terrorist Events Worldwide 

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Bethesda, Md.—U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and the Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism have released the congressionally mandated Country Reports on Terrorism 2020 and the accompanying Annex of Statistical Information. Development Services Group, Inc. through the Global Terrorism Trends and Analysis Center (GTTAC) is proud to support the Department of State in preparing these reports and managing and maintaining the accompanying database of global terrorism incidents. Amongst other things our data shows that both the number of attacks and the number of fatalities increased by more than 10 percent each in 2020. These figures reflect, in part, the spread of ISIS and al-Qa’ida affiliates, particularly in Africa, that continues to grow in impact and is a complex challenge to mitigate. More detailed findings are available through the Annex.


Some highlights from the Annex:

  • In 2020 there were 10,172 terrorist incidents, resulting in 29,389 fatalities, 19,413 wounded, and 4,471 kidnappings. 2020 had 1,300 more terrorism incidents, 3,116 more fatalities, 1,189 fewer wounded, and 1,262 more kidnappings than in 2019.
  • This represents a 15 percent increase in the number of incidents over 2019. A large part of this can be explained by a significant increase in incidents in Yemen and neighboring Saudi Arabia coupled with a continuing rise throughout Africa, particularly in the Sahel, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo — the last of these had a 160 percent increase in incidents.
  • In 2020, terrorist incidents occurred in 98 countries and territories. Of these, 87 percent were concentrated in three geographic regions: Western Asia, Southern Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Afghanistan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, India, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Mali experienced the greatest number of terrorist incidents in 2020. Incidents in these 10 countries accounted for 75 percent of all global terrorist incidents and 90 percent of all fatalities attributable to terrorism in 2020.