NEW YORK - The number of terrorist attacks each year has more than quadrupled in the decade since September 11, 2001, a study released on Tuesday said, with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan the most affected.
The number of annual deaths in attacks, however, peaked in 2007 -- the height of the Iraq conflict -- and has been falling ever since. The survey reported 7,473 fatalities in 2011, 25 percent down on 2007. That figure included dead suicide bombers and other attackers.
Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Yemen were the five countries most affected by terrorism in descending order, it said, based on a measure giving weightings to number of attacks, fatalities and injuries and level of property damage.
The Global Terrorism Index - published on Tuesday by the US- and Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace think tank - ranked countries based on data from the Global Terrorism Database run by a consortium based at the University of Maryland, a commonly used reference by security researchers.
The US military interventions pursued as part of the West's anti-al Qaida "war on terror", the researchers suggested, may have simply made matters worse - while whether they made the US homeland safer was impossible to prove.