ISIS has slaughtered over 33,000 people since its inception in 2003, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism University of Maryland. In the 13 years between 2002 and 2015 the terrorist organization and its affiliates have carried out 4,900 acts of terror, caused 41,000 injuries, and took 11,000 hostages. Their actions have accounted for 13 percent of terror attacks across the planet and have caused 26 percent of all deaths caused by acts of terror. Many Westerners would be shocked to learn that ISIS-inspired attacks that took place in the West account for less than 1 percent of all attacks and injuries.
The study shows that homemade bombs are the Jihadi’s weapon of choice. 80 percent of the weapons used in ISIS-related attacks used these bombs to slaughter private citizens, police, and military service members. Researchers attribute this trend to a 2014 statement made by ISIS spokesperson Abu Mohammed al-Adnani in 2014 in which he directed followers to murder dissenters “in any manner or way however it may be.”
The organization created the report in an attempt to identify patterns established by the terrorist group and put recent events into context. Unfortunately, the results were inconclusive. They did, however, reveal some trends. The Washington Post noted that terrorist attacks committed by ISIS tend to be more deadly than those carried out by non-ISIS terror groups. The study shows that 74 percent of ISIS attacks from 2003-2015 were deadly while only 51.4 percent of non-ISIS terror attacks carried out in the same time period were deadly. ISIS is also far more likely to take hostages or use suicide tactics. 38.5 percent of ISIS attacks involve a suicide attack or the use of hostages while only these tactics are only utilized in 13.3 percent of non-ISIS attacks.
Clearly, ISIS attacks and deaths caused by ISIS attacks have skyrocketed in recent years. The United States and U.S.-led coalitions have increased the frequency and aggressiveness of operations in the Middle East in response. The U.S. has conducted several airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in an attempt to slow the group’s progress. They have also worked tirelessly with local forces to liberate ISIS strongholds such as Mosul, Iraq and Sirte, Libya. According to U.S. defense officials the number of ISIS fighters in Sirte has dropped from 1,000 to only 350. They have experienced similar success near Mosul as ISIS continues to lose territory to approaching U.S.-led Iraqi forces.