A closer look at the BBC’s investigation on the global cost of jihadist violence
More than 5,000 people worldwide died in November as a result of jihadist violence, a BBC study has revealed.
The four worst-affected countries were Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria, accounting for 80% of all deaths.
The investigation – co-ordinated with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) – recorded a total of 664 attacks in 14 countries.
It aims to quantify the human cost of jihadist violence in one month, and to offer a snapshot of a complex movement.
The investigation showed that nearly seven people died every hour in November as a result of violence attributed to al-Qaeda, its offshoots and groups that subscribe to a similar ideology.
The study recorded a daily average of 22 such attacks and 168 fatalities. Islamic State (IS) militants – operating in Iraq and Syria – were responsible for more than 2,000 deaths.
Of the 5,042 people killed in total, a majority – 2,079 – were civilians. Military personnel made up 1,723 deaths. Nearly 1,000 jihadis were reported killed during attacks.
Iraq was the single deadliest country, accounting for a third of all deaths and the highest number of attacks.
Nigeria was the second deadliest country, with Boko Haram blamed for the killings there.
Taliban violence made Afghanistan the third-deadliest country.
The report was conducted by the BBC World Service and ICSR, a non-profit non-governmental think tank based at King’s College, London.
Attacks by jihadist groups have targeted Shia Muslims and religious minorities, as well as other Sunnis
“The data makes it clear that jihadists and al-Qaeda are no longer one and the same,” Peter Neumann, the director of ICSR, said.
“Sixty per cent of jihadist deaths were caused by groups that have no formal association with al-Qaeda, and they are the ones who will vie for leadership of the movement,” he said.
“The overall picture is that of an increasingly ambitious, complex, sophisticated and far-reaching movement.”
The single deadliest attack in November was a bomb attack on the Grand Mosque in the Nigerian city of Kano that killed 120 people.
Bombings accounted for the most deaths overall. Many people also died as a result of gun attacks, shelling and beheadings.