The October 7th Hamas-led militant attack was the deadliest terror attack in 2023.

The 2024 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) recognises the world witnessing a notable surge in terrorism, with incidents increasing by 22 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching levels not seen since 2017. The deadly Hamas attack in Israel on October 7th resulted in a significant loss of life, but even in the absence of this attack, fatalities from terrorism would have still seen a five per cent increase.

Notably, Burkina Faso claimed the top position as the country most affected by terrorism in 2024, a shift from the usual dominance of Afghanistan or Iraq, marking the first time in five years that the top spot on the GTI has not come from those two countries.

1. The October 7th Hamas-led militant attack on Israel marks the deadliest terrorist activity of 2023. This attack from over 1,000 Palestinian militants from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian armed groups resulted in 1,200 deaths and many more injuries. The groups infiltrated the Gaza Israel border through border crossings and breached fences, attacking Israeli communities with gunfire, explosives, and bladed weapons. This led to Israel’s spot on the GTI rising 24 spots to number 2.

2. The second deadliest attack took place in Niger on November 16th, likely from the Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) and Greater Sahara Province of Islamic State (IS) groups. Gunmen killed over 200 soldiers and wounded 34 more in an ambush on four military columns in the Tillaberi region. Although no group claimed responsibility at the time, local media outlets reported the joint operation attack from JNIM and IS.

3. Syria’s October 5th attack which resulted in at least 89 deaths marks the third deadliest attack. While it was unknown who instigated the ambush, but separatist/nationalist involvement is assumed with several jihadist and anti-regime groups operating in the area. Several explosive-laden drones were dropped upon a graduation ceremony at the Homs Military Academy, Homs, Homs Governorate, wounding at least 240 soldiers and civilians.

4. On January 30th, in Pakistan, an attack likely orchestrated by Tehrik-E-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed 84 lives. A suicide bomber wounded a further 200 plus at the Police Lines Mosque in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Several hundred police officers were reportedly at the scene when the bomb exploded. No group had directly claimed the attack, but based on the target and location, TTP was probably responsible.

5. The number one country affected by terrorism in the last year, Burkina Faso, faced the 5th deadliest attack on January 26th. Islamic State gunmen killed at least 71 soldiers, injured three as well as abducting an unconfirmed number in the Oudalan province of the highly affected Sahel region. Security countered this with a killing of 160 assailants.

6. Also taking 6th position, in Burkina Faso gunmen killed at least 60 civilians in an attack on Partiaga, in the Est region, on the night of February 26th. The assailants set fire to the town hall, the gendarmerie post, telephone poles and other structures. No group had claimed responsibility for the attack at the time of writing, but local social media outlets say that Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) was most likely responsible.

7. Burkina Faso again suffered from numerous deaths at the hands of an undetermined group on November 5th, likely jihadists based on the area. Gunmen killed at least 70 civilians in the Zaongo, Namentenga province, Centre-Nord region, with the European Union calling for an investigation into the killings after suggestions that state-linked groups may have been responsible.

8. Mali faced at least 60 deaths as fighters of IS and Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) clashed near Tin Fadimata village in the Gao region on March 1st. Although, the number of casualties and instigators were not confirmed, JNIM claimed to have killed at least 60 IS fighters.

9. In Nigeria on August 19th, Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) gunmen attack Boko Haram fighters near Lake Chad in Borno state. Boko Haram retaliated, and 100 fighters were killed between the sides. Boko Haram reportedly lost more fighters than ISWA.

10. Burkina Faso faced an attack from likely the Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) group on December 24th. Gunmen killed at least 60 soldiers and wounded a dozen more in an attack on military barracks in Souli, in the Loroum province, Nord region. No group had claimed responsibility at the time of writing, but local media outlets reported JNIM as responsible.

The 2024 GTI also delves into rankings 11 through 20, with Burkina Faso appearing in the 14th, 17th, and 20th positions. The list and report underscore the complexity of terrorism, with diverse groups and ideologies operating in various regions around the globe.

Produced annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is the most comprehensive resource on global terrorism trends, assessing the number of incidences, fatalities, injuries and hostages along with conflict and socio-economic data to provide a holistic picture of global terrorism.


Jamison O'Brien

Communications Associate

Vision of Humanity

Vision of Humanity is brought to you by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), by staff in our global offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague, Harare and Mexico. Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy.