ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, previously known as ISIS, the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, is a terrorist organization that gained notoriety during Syria’s civil war in 2012. Since then, ISIL has become the largest, wealthiest terrorist organization in history. With assets of over $2 billion and more than 20,000 members, ISIL not only poses a threat to the Middle East but it poses an alarming danger to the entire world population.
Throughout this year, the Islamic State has claimed ownership of at least 11 major attacks in 6 countries outside of the Middle East. These attacks by the radical group have killed around 204 people and injured more than 700.
Here’s a look at this year’s major terrorist attacks outside of the Middle East:
This year, Turkey has suffered many terrorist attacks. In January, Istanbul’s historic district was targeted by a group of suicide attackers. This attack killed a total of 12 people, all foreigners. Later this year, another suicide attack occurred in the capital city at a shopping market. This attack killed 4 people and injured about 40. In June, a group of extremists opened fire at the Ataturk International Airport. This incident resulted in the death of at least 45 people and more than 200 were injured. Last week, a child suicide bomber attacked a wedding in the province of Gaziantep. Around 50 people died during the attack and many more were injured.
On a spring morning in Belgium, two simultaneous attacks were carried out by the Islamic State. Two suicide bombings occurred at the Brussels Airport in the city of Zaventem and one at the Maalbeek metro train station. These coordinated attacks left 32 dead and over 300 injured. Earlier this month, a man attacked two police officers with a machete in the city of Charleroi before being shot by the police. The police officers survived the attack.
Earlier this June, a French police officer and his companion were brutally murdered in their home by an unidentified attacker. The motives for this attack are still unknown. A month after, two armed men took hostages at a church in Normandy and killed an 85-year-old priest during Mass. Regardless of common speculations, ties to ISIL on the Nice attack that occurred in July have not yet been established.
Multiple explosions and an open fire were held in the city of Jakarta. The attacks targeted a local Starbucks near a police station. Four civilians were reported dead and all of the attackers were killed.
Xulhaz Mannan, a gay-right’s activist and his friend were hacked to death inside of Mannan’s apartment. Mannan was also the editor of the country’s first LGBT magazine.
Oman Mir Seddique, a 29-year-old Afghan American, opened a fire on a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. This attack is considered the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the country’s worse attack since 9/11. Around 50 people were injured and 49 were killed.
According to a report done by the Institute for Economics and Peace, more than 90% of all terrorist attacks occur in countries with high levels of human rights violations. These countries also either have ongoing violent conflicts or have major economic issues.
However, in the past few years, the number of terrorist attacks executed by Islamic extremists in Europe, Asia and the United States has been steadily increasing.
The motives behind these attacks are hard to understand but it is clear ISIL’s attack are quickly spreading around the globe.