Global Terrorism This Week (GTTW) – August 8-14

Terrorism around the globe for the week of August 8-14, 2022: again dominated by Islamist terrorist groups and individuals.

Weekly theme – the terrorist acts that weren’t

We live in age of terrorism, or so it seems. The ‘war on terror’ has been going on for decades. Our news feeds bombard us on a daily basis with terrorist incidents. Terrorism seems to be everywhere!

Except it isn’t.

Despite conclusions and ‘analysis’ drawn by ‘experts’, terrorism is actually a rare phenomenon in most of the world. Sure, some places – Somalia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iraq, etc. – suffer attacks on an all too regular basis, but the rest of the planet is mercifully free from terrorism on any given day. That is a fact (and one I am trying to document in this weekly series).

Still, many see this as a constant threat…and get it wrong.

The other development of late is to see right-wing extremism (RWE) as the end-all and be-all of the terrorism menace these days. RWE encompasses a dog’s breakfast of causes: anti-immigrant, white supremacist, white nationalist, neo-Nazis, etc. Again, wrong: the vast majority of attacks that do occur anywhere are still perpetrated by Islamist terrorists/jihadis. This too is a fact (and, again, one I am trying to document in this weekly series).

Which brings me to recent events in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On August 7 authorities in that state said they were investigating the possibility that a serial killer had been hunting Muslim people in Albuquerque after four men of the faith were murdered there in the past year. Others went much further, stating confidently that this was a hate spree clearly caused by Islamophobia, seen by some on the left as the greatest danger we face (NB Islamophobia is real, but its occurrence is vastly overexaggerated).


Two days later police arrested a 51-year-old man from Afghanistan and charged him with the deaths of two of the victims, adding that he was suspected in the slayings of the two others. And here is the kicker: the crimes most likely had nothing to do with Islamophobia, but possibly something to do with intra-Islamic Sunni-Shia relations. According to some reports, the suspect killed the men over an ‘interpersonal conflict‘.

In other words, no hate crime, no white revenge, no anti-immigrant motive, no Islamophobia. Not surprisingly, no one that I have seen has apologised for their comments that this was clearly an anti-Islamic series of killings.

The lessons?

  1. Wait until there is more, credible information before sharing your ‘expert instant analysis’;
  2. Don’t comment on things for which you have little experience;
  3. Stop thinking that every violent incident against ______ (fill in the blank with your group of choice: Muslims, blacks, LGBTQ+, women…) is clearly a targeted act.

Wouldn’t we all be a little better off if we kept our powder dry until more facts came in?


Burkina Faso

Democratic Republic of Congo






  • The Libyan government began a trial on August 9 for dozens accused of membership in ISIS. In 2014 ISIS took advantage of the disorder that followed the killing of Muammar Gaddafi to establish itself in Libya and seized the coastal city of Sirte the following year, losing it in 2016 after heavy fighting between the jihadists and Misrata forces.



  • On August 11 Moroccan authorities announced the arrest of an ISIS jihadist who was planning to carry out terrorist attacks. The jihadi was very active on social media networks, promoting extremist ideology and encouraging criminal acts against some personalities, public infrastructures and private sites.





Right-wing terrorism

Saudi Arabia




United States

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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