Global Terrorism This Week (GTTW) – October 17-23, 2022

Jihadist attacks again dominated global terrorism from October 17-23; nary a right-wing attack anywhere (again)

Thought of the week – How bad is Jewish terrorism?

When we talk about terrorism, or at least the religious variety, we normally these days talk about Islamist terrorism (Al Qaeda (AQ), Islamic State (ISIS), Al Shabaab (AS), etc.). And there is absolutely no question, as reflected in these weekly terrorism summaries, that jihadis do indeed dominate the terrorism landscape around the world. It is also true that this form of terrorism is significantly religious in nature (although not solely so), even if the version of Islam used to call for killing is neither normative, nor moderate, nor mainstream.

But jihadis are not the only ones using faith to justify violence (NB this topic is discussed at great length in my 2019 book When Religions Kill). There are also those who are associated with Judaism, largely in Israel, who carry out acts of violence. But are these acts religious or nationalist in nature? Or both? Or neither.

Whether we are talking about Israeli-American doctor Baruch Goldstein who opened fire in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, killing 29 Muslim worshippers in 1994, or Yigal Amir who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, or the yahoo settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank, we have a problem Houston (or should that be Tel Aviv)?

The problem is that Israeli military and security forces are already going flat out monitoring and interdicting jihadis, either the ‘homegrown’ Palestinian ones or those from abroad (often sponsored by Iran). Are there enough resources to do it all? Great question!

The bottom line is that religious terrorism is religious terrorism and must be treated as such. Yes, the jihadis carry out 99+% of all attacks worldwide and have for the past two decades (at least) but they do not have a monopoly on “God (Jehovah, Allah…) made me do it!”

Where is Flip Wilson when you need him (“The Devil made me do it!”)?

PS Stay tuned for my upcoming podcast with Eugene Gerstein on this topic.

This week by the numbers

Countries suffering at least one attack (or foiled attack): 17 (Afghanistan, Belgium, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Thailand, Yemen)

Casualties (dead/wounded): 150/103

Terrorists arrested/killed: 161/197

Ideology of terrorists: Predominantly jihadi (Islamist extremists); also Jewish extremists, left wing extremists and nationalists (Myanmar)

Right-wing attacks: 0 (zero)





Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

















United Kingdom

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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