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This week in terrorism

This week in terrorism: January 25-31

Listing all acts of terrorism that occurred in the world last week from the 25th to the 31st of January, 2021.

We are inundated with op-ed pieces and analysis on terrorism in ways that would have been all but impossible before the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 (almost twenty years ago!). 

Specialist journals have arisen, offline and online news sources regularly feature stories on terrorist acts and there  has been such a proliferation of ‘terrorism experts’ that it is hard to know what – or whom – to believe and why.

At a time when some want us to believe that a nebulous ‘movement’ called right-wing extremism has usurped terrorism public enemy #1 of late – i.e. Islamist violent extremists of the Al Qaeda, Islamic State and others’ ilk – it is important to have a fact-based set of data points that can inform opinion, both at the government and public levels.  This weekly feature brought to you by Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting in Russell, Canada is a modest attempt to do juts that.

Every Monday you will receive a report in table form of all the acts that can be deemed terrorist ones (recognising the controversy surrounding the meaning and scope of that term) around the world that occurred over the preceding seven days. It does not purport to be exhaustive in nature: hundreds of open sources are scanned on a daily basis to provide the raw data used to populate the chart.  Nevertheless, it is believed that nothing of a truly significant nature will be missed.

With the help of this weekly report readers will be able to decide for themselves what the planet’s major terrorism trends are, who the actors are, and whether we are seeing a shift in tactics or ideologies. 

We welcome all feedback on this product, as well as omissions (with original sources please!) to help us make it better.

We hope you enjoy this new feature from Borealis.  Please let us know what you think!

This week in terrorism: Jan 25-31, 2021

Group abbreviations: AS (Al Shabaab); BH (Boko Haram); IS (Islamic State, aka ISIS); ISKP (Islamic State Khorasan Province); PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party); YPG (People’s Protection Units)

DateLocaleGroup (if known)Dead/WoundedMOTypeSource
25Somalia-KenyaAS?9/0GunsIslamistLearn More
25AfghanistanTaliban?0/1IEDIslamistLearn More
26SyriaPKK?2/2IEDIslamistLearn More
 Palestine 0/2KnifeIslamistLearn More
 AfghanistanTaliban?1/1IEDIslamistLearn More
 AfghanistanTaliban?0/2IEDIslamistLearn More
27AfghanistanTaliban?0/2IEDIslamistLearn More
 SomaliaAS?1/1IEDIslamistLearn More
28KenyaAS?1/3IEDIslamistLearn More
 NigeriaBH12/0GunsIslamistLearn More
 AfghanistanTaliban?2/5Guns, IEDsIslamistLearn More
 AfghanistanTaliban?1/4mortarIslamistLearn More
 AfghanistanISKP4/0GunsIslamistLearn More
 IraqIS2/0GunsIslamistLearn More
30AfghanistanTaliban15/5Suicide bomberIslamistLearn More
 AfghanistanTaliban1/4IEDIslamistLearn More
31SomaliaAS2/11
(probably more)
IED/gunsIslamistLearn More
Learn More
 Syria 12/29Car bombsIslamistLearn More
 SyriaYPG12/30Car bombsIslamistLearn More
 NigeriaBH3/0GunsIslamistLearn More

Totals: 20 attacks; 80 dead; 102 wounded; all attacks carried out by Islamist terrorists (100%)

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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