Bin Laden led most lethal attacks

U. MARYLAND (US) — Under Osama bin Laden’s leadership, al Qa’ida has been one of the most lethal terrorist organizations in the world, killing and injuring more than 10,000, according to a new report.

“Al-Qa’ida, the terrorist organization Osama bin Laden founded, was responsible for fomenting more mass casualty attacks than any other group in recent history,” says Gary LaFree, a University of Maryland professor who has played a pivotal role in developing the world’s most comprehensive unclassified terrorism database.

Al-Qa’ida was responsible for, or was suspected to be responsible for, 84 terrorist attacks around the world since 1998, resulting in the deaths of at least 4,299 individuals. Another 6,300 people were wounded in al-Qa’ida attacks.

More than 600 other groups have been engaged in terrorism worldwide since 1998, with al-Qa’ida being responsible for less than one percent of all attacks but more than 20 percent of all terrorism fatalities, indicative of the intensely deadly nature of al-Qa’ida operations and efforts.

The report also shows that since 1998, there have been 408 incidents of mass-casualty terrorism. Al-Qa’ida was responsible for 16 of these attacks—more than any other group.

Researchers have identified 33 separate terror groups with direct links and alliances to al-Qa’ida.

In addition to the above data, the report includes Al-Qa’ida terrorist attacks by year and the number of fatalities by al-Qa’ida affiliates/allies (through 2008).

These data were collected and compiled from the Global Terrorism Database, which contains information on more than 87,000 terrorist incidents around the world since 1970.

The database is a project of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence based at the University of Maryland.

More new from the University of Maryland: www.newsdesk.umd.edu