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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Muslims are m,ain victims of terrorism: US report

Muslims are taking the brunt of the world's terrorist attacks, which in 2006 rose by 3,000 or 25 percent with the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan serving as a "rallying cry" for terrorists, a report by the US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has concluded in its newest report.

"As was the case in 2005, Muslims again bore a substantial share of being the victims of terrorist attacks in 2006," said the report, published on the center's website Tuesday, May 1.

The Report on Terrorist Incidents 2006 said that some 58,000 individuals worldwide were either killed or injured by terrorist attacks last year.

"On the basis of a combination of reporting and demographic analysis of the countries involved, well over 50 percent of the victims were Muslims, and most were victims of attacks in Iraq," it said.

It said deaths from terrorist attacks rose by 5,800, a 40 percent increase.

"Approximately 14,000 terrorist attacks occurred in various countries during 2006, resulting in over 20,000 deaths," the report said, adding that 70 percent of the victims were civilians.

The report said that the largest number of reported terrorist incidents and deaths occurred in the Near East and South Asia.

"These two regions also were the locations for 90 percent of the nearly 300 high-casualty attacks in 2006 that killed 10 or more people," the report said.

Of the 14,000 reported attacks, the report said, 45 percent—about 6,600—of them occurred in Iraq where approximately 13,000 fatalities—65 percent of the worldwide total—were reported for 2006.

The report also found that the overall number of people injured in terrorist incidents skyrocketed in 2006 by 54 percent.

Iraq again bore the burnt of the terror injuries.

The number of attacks in Afghanistan have also surged up by 50 percent in 2006 to reach about 750 attacks.

The report noted that terrorist attacks in 2006 fell in Europe by 15 percent.

Children were also reported more often as victims in 2006, up by more than 80 percent, with over 1,800 children either killed or injured in terrorist attacks.

The NCTC serves as the principal advisor to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on intelligence operations and analysis relating to counterterrorism, according to the center's website.

Unique among US agencies, NCTC also serves as the primary organization for strategic operational planning for counterterrorism.

It operates under the policy direction of the President of the United States, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council.

Rallying Cry

Still, the report acknowledged that the US foreign policy is a major motivator for terrorists.

It cited the invasion-turned-occupation of Iraq as a case in point.

It said the occupation of Iraq "has been used by terrorists as a rallying cry for radicalization and extremist activity that has contributed to instability in neighboring countries."

The report also said that since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2002, the country "remains threatened by Taliban insurgents and religious extremists."

"The number of terrorism incidents in Afghanistan rose 52 percent in 2006 compared with 2005, and the number of people killed, injured or kidnapped nearly doubled," the report said.

The 2006 National Intelligence report, the first of its kind since the start of US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, said the US-led war on Iraq has played a more direct role in increasing terrorist attacks and creating a new class of "self-generating" terrorists who are united by an anti-Western agenda.

It concluded that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the US-led global counterterrorism effort, the situation in Iraq has worsened the US position.

The British parliament's influential Foreign Affairs Committee said in July of last year that that international conflicts, such as the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the occupied Palestinian territories, breed feelings of injustice in the Muslim world which can boost support for terrorism.

Click to Read the Report in Full.

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