The chart above shows all the groups that were classified by the US and other governments as terrorist groups since 1968. I included only those groups with one or more victims. The area of each circle is proportional to the total number of victims (killed or injured) during each group’s attacks. The dark blue circles are Islāmic groups and the light blue are non-Islāmic, mostly nationalist, groups. You can hover over the center of the of any circle to see the full name of the group and the victim count. I got the data from The RAND Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents (RDWTI). the raw data consists terror incidents, the responsible groups, and a description of the incidents, the number of fatalities, and the number of injuries. I aggregated the data for each group. Then I researched each group to decide on the Islāmic/non-Islāmic classification. This was no easy task. There are many groups whose members are Muslims but, in fact, the group is driven by nationalism of ethnic goals and not religion. For example, the Mutthaida Qami Movement (MQM) of Pakistan are essentially secular. The basic questions I used to decide if a group should be classified as Islamic or not were the following. Do they call themselves Islamic? Do they refer to Jihad? Do they have a more pressing political agenda/set of demands that could be viewed as a secular purpose? There were also temporal considerations since several groups started out secular but broke off into radicalized groups decades later. On the other hand, some groups that were at one time considered terrorist groups, slowly legitimized and became part of government power structures. I still included the later set of groups since they do indeed have victim counts.
- Data source: http://www.rand.org/nsrd/projects/terrorism-incidents/download.html
- Tools: Python and D3.js