While the number of deaths from attacks launched by terrorist organizations globally has fallen, deaths by far-right terrorist attacks has increased this year in many countries, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2019, published Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
The report by the think tank noted a huge leap in the deaths caused by far-right terrorism in Western Europe, North America and Oceania, with the number of deaths growing by 320% over the past five years. It cited the March attacks on two mosques in New Zealand's Christchurch, which killed 51 people, as an example of far-right ideology spreading to a country with "almost no prior history of terrorist activity." There was a total of 77 deaths attributed to far-right terror between January and September 2019, a 52% increase from 2018 when 26 people were killed in far-right attacks and 11 deaths in 2017.
Meanwhile, deaths from terrorism totaled 15,952 globally, a 15.2% decrease in 2018. The number has significantly decreased, compared with a high of 33,555 deaths in 2014, according to the report. It attributed the fall in terrorism-related deaths to the fall of the Daesh terrorist group and victories in Somalia over al-Shabab insurgents.
British teen convicted of planning attack
A 16-year-old neo-Nazi boy was convicted of planning a far-right terror attack in the U.K. In his own manifesto entitled "A Manual For Practical And Sensible Guerrilla Warfare Against The Kike System In The Durham City Area, Sieg Heil," he listed schools, pubs, council buildings and post offices, synagogues as “Areas To Attack.”
Britain faces growing organized far-right terrorism which is seen as the fastest growing threat from increasing far-right movements across the country. Extreme right-wing terrorism had risen from 6% of the case-load two years ago to 10% now, and seven of the 22 plots to cause mass casualties since March 2017 were driven by extreme right-wing ideologies, as reported by British police. Recent figures show that the number of people referred to the U.K. government’s counter-extremism program over concerns about far-right activity has risen by more than a third.
The threat from far-right terrorism has been on the rise in the EU, according to a report released in September by the EU police agency Europol, indicating that many violent attacks are not being registered as terrorism by police forces in many EU countries. The report revealed that the number of arrests linked to far-right terrorism has grown from 12 in 2016 to 44 last year. Far-right extremists usually target refugees and asylum-seekers, or more generally the Muslim population and politicians. In Germany, right-wing extremist offenses in Germany rose to 8,605 in the first half of 2019, with an increase of 900 far-right crimes recorded during the same period this year, underscoring ongoing far-right violence.
In the U.S., the increase in far-right terrorism was mirrored by an increase in hate crimes. Fueled by President Donald Trump's immigration stance and the perception that he sympathized with those espousing white supremacy, the number of U.S. hate groups surged last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said in February. Neo-Nazi groups substantially increased in number from 99 to 121, the report said, in part by recruiting college students.