Boko Haram is no more the deadliest terrorist group in the world after a reduction in the number of people it killed in 2015 by 18 per cent.
The Nigerian terrorist group is responsible for the deaths of 5,478 people in 2015, a decline attributed to a weakened Boko Haram due to successful military operations by the Nigerian army.
According to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index released on Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is responsible for 6,141 deaths in 2015 surpassing Boko Haram as the deadliest terrorist group.
Globally, 2015 saw 29,376 deaths caused by terrorism, a drop of 10 percent being the first decline since 2010, yet the second deadliest year on record after 2014.
Despite the positive decline in the number of terrorism deaths, expanded activities by Boko Haram and ISIL are posing new threats in other parts of the world.
“Boko Haram has expanded into Niger, Cameroon and Chad, increasing the number of people they have killed through terrorism in these three countries by 157 per cent … Meanwhile ISIL and its affiliates were active in 15 new countries, bringing the total number of countries they were active in to 28,” the report stated.
The expansion of Boko Haram has led to Cameroon and Niger rising to 13th and 16th in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
Six countries saw very significant deteriorations in their GTI scores in 2015 leading to large rank changes from the previous year. They include Burundi, Tunisia, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In total, 23 countries registered their highest ever number of terrorism deaths.
The annual index ranks countries based on data from the Global Terrorism Database run by a consortium based at the U.S. University of Maryland.