The UK is deemed to be at lower risk from terrorist attacks than France or the US, according to a new worldwide study.
Somalia overtook Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to become the country most at risk, moving from four to one in this year’s Terrorism Risk Index (TRI), developed by global risks advisory firm Maplecroft.
The UK was placed at (47), at lesser risk than US (33) and France (44) – all remained in the “medium risk” category, while Canada (67) and Germany (70) were rated as “low risk”.
Data from June 2009 to June 2010 was used to assess the frequency of terrorist incidents and the intensity of attacks in 196 countries, including the number of victims per attack and the chances of mass casualties occurring.
The index also included a historical component assessing the number of attacks between 2007 and 2009 and looking at whether a country was at risk from a long-standing militant group operating there.
Sixteen countries were rated as “extreme risk”, including Pakistan (2), Iraq (3), Afghanistan (4), Palestinian Occupied Territories (5), Colombia (6), Thailand (7), Philippines (8), Yemen (9) and Russia (10).
Somalia experienced 556 terrorist incidents, killing a total of 1,437 people and wounding 3,408 between June 2009 and June 2010.
It has the highest number of deaths from terrorism per population and surpassed Iraq and Afghanistan in the number of fatalities per terrorist attack.
The principal threat in Somalia comes from the Islamist al Shabaab, which has claimed responsibility for several deadly suicide bombings including one in February 2009 which killed 11 Burundian soldiers on an African Union peacekeeping mission.
The group carried out its first major international attack in July 2010 when it bombed the Ugandan capital Kampala, killing at least 74 people.