Britain at greatest risk of terrorism

Britain is now at greater risk from terrorist attacks than any other Western nation, according to research.

The heightened threat in Northern Ireland has resulted in the UK being ranked higher than the US, France, Spain, China and Sri Lanka in the Terrorism Risk Index compiled by respected analysts Maplecroft.



The index, setting out which countries are considered most likely to suffer an attack, was topped by Somalia, followed by Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and the new nation of South Sudan, with Britain in 38th place.



Analysis of the data revealed that the number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2010-11 shot up by about 15% on the previous year to 11,954, although the number of people killed fell 7% to 14,478.



Researchers also found incidents of terrorism in Afghanistan increased by more than 50% to 3,470 in 2010-11, a trend that will concern the Nato coalition as it seeks to reduce troop numbers and hand over security to Afghan forces.



Britain was judged to be at "medium risk" of an attack, and ranked above "low risk" countries including Spain (53rd), the US (61st) and Germany (62nd).



The analysts recorded 26 terrorist attacks in the UK between April 2010 and March 2011 - all but one of them in Northern Ireland - although they did not cause any deaths.



Last year, when the results were calculated using a slightly different methodology, the UK was ranked 47th, behind both the US (33rd) and France (44th).



Maplecroft's analysis noted: "The UK continues to face terrorist threats posed by Islamist militants and dissident Irish republicans.



"The Islamist terrorist threat has both international and domestic elements. International Islamist groups such as al-Qa'ida and, specifically, al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) present a continuous security risk.



"The growing danger presented to Western states, including the UK, by AQAP is reflected by the increasingly international nature of their attacks.



"A October 2010 bomb plot in which plastic explosives were loaded into printer toner cartridges and placed on planes destined for the United States is a case in point.



"Nevertheless, the majority of perpetrated attacks continue to be committed by dissident Irish Republican terrorists."



The assessment of the threat from dissident Republican and Loyalist terrorists in Northern Ireland was increased to substantial in September last year, meaning an attack was a "strong possibility".



But last month the UK's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre reduced the international terrorism threat level from severe to substantial.



Norway was considered "low risk" and ranked 112th out of the 197 countries assessed in the Terrorism Risk Index, which did not take into account the Oslo and Utoya Island attacks carried out by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik on July 22.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory