A new study indicates that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), although never averse to killing since the organization's inception in 2002, really ramped up its violence in 2014, the same year the extremists took over large sections of eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq and declared its newly conquered territory a caliphate. In fact, the study shows that ISIS is responsible for the deaths of 33,000 people since 2002. Of that number, over 80 percent have died since 2014.
KOMO in Seattle reported this week that a study out of the University of Maryland concluded that ISIS (in all its varied forms over the last decade or so) and its affiliates were responsible for the deaths of at least 33,000 people over a 14-year period stretching from 2002 to 2015. The numbers revealed that the fledgling ISIS accounted for roughly 500 deaths on average up through 2013. But it was in 2014, when ISIS made its most successful military moves and took over a lot of territory in both Syria and Iraq, that saw the terrorist organization become an actual player on the world scene by declaring itself autonomous, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The study showed that between 2002 and 2015, ISIS perpetrated a total of nearly 5,000 attacks worldwide, resulting in the deaths of 33,000 people. The Islamic extremists accounted for 26 percent of all terrorist killings within that time frame. But what is more striking is that to achieve that percentage, roughly 27,000 died in 2014 and 2015 (almost 82 percent of the total death count).
Study author and program manager of the Global Terrorism Database, Erin Miller, says that ISIS has been the driving force behind global terrorism.
"They [ISIS] have been a major driver of trends that we see in terrorist attacks worldwide."