April 19, 2024

Identifying The Financial Sources of Terrorists in The MENA Region 

 

The Global Terrorism Index issued for the eighth year in a row by the Institute for Economics & Peace tackles 5 main key findings for the year 2020 in regards of the results, economic impact of terrorism, trends in terrorism, the shifting landscape and the theory of terrorism and systems. 

 

Global Terrorism has declined for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 by 13%, however new counterterrorism challenges emerged due to the latest COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges can briefly be stated as; An increase of government deficit, resulting from an increase of public spending, as well as a reduction of international assistance for counterterrorism operations in the Middle East and North Africa. 

The largest terrorist groups in 2019, who had the largest effect on the international level are namely; Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIL, and Al Shabab. This deadly effect is undoubtedly getting more securitized, however 9 out of 10 countries with the highest economic impact of terrorism still suffer from ongoing terrorism and most of them are placed in Sub-Sahara African Region. 

The global economic impact of terrorism was estimated to be $26.4 bn in 2019, with a ratio of 25% decrease from the previous year. 

This ratio is resulting from indirect as well as direct cost of terrorism deaths, property damage and injuries in addition to the GDP losses with multiplier effects. 

The cost also affects business activities, production and investment, counterterrorism expenditures, and government spending on securitization. 

One of the keynotes of this year’s report is stating that the largest regional improvement in 2019 was in the Middle East and North Africa Region, the concentration of terrorist activities however shifted to West and Southern Africa, noting that seven of the ten countries with the largest increase in terrorism were in sub-Saharan Africa.

The biggest damage was due to ISIL affiliate groups is sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to the far right terrorism in Western Europe and North America. 

When it comes to the theory of terrorism and systems, the more economically developed countries terrorism mostly reflect social exclusion, which is not the case in the developing countries where terrorism is usually affiliated with religious or ethnic ruptures and corruption.

Lastly, Social systems are very vulnerable to shocks. A terrorist attack is a shock that can completely change a system in long-lasting and unexpected ways, and in order to combat this phenomenon both social and economic inclusion need to be promoted amongst all governments and social systems.