Global Terrorism Statistics Released

The U.S. government released statistics yesterday documenting a dramatic increase in terrorist attacks last year and a death toll of close to 2,000 people around the globe, a disclosure made a week after the State Department said it would publish its congressionally mandated annual survey of international terrorism without the statistical portrait it has always included. The numbers were provided instead by the government’s new clearinghouse for terrorism-related information, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and included statistics documenting a sharp surge in significant terrorist acts from 175 incidents that killed 625 in 2003 to 651 such attacks that killed 1,907 in 2004. But senior officials said the threefold increase was a result of changes in methodology and urged reporters at a hastily called briefing not to compare this year’s terrorism numbers with previous ones. Congressional aides already had disclosed the increase in terrorist incidents to reporters Tuesday after a private briefing.

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