In a frightening snapshot of the trend in terrorism events, a report by the London-based Institute for Economics and Peace shows 32,658 people were killed in terrorist attacks last year, the highest recorded, accounting for an 80 per cent rise from 2013.
The global economic cost of terrorism has now reached an all-time high of $US52.9 billion.
Australia was ranked 59th out of 162 countries.
The report listed seven terror incidents in Australia in 2014, including the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney, in which Man Haron Monis took 18 people hostage.
Two hostages and Monis were killed while four other hostages were wounded.
The fourth death was that of 18-year-old Numan Haider, who stabbed two counter-terrorism officers in Melbourne on September 23 last year, before he was shot dead.
The Global Terrorism Index, released on Wednesday, covers events in 2014 and excludes the Islamic State’s deadly assault in Paris last week.
It reveals that just two terrorist groups – Islamic State, also known as ISIL, and Boko Haram – were jointly responsible for 51 per cent of global fatalities from claimed terrorist attacks.
It’s likely Islamic State has now overtaken Boko Haram, having claimed responsibility for Paris, as well as the suspected bombing of a Russian passenger plane two weeks ago over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
“The rise of ISIL has brought with it several challenging dynamics for counter-terrorism,” the report said.
“Current estimates now range from 25,000 to 30,000 fighters, from roughly 100 countries.”
The report also warns that the flow of foreign fighters does not appear to be diminishing, with more than 7000 arriving in the first six months of 2015.
* Deaths from terrorism increased 80 per cent in 2014 compared to previous year – the highest rise recorded – with 32,658 people killed
* Global economic cost of terrorism has reached all-time high of $US52.9 billion
* Boko Haram and Islamic State were jointly responsible for 51 per cent of all fatalities in claimed terror attacks in 2014
* Countries suffering more than 500 deaths increased by 120 per cent
* 78 per cent of all deaths and 57 per cent of all attacks occurred in just five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria
* Iraq continues to be the country most impacted by terrorism with 9929 terrorist fatalities – the highest ever recorded in a single country
* Australia was ranked 59th out of 162 countries with four deaths, and second only behind the US in terms of fatalities attributed to terror attacks in the West in 2014.
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