LONDON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Somalia now is the world's top terror state, surpassing Afghanistan, Pakistan and Colombia for the dubious honor, a British global study indicates.
Somalia was first among 16 countries rated as facing an "extreme risk" from terrorist attacks, the Maplecroft global risks advisory firm said in a release.
Maplecroft's Terrorism Risk Index was developed to help organizations identify and monitor terrorism risks to human security and international assets.
The index released Monday uses data from June 2009 to June 2010 to assess the frequency and intensity of terrorist attacks, including the number of victims per attack and the chances of mass casualties occurring, Maplecroft said. It also includes a historical assessment of the number of attacks between 2007 and 2009 and examines whether a country is at risk from a well-established militant group operating within its borders.
In moving into the No. 1 slot from No. 4, Somalia experienced 556 terrorist incidents, in which 1,437 people died and 3,408 were wounded from June 2009 to June 2010, Maplecroft said. It had the highest number of deaths from terrorism per population, and more fatalities per terrorist attack than Iraq and Afghanistan. The index indicated the greatest threat in Somalia was from the fundamentalist militia al-Shabaab.
"For business, assessing exposures to terrorism is becoming increasingly necessary," Maplecroft Chief Executive Officer and Professor Alyson Warhurst said. "Business assets are vulnerable in certain high risk countries."