Terrorism & transportation terrorists have been targeting transportation hubs for decades

In the aftermath of the 22 March 2016 attacks in Brussels, Belgium, START compiled statistics from the Global Terrorism Databaserelated to terrorist attacks on transportation hubs.

The Brussels terrorists carried out coordinated attacks targeting an airport and a subway station with explosives. Two of the attacks were reportedly carried out by suicide bombers. More than 30 people were killed, and more than 200 people were injured in both locations (view the full report, Terrorism in Belgium and Western Europe; Attacks against Transportation Targets; Coordinated Terrorist Attacks).

START notes that among data explored in the report:

  • More than 140 terrorist attacks took place in Belgium between 1970 and 2014, causing more than 40 deaths and 230 injuries.
  • More than 7,400 terrorist attacks worldwide between 1970 and 2014 targeted some form of transportation, including airports and aircraft, representing 5.3 percent of all attacks.
  • More than 460 targets of terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2014 were airports, representing 6.4 percent of all transportation targets.
  • More than 130 targets of terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2014 were subway systems, representing 1.9 percent of all attacks on transportation targets.
  • Recently, attacks on transportation targets have been somewhat less prevalent. More than 1,400 such attacks took place between 2010 and 2014, comprising 3.0 percent of all attacks.
  • More than 10,000 terrorist attacks worldwide between 2000 and 2014 (14%) were conducted in coordination with other attacks.
  • ISIL, under its current incarnation, carried out more than 750 coordinated attacks in 2013 and 2014.
  • More than 1,600 terrorist attacks were committed by ISIL in 2013 and 2014.
  • More than 41,000 terrorist attacks between 2000 and 2014 (58%) involved the use of explosives.
  • More than 3,600 terrorist attacks between 2000 and 2014 (5.1%) were suicide attacks.

— Read more in Terrorism in Belgium and Western Europe; Attacks against Transportation Targets; Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (START, March 2016)

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