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United States of America

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The Iraq Effect: War has increased terrorism sevenfold worldwide
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A report concluding that the Iraq War has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost.

March 1 2007 - Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law / Mother Jones magazine

Link to the full report and article by Mother Jones magazine

Indeed, though what we will call "The Iraq Effect" is a crucial matter for U.S. national security, we have found no statistical documentation of its existence and gravity, at least in the public domain. In this report, we have undertaken what we believe to be the first such study, using information from the world’s premier database on global terrorism. The results are being published for the first time by Mother Jones, the news and investigative magazine, as part of a broader "Iraq 101" package in the magazine’s March/April 2007 issue.

Our study shows that the Iraq War has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.

We are not making the argument that without the Iraq War, jihadist terrorism would not exist, but our study shows that the Iraq conflict has greatly increased the spread of the Al Qaeda ideological virus, as shown by a rising number of terrorist attacks in the past three years from London to Kabul, and from Madrid to the Red Sea.

In our study we focused on the following questions:

* Has jihadist terrorism gone up or down around the world since the invasion of Iraq?

* What has been the trend if terrorist incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan (the military fronts of the "war on terrorism") are excluded?

* Has terrorism explicitly directed at the United States and its allies also increased?