Israel Ranked 14 on Global Terror Index, Considered at 'Extreme Risk'

Palestinian territories listed in fifth place on Maplecroft's November Terrorism Index; Somalia replaces Iraq as No. 1.

Israel is more at risk for terrorist attacks now than it was at the beginning of 2010, according to the latest ranking by global analysts Maplecroft.

The consultancy's November Terrorism Risk Index puts Israel at no. 14 - three places higher than its February 2010 ranking - and lists the Palestinian Territories at no. 5. The current ranking puts both Israel within the category of "extreme risk".

Soldiers at site of terror attack Reuters Aug. 31, 2010

The index lists 16 countries as extreme risk - topped by Somalia, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan and followed by the Palestinian Territories in fifth place, Colombia 6, Thailand 7, Philippines 8, Yemen 9 and Russia at 10.

Somalia has replaced Iraq as the state most at risk from terrorist attack, according to Maplecroft, which sees threats also rising in Russia, Greece and Yemen but falling in India and Algeria.

A statement by the consultancy about its latest index said increased dangers seen in Somalia and Yemen were caused by Al-Qaida-associated violence while those in Russia stemmed from attacks by separatists from the North Caucasus.

The largest change in the rankings was Greece, which moved from 57 to 24 to become the European country most at risk, a trend the consultancy said was due to violent left-wing groups.

Pakistan, where more than 2,000 people have been killed in a wave of deadly attacks by Islamist militants since 2007, moved up one place to become the country second most at risk, while neighboring Afghanistan slipped from second place to fourth.
Iraq, where sectarian carnage unleashed after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion is receding, is now in third place.

Security experts say the global risks posed by hard-line Islamist groups were most recently underscored by Al-Qaida's claim of responsibility for the planting of explosives on cargo planes flying to the United States from Yemen last month.

Maplecroft said Somalia suffered 556 terrorist incidents, in which 1,437 people were killed and 3,408 wounded, between June 2009 and June 2010, the period on which the rankings are based. It has the highest number of deaths from terrorism per population and surpassed Iraq and Afghanistan in the number of fatalities per terrorist attack."

Maplecroft said much of Somalia's violence was attributable to the Al-Qaida-aligned al Shabaab militant group, which has been fighting a weak transitional government for three years and now controls swathes of the south and center of the country.

Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden, worries the West because it is home to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed the failed cargo plane attack and a botched plot by a Nigerian student to bomb an airliner over Detroit on December 25 2009.

The U.K.-based company's index rates 196 countries on the number, frequency and intensity of terrorism attacks, plus the likelihood of mass casualties occurring. While based on historical data, it is intended as a forward-looking assessment.

The index's reporting period partly overlaps with calendar 2009 data used in a previous ranking issued in February 2010.

None of the main Western economies fall within the ranking's high or extreme risk bracket. The United States is at 33, France 44 and Britain 46 - all in the medium risk category - while Canada at 67, and Germany at 70 are rated as low risk.