Here are some stats from the University of Chicago (Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism):
1 - Attacks by location:
2 - Attacks by year:
3 - Attacks by campaign:
And here are the contribution of each attack vector (i.e: casualties by weapon used):
In other words:
These organizations are taking advantage of several factors:
- Counterterrorism costs a lot more than terrorism: the tracking and elimination cost per terrorist is pretty high (mobilization, intelligence, means, waiting, etc).
- It only takes one successful attack to make a return on investment.
- Time is in their favor and the state has more to lose.
Fact: Islamic terrorism has killed more Muslims than people from whatever is considered an enemy (intellectuals, Western Civilization, Atheists, Unicorns, etc).
In my country, they used to slaughter intellectuals, engineers, doctors, politicians, journalists, security forces, and then the people. i.e: Whoever has a brain, can fight them, or is thinking of turning their backs to them.
Most people don't really understand terrorism. Even "experts" I see on TV are really, really, naive about it. This naïveté is both good news and bad news: Good news because it's cute someone who can't think on a cruel enough level to be able to discern the truth, bad news because you don't want someone supposed to be an expert on terrorism think without abstracting human descency.
You can't afford to think like a "normal" human being. Strip down the veneer of religion, strip down the stereotypes, shed light on contradictions between what these terrorists claim and their action, forget everything you think you know about terrorism, and you'll see that it has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with morals, religion, rights, oppression, etc. It's only about power. Who gets what. What's in it for me. That is absolutely it. One of the rare pieces that actually scratched the surface is What if Everything You Know About Terrorism Is Wrong.
It's just asymmetric engagement. People are too emotional about it and concentrate on what the terrorists wear and how they look, the language they speak and the religion they have.. Just make an abstraction for a second and forget about all of that. Keep the essentials, von Clausewitz and all.
Now, it takes a lot of effort to go to college or work to become something.. But it takes no effort to stop shaving and becoming a terrorist. Bonus points if you're illiterate. In a split second, the village idiot who's never read anything in his life (not even the book he swears by and willing to kill for) is in charge of people, because he's violent and the M.D. is not. "Payback time, baby" is what goes in his head. All those people he envied and hated.. now he can do whatever he wants. He has God, remember? He can also rape children, women, his jihadist brothers, and whoever he wants..
Fact: do you know there are a lot of "jihadists" who go AWOL because the group has made them sex slaves. They sign up to kill people and end up washing clothes, making food, and being raped by the group.
Sounds silly? It does for people who've only seen terrorism on TV or in a couple of attacks. But it is exactly how it goes everywhere on a micro level.
Here, I'm talking about the simpletons. The ones who get sent blow themselves. I'm not talking about the Treasurer or the Strategist/Architect (some of the titles that do exist in their organizational chart).
To sum it up: look beyond what they wear and say.