October 28th, 2013
03:56 PM ET

Terrorist attacks and deaths hit record high, report shows

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog co-editor

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Washington (CNN) – As terrorism increasingly becomes a tactic of warfare, the number of attacks and fatalities soared to a record high in 2012, according to a new report obtained exclusively by CNN.

More than 8,500 terrorist attacks killed nearly 15,500 people last year as violence tore through Africa, Asia and the Middle East, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.

That’s a 69% rise in attacks and an 89% jump in fatalities from 2011, said START, one of the world’s leading terrorism-trackers.

Six of the seven most deadly groups are affiliated with al Qaeda, according to START, and most of the violence was committed in Muslim-majority countries.

The previous record for attacks was set in 2011 with more than 5,000 incidents; for fatalities the previous high was 2007 with more than 12,800 deaths.

Headquartered at the University of Maryland, START maintains the Global Terrorism Database, the most comprehensive source of unclassified information about terrorist attacks, with statistics dating to 1970.

START, one of 12 Centers for Excellence funded by the Department of Homeland Security, plans to release its full database in December but shared its early findings after a request by CNN.

This year is expected to outpace even 2012’s record high. There were 5,100 attacks in the first six months of 2013, said Gary LaFree, START’s director, and the wave of violence shows few signs of ebbing.

In recent weeks, Al-Shabaab, a militant group based in Somalia, attacked a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, leaving 67 dead; suicide bombers killed 81 at a church in Pakistan; and the Taliban took credit for killing two police officers with a car bomb in Afghanistan.

To find and tally attacks like those, START's computers comb through 1.2 million articles from 50,000 media outlets each month with an algorithm to help identify and eliminate redundancies. Its 25-member staff then studies, categorizes and counts each attack.

START's definition of terrorism closely mirrors that of the State Department and other experts. To be counted as an act of terror, an incident has to be an intentional act or threat by a "non-state actor" that meets two of these three criteria:

• It was aimed at attaining a political, economic, religious or social goal.

• It was intended to coerce, intimidate or convey a message to a larger group.

• It violated international humanitarian law by targeting non-combatants.

Part of the observed increase in 2012 may be due to the fact that START has improved its data collection methods and is better than ever at finding and categorizing terrorism, LaFree said. But he said the dramatic rise is not just a matter of having better data.

“We are convinced that a big chunk of this is real change in the world,” LaFree said. “We’ve seen a fairly steep upward trajectory in the total of terrorist attacks and fatalities worldwide.”

Outside of small dips in 2004 and 2009, the number of attacks has steadily increased in the past decade, according to START. The upward trend increases the likelihood that 2012’s numbers are not an aberration, LaFree said.

Counterterrorism experts not affiliated with START also said attacks appear to be occurring with increasing frequency.

“There’s just a lot of killing going on along sectarian and religious lines,” said Daniel Benjamin, coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department from 2009 to 2012. “And that’s a worrisome thing.”

The reasons behind the rise are complex, experts say:

• Weak and unstable states and corrupt or ineffective governments.

• Poverty and high unemployment, particularly among young men.

• Access to more lethal weaponry and increasing use of tactics like suicide bombings capable of killing scores of bystanders.

• A spike in sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, where ancient grudges give rise to modern massacres.

• The increasing use of terrorism as a tactic in war.

“The distinction between the front line and home front has largely been erased as terrorism has become a growing feature of contemporary warfare,” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a senior adviser at the RAND Corp. and the founder of its counterterrorism program.

But Jenkins also cautioned that “terrorism” is notoriously difficult to define, and the increase in attacks does not necessarily mean the United States is “losing the war on terror.” He said it could just reflect a shift in strategy among Syrian rebels and Afghani radicals, for example.

Still, experts say the apparent increase in civilian casualties is alarming.

Gone are the days when terrorist groups like the Irish Republican Army or Italy’s Red Brigade would try to keep casualties low by issuing warnings, LaFree said.

“If you’re a terrorist group now and you want to get your message out,” he said, “the more people you kill, the more ‘successful’ you’ll be.”

Sectarian attacks - such as the pitched battles between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq, Syria and Pakistan - tend to be disproportionately deadly, said Martha Crenshaw, an expert at Stanford University and a START board member.

“Sadly, it seems to be increasingly acceptable in certain belief systems to kill as many members of the other religious community as possible,” she said. “Moral restraints seem to be eroding.”

Bombings and explosions were used in 58% of terrorist attacks in 2012, but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, START’s data also show a dramatic global shift in terrorist tactics and hot spots.

In the 1970s, most attacks were committed with guns and occurred in Western Europe. In the 1980s, Latin America saw the most terrorist acts. Beginning with the 1990s, South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East has seen steadily rising number of attacks, a trend that has accelerated in recent years.

Although terrorism touched 85 countries last year, just three - Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan - suffered more than half of 2012’s attacks (55%) and fatalities (62%).

In January, Sunni suicide bombers attacked scores of Shiite pilgrims in Iraq, killing at least 73. In February, a car bomb outside a café in Mogadishu, Somalia, left 15 dead. In March, a bombing in Thailand killed 14 and injured 340 in a commercial district.

Just eight private U.S. citizens died in attacks outside the United States in 2012, all in Afghanistan, according to the State Department. In the United States, seven people died in 11 terrorist attacks last year, six of them in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Despite the death of Osama bin Laden and capture of other key al Qaeda leaders, the group has exported its brand of terrorism to other militant Muslims, according to START and other counterterrorism experts.

“We’ve had success in stopping al Qaeda central,” LaFree said. “But we have been unsuccessful in stopping the message.”

Afghanistan’s Taliban was by far the deadliest group in 2012, when it launched 525 attacks that killed 1,842 people.

The second deadliest group was Nigeria’s Boko Haram, a jihadist group that orchestrated 364 attacks last year that killed 1,132 people.

The next most deadly were al Qaeda in Iraq, the Communist Party of India-Maoist, Somalia’s Al-Shabaab, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan’s branch of the Taliban.

Rhonda Shore, a spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Counterterrorism, said she hadn't seen START's latest numbers and couldn't comment on the report. But she offered a staunch defense of the Obama administration’s approach to al Qaeda.

“We have made great progress in our efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the larger al Qaeda organization in recent years,” she said.

“However,” she said, al Qaeda and its affiliates “continue to present a serious threat to the United States and its interests, and we must remain vigilant as we consider the range of tools and actions available to disrupt this threat.”

In April, START compiled a separate report for the State Department that counts fewer attacks (6,771) and fatalities (11,098) in 2012 than its own report because the U.S. government uses slightly different criteria to define terrorism.

Those lower numbers still represent an all-time yearly high in the number of attacks, according to START’s database.

Despite top terrorist groups’ affiliation - sometimes tenuous - with al Qaeda, some do not fit the mold created by its former head, bin Laden, and current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, said Benjamin, the former State Department counterterrorism coordinator.

Bin Laden was motivated by an apocalyptic vision, Benjamin said, and wanted to spark a global war between Christians and Muslims.

The power struggles in many Muslim countries, on the other hand, are driven as much by political as religious concerns, according to Benjamin and other terrorism experts.

“Al-Shabaab, for example, is a fractious and disorganized group,” he said, “and the overwhelming majority of its foot soldiers don’t care about al Qaeda. They are just fighting to stay alive.”

And while most terrorism in 2012 was committed in Muslim-majority countries, LaFree and other experts cautioned against viewing Islam itself as inherently violent.

“Not so long ago, terrorism was centered in Western Europe and Latin America,” LaFree said. “It moves. And, unfortunately, it has moved into the Muslim world right now.”

Like Benjamin, Rizwan Jaka, a Muslim leader based in Northern Virginia, said that political - not religious - motivations lay behind many acts of terrorism.

“It isn’t like they woke up and said 'I’m a Muslim; I’m going to go kill someone in a shopping mall,' ” Jaka said. “In their twisted mind, this is political retaliation.”

Still, American Muslims are working to reduce Sunni-Shiite tensions, said Jaka, a board member of the Islamic Society of North America.

The Fiqh Council of North America, an influential group that issues rulings based on Sharia, or Islamic law, released a fatwa endorsed by dozens of Muslims in 2005 categorically condemning terrorism.

More recently, the Islamic Society of North America has met with African and Middle Eastern leaders to urge them to protect the rights of religious minorities and discourage terrorism.

In September, Sunni and Shiite leaders meeting in Washington announced an agreement to set aside differences and address the “dire situation of unrest, destruction, genocide and refugees” in many predominantly Muslim countries.

“All Muslims are one nation, even if the schools of thought are diverse,” the scholars’ declaration said. “Such diversity is a source of intellectual enrichment and should not be the cause of accusations of disbelief, murder, and the desecration of sanctities.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Afghanistan • Africa • Crime • Fatwa • Foreign policy • Iran • Iraq • Islam • Islamic law • Middle East • Muslim • Nigeria • Pakistan • Terrorism

soundoff (911 Responses)
  1. truthprevails1

    Tell us Troll-Of-Many-Aliases, do you get some form of sadistic cheap thrills by posting like this? Are you by chance being given access to the computer at the local asylum or federal prison?

    October 29, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  2. ounceoflogic

    Where there are Muslims, there is Terror.
    Why is it so hard to connect two dots?

    October 29, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Infidel

      Makes sense to me! Isn't it reasonable for the media to report that these terrorrist attacks might be related to Islamic Jihad?

      Oh...that's right. That hypothesis would tarnish an entire religion, an entire people. It can’t be possibly true—but even if it is true, it’s too troubling and unpleasant a truth to report. Right?

      Why connect the dots when you can continue to confuse apologists and never report the possible motive for such acts that occur almost on a daily basis around the world?

      I guess the media believes its better not to descend to the level of people who believe that Islamic terrorists have declared war against all non-Muslims (as well as other “moderate” or "not-enough-Muslims"). I understand…sometimes the truth hurts, but let's not dance around the MOTIVE as to WHY these terror suspects act and carry forth as they do.

      It is because of ISLAM. I just wish that more muslim appeasers would connect the dots!

      October 29, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Born2BModerated

      Where there are christians, there is terror.
      Why is it so easy to overlook te lynchings, burning of buildings, bombings of clinics, and was we start 'over there'?

      October 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  3. JW

    It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many religious groups in the world who claim to be peaceful and believe in some gad or another, but yet continue to go around murdering as many other people as possible, just because they don't want to read all of that religious crap and conform to it.
    The current world we live in is one gigantic shi- hole of a world.

    October 29, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Sara

      Each group is fairly sound in its logic: Our way will bring peace and that is worth fighting for. That's more or less what most modern nations say, too.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Infidel

      That is why we need to hold the cult ideology of Islam accountable for the inhuman behavior it has inspired.

      My condemnation of Islam is based entirely upon the revolting nature of religion's five oldest sources, the demented life and words of the religion's lone prophet, the revolting behavior of the first Muslims, Muhammad's Companions, and the demonic nature of Islam's god, Allah.

      We need to MAN UP and call this cult ideology called ISLAM out!!

      Today’s terror (tactic) is nothing more than an outgrowth of ISLAM. These people really believe they are doing their allah's wishes!

      October 29, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • myweightinwords

        By that logic, Christianity is no better.

        Any faith can be used as a weapon. Many have been over the centuries. For every terrorist who claims to act in the name of Islam, there are hundreds of Muslim people living average, peaceful lives, just as for every extremist who claims to act in the name of Christianity while bombing abortion clinics, beating gay men or otherwise engaging in criminal activity, there are hundreds of Christian people living average, peaceful lives.

        October 29, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  4. Rev. Rick

    Quoting from the article: “Sadly, it seems to be increasingly acceptable in certain belief systems to kill as many members of the other religious community as possible,” she said. “Moral restraints seem to be eroding.”

    So in "certain belief systems" moral restraint is shown by minimizing the number of deaths in a terrorist attack? What kind of morals are those?

    October 29, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Ask the Ulster Defence League.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  5. Doc Vestibule

    Through the Cold War, the spectre of mutually assured destruction via nuclear armageddon overshadowed terrorist activities.
    With the two Superpowers flexing their might throughout the globe, dissident groups were funded, armed and trained by one side or the other.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  6. Born2BModerated

    Most of theses attacks are political.
    the leaders are just using religion to control the masses.
    It has been this way for 3,00 years.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The tools of statecraft are ever the same.
      Terrorist groups like Al Qaeda are necessary to propagate the US Empire and it's global "Pax Americana".
      It was all laid out some time ago by a republican think tank called the Project for A New American Centurywhich included many people who would hold high ranking position in the Bush Administration in a docu/ment ti/tled "Rebuilding America's Defenses"

      October 29, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Makes perfect sense, thank you for the explanation on how religion plays a part.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Infidel

      It is not politics...it is indeed the cult ideology called ISLAM.

      Ask yourself....If Islam is a religion of peace, then why is it the only religion that consistently produces religiously-motivated terrorist attacks and KILLINGS?

      Why are all of these MUSLIMS able to cut off an innocent person’s head, strap bombs to themselves, or fly planes into a building while screaming praises to their moon-god-Allah? Why do MUSLIMS recite verses from their Koran before they KILL? Where’s the outrage among other "not-muslim-enough" or “moderate” Muslims when this happens… and why do MUSLIMS get only worked up over freakin’ editorial cartoons in a Danish newspaper or a lame You Tube Video?!?

      October 29, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  7. Born2BModerated

    Now why would they?

    October 29, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  8. flit

    Just a bunch of Jabokes killing each other – who cares.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Moremad

      Yes, if we don't care then they can continue invading and killing others. Is that your plan? I think your plan sucks.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  9. Steve4203

    You do realize that all these terrorists are doing is following their religion?You do realize that throughout history more death and atrocities have been committed in the name of one religion or another? I believe that religion is a major factor in almost all wars, and you take issue with the atheist. People with your mind set are the one killing people and blowing s#$t up in the name of Allah. Thes only difference between a Christian fanatics and Mooslim extremists is the century they committed the atrocities. So before you go beating down the none believers do some research on your own religion you follow.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  10. nearboston

    This is impossible. The NSA is monitoring everyone to prevent terrorism, so it's down. Obama even said it so it must be so.

    This is obviously a story planted by right-wing Nazi loving TEA partiers!!

    October 29, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • truthprevails1

      There is always an underground and if one wishes to be off the radar they will find a way to do. Extremists like this always seem to find a way to infiltrate their delusions regardless and sadly they won't stop easily.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Bob

      Obama has told more lies than any four past president combined. And idiots like you believe every lie he has told. Your definitely a low information voter. Wait until you see how much your healthcare Obama is sticking you with!

      October 29, 2013 at 9:21 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Was this article about healthcare?
        Sad when you whiners complain about human rights...you'd rather see innocent children and the elderly die because they can't afford medical attention than give them a chance.
        Obama is only part of the issue but the republitards hate him and will always find a way to beat on him. Ah the hypocrisy...pathetic 🙂

        October 29, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • Born2BModerated

        you're, not your.
        And learn proper english, it will help your credibility.

        October 29, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • darryl

      This is obviously a story planted by right-wing Nazi loving TEA partiers!!

      I just gotta laugh at such an ignorant statement as that.
      Please educate yourself as to the difference between the two.You can start by a simple search of What did the NAZI believe in and then What does the Tea Party believe in .
      Self research is better than believing some reporters pushing agendas for politicians.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • dude

        I'm fairly certain he posted that with satirical motives.

        October 29, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  11. Sara

    The saddest thing for me is to is magine what the middle east would be without the religious fanatacism. Not just terrorism, but if they'd promoted women's rights earlier the fertility rate would have dropped years ago avoiding the demographic disaster that is killing most of their economies. Imagine open financial markets and free media? Just too tragic.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Bob

      Sara, the lost lives, the other horrors and the lost opportunities such as you presented really make me sad. And religion, mainly Islam, is pretty much at the root of it, even if in some cases believers are simply being taken advantage of by despots for political and material gain.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Bob

      Its not religious fanaticism, its muslim fanaticism. P.S. Humanists have murdered more people in the 20th century than all the people killed in "holy wars" for the last 2000 years.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:23 am |
      • Sara

        I think you mean atheists, not humanists? And you'll find that when people crunch those numbers that way they a) include famines, which is ridiculous, and b) ignore the relative sizes of the countries involved (you need to look at proportion of population affected, especially when talking about the world's largest countries).

        October 29, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Bob

          Thanks, Sara. The other Bob doesn't even know its "it's" from its "its". (Where's Dippy when we need him...)

          October 29, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.

        Tsars, Fuhrers, and other such totaliitarian despots are not concerned with the worth of humans. They are interested in promoting their own agendas which most often involved making themselves the centre of their own cults of personality.

        The majority of them employ the same tactics of control and persuasion as religious inst/tutions.
        The worst of them, like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, received formal religious educations.
        Their speaking and writing styles ape those of the Church in being declamatory and repet.itive, with liturgical overtones.
        They enforce dogmatism and tolerate no free-thinkers.
        Like religions, they demand blind obedience and obsequious submission from their followers.

        They take the tactics and forms of inst/itutionalized religion and make themselves gods to be worshipped.
        That is anathemic to humanism.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:40 am |
        • Votor

          Awesome post!

          October 29, 2013 at 9:43 am |
        • Sara

          You didn't cite your source so I can't address it. You then go on to say that these despots aren't interested in humans, demonstrating that they aren't humanists on your definition, though, so I'm not sure what your point is. Are they or aren't they humanists?

          From the OED:

          an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.

          October 29, 2013 at 9:47 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I thought I was fairly clear in explaining that they are not Humanists becuase they are not concerned with human worth.
          Attempted genocide, purges, suppression of free thought etc. are all signs of a debasement of human worth.
          The definition I posted comes from freedictionary.com
          Pol Pot spent 8 years at a Catholic school in Phnom Penh and Stalin 5 years at a Russian orthodox seminary and HItler attended school at a Benedictine cloister.

          October 29, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • Sara

          Thanks, Doc, I think I misread your post the first time.

          I agree in most cases these aren't humanists, but I would be wary of saying that based on person actions, as it could end up being similar to the Christian tendency to reject anyone who behaves badly as not really Christian. What did each of these actually believe? Hitler promoted the welfare of a subgroup and thought many humans not worthy, so I would not call him a humanist. I would also be wary of calling most communists humanists, as humanism typically stresses development of the individual, but I believe some could be considered humanists.

          October 29, 2013 at 10:19 am |
        • faith

          It only now occurs 2 me that if Stalin and Pol Pot's child might be Palin.

          October 29, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Infidel

      Agree – – Our only hope is that we can only hope that more and more muslims are becoming disillusioned with ISLAM.

      We can only hope that these whacked muslims find out that the mechanistic ritual of praying 5Xs per day, reciting verses that they do not understand (and indeed mean nothing), getting up at taxing hours of the morning and abstaining from food and water until the sunset are not means to becoming more spiritual, but are instruments to control their mind. These enlightened muslims no more heed to the fear mongering verses of the koran that threaten to burn them and roast them in the "fires of hell" (per the koran) if they dare to think and question the validity of that book.

      We can only hope they find ISLAM inconsistent with science, logics, human rights, women’s rights, and ethics.

      This is a reason why "true" islamic countries are trying to crack down on the internet and other avenues of information that threaten all of the misgivings that have been pounded into these people's head for the last 1,400 years.

      October 29, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  12. Reality # 2

    Nature's attacks of terror or are they your god's??

    Strong circ-umstantial evidence that there is no god? (or did they all die as martyrs?)

    Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

    1. 300,000,000 approx.

    2. 200,000,000 ?

    3. 100,000,000 approx.
    Black Death

    4. 80,000,000–250,000,000

    5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
    Spanish Flu

    6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
    Plague of Justinian

    7. 40,000,000–100,000,000

    8. 30,000,000[13]
    AIDS pandemic

    9. 12,000,000 ?
    Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

    10. 5,000,000
    Antonine Plague

    11. 4,000,000
    Asian Flu

    12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

    Nature created death if you are an atheist like me. And she can be very cruel about it.

    If you are a believer, the Abrahamic creator-god is a horrible deity.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Bob

      Everyone dies of something! Your very ignorant and to be pitied. You don't know what you are. You don't know why you are. And you don't know where you are going.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:26 am |
      • Votor

        Lying sack of dung.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • John

      TRhe author of this has not idea about God nor what is going on. Totally lost.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • Reality # 2

        The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

        Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
        and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
        human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

        I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
        preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
        named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
        girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

        Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
        the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

        He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
        a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

        Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
        many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
        ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
        Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
        grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
        and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
        called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

        (References used are available upon request.)

        October 29, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Infidel

          Sure...haven't seen any Christians or Jews strap bombs to themselves, recite Bible verses, and then yell out that "Jesus is great" before they KILL lately...as do MUSLIMS who do this nearly EVERY DAY of the freakin' year for their allah!!

          October 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  13. Kent

    But Obama said "The war on terror is over" in May of this year. This article is racist.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Bob

      Obama is the worst president in American history! He is an anti-white racist. He is a Christian hating bigot. He is a muslim loving terrorist and is arming his muslim brotherhood terrorists. Obama will have double our national debt in 8 years of tyranny. Yet you low information voters don't care! Fools!

      October 29, 2013 at 9:30 am |
      • Bob

        False. Other Bob, you are a liar, and a disgrace to humanity. And W's record is far worse, as history is starting to show.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  14. Bb3333

    But. But. The religion of peace. Must be those wacky Christians and tea partiers blowing up stuff.....

    October 29, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Infidel

      You are right! All of those Christians or Jews that strap bombs to themselves, recite Bible verses, and then yell out that "Jesus is great" before they KILL lately...as do MUSLIMS who do this nearly EVERY DAY of the freakin' year for their allah!!


      October 29, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  15. Gerri


    October 29, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • FYI

      They will say any lie, commit any violence, destroy anyone who is not Muslim.


      October 29, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • John

      Do you really understand what is shown with the coexist bumper sticker?

      First off Islam has worn to kill all Jews, Christians, and anyone else who does not convert.

      Second, the coexist symbol I san upside down broken cross that is anti- Christian.

      The sticker and symbol is a contradiction in itself.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Infidel

      You have to love those muslim appeasing liberals that have "CoExist" stickers slapped on to their cars. What nonsense!!

      There is simply no other religion on earth as ISLAM that draws such sharp distinction between its own members and others, or spends as much time condemning and dehumanizing those who merely choose not to follow its dogma.

      But liberals "fee'" better with these studpi stickers! LOL

      October 29, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  16. Tom

    So, how about that war on terror? One way to end this, stop reporting terror attacks. If a tree falls in the woods, and no one sees it happen...the publicity terrorists get from the media is free and abundant. They use the news to further their cause, and have done so successfully. If you take away a painters art gallery, he will probably have to get another job.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Votor

      Yes, like the cops do. If they want to look successful, they just stop writing reports and the "crime rate" goes down.
      Win-win. Eazy Sleazy.
      Need to buy more toys? Say you need to "crack down" with more money. Write reports only on your target group.
      Write reports on bombings, but don't write reports on the widespread corruption in our government. No sir.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  17. LibSick

    President Obama did not know about this until he read it in the news.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • LibSick

      What, these horrific acts are being perpetrated by Muslims? President Obama did not know about that either.

      October 29, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • Bob

      Obama is dumber than a bag of rocks!

      October 29, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Bob

        What level of education did you get to? Probably not on par with Obama. So what does that make you?

        October 29, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  18. rabidmob

    What will it take to stop Islam?

    October 29, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • Teecee Madison

      this is obviously a racist lie by cnn, afterall, didnt the messiah, after using all of GWB's hard work and intelligence info to kill OBL, say that al queda was 'on the run' and 'decimated'....no, sorry this just has to be a made up story to make a black man look bad.......

      October 29, 2013 at 8:09 am |
      • imlegit

        Why? All of the sources they used, and it has all been cited, are very reliable. Don't be angry at CNN because you don't like what they show.

        October 29, 2013 at 8:44 am |
      • Bob

        1. CNN is the farthest left-wing propaganda network in the world. They have been preaching Obama's lies for 5 years. 2. Black men don't need any help looking bad. They are a plague on American society and always blame someone else for their own lazy, immoral, violent criminal behavior!

        October 29, 2013 at 9:36 am |
      • Sara

        Oh, for goodness sake people, this person was joking. Stupid joke, since few are ignorant enough to think Islam is is a predominantly black religion, but a joke.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Damon

      The Creator is the Peacemaker who will resolve the dilemma and restore harmony. He will abolish sin forever with His conquering sword of righteousness, which is endowed with His mercy, grace, and love.

      October 29, 2013 at 8:56 am |
      • Moremad

        There is nothing we need to do but defend ourselves. Drones are just one tiny weapon. We've got others.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:08 am |
      • WASP

        " sword of righteousness, which is endowed with His mercy, grace, and love."

        First time i've ever seen "sword,mercy and love" in the same sentence. i never even imagined a sword could have mercy and love. XD

        October 29, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  19. joyfullarue

    And WHO, pray-tell, is perpetrating these unspeakable atrocities against humanity? Why, the radical Islamists, that's WHAT.

    The politically correct lefties couldn't of course, point any fingers, 'cause that might hurt someone's feelings.

    Hey lib's, either buck-up and start taking a good hard look at REALITY, or keep your adolescent fantasies to yourselves, so we adults can deal the deadly REAL WORLD, as it should be dealt with.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  20. Feldwebel Wolfenstool

    Is there any common thread or peculiar similarity between any or all of these disparate groups of terrorists that could help solve the motivational puzzle? What could it be? What motivates them?

    October 29, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Usually a devout belief in their holy book.

      October 29, 2013 at 7:36 am |
      • Born2BModerated

        Nope. These are mostly political.
        Religion is just used to motivate the expendables.
        Same thing Hitler did.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Gazoigel Droidelsberg

      The best course of action is quarantine. No mass destruction or killing, just expel them from every Western country in a polite and helpful way with an all-expenses paid trip, one way, to Mecca. Isn't that where they want to be anyway?
      They follow an ideology that is in direct and violent opposition to anyone not a Muslim. They are insane with this ideology.

      October 29, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • H. Ey

      As non-Muslims, we are all considered to be their sworn enemies to be killed / enslaved / robbed / lied to / etc. by direct order of their Koran. Not once, but hundreds of times over and over, page after page.
      They consider it god-approved murder and oppression and they like it.
      There is NO WAY these people can be allowed to live with non-Muslims. They do not respect ANY non-Muslim laws without a gun to their heads and they will march to demand that they be allowed to violate any of our laws.
      They must be removed from our society. There is no way to compromise with them. They do not tolerate anything and their violent insanity has not changed in over 1400 years AT ALL!!!

      October 29, 2013 at 7:53 am |
    • Moremad

      Their terroristic ideology is what ties them together. An ideology that demands they remain violent and stupid and dishonest.
      Their god says to kill unbelievers, including Jews and Christians and to not be friends with them, but to lie, cheat, rob, murder, enslave, terrorize them.
      If you think your god is on your side, murder is very easy. Death is ignored. The most inhuman and disgusting things become commonplace. They worship a god of theives and murderers and slavers. This isn't a god of wise sayings and stories, but one that just froths at the mouth and says to kill and do anything violent you want. Who can coexist with them? Nobody.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • Born2BModerated

      They attack America and ISrael because of our foriegn policy.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:55 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.