There are a few interesting takeaways from the video:
- Iraq doesn’t show up on the map until after the US invasion in 2003. In other words, there were zero terrorist attacks that killed more than 21 people inside Iraq between January 1, 2001, and March 2003.
- The overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks happen in places with active wars and insurgencies, rather than in relatively stable countries. Things like the Paris attacks and 9/11 are just really, really rare.
- Relatedly, terrorist attacks in a country tend to ebb and flow in connection with local militant groups’ fortunes in war. After the LTTE/Tamil Tigers’ defeat in 2011, terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka ceased completely. Likewise, Iraq and Nigeria both got more deadly after ISIS and Boko Haram (respectively) grew in strength in recent years.
- The text at the end — claiming that terrorism never works — is heavily disputed. Some academic studies do find that terrorism is an ineffective tactic for insurgent groups looking to overthrew governments (see, for instance, Max Abrahms‘s research); others suggest that terrorism can actually help militant groups accomplish important goals.
Those are just a few quick thoughts. There’s a lot more interesting stuff in the video — it’s definitely worth watching.