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Although the total volume of terrorist incidents world-wide has declined in the 1990s the proportion of persons killed in terrorist incidents has steadily risen For example according to the RAND-St Andrews University Chronology of International Terrorism5 a record 484 international terrorist incidents were recorded in 1991 the year of the Gulf War followed by 343 incidents in 1992 360 in 1993 353 in 1994 falling to 278 incidents in 1995 the last calendar year for which complete statistics are available6 However while terrorists were becoming less active they were nonetheless becoming more lethal For example at least one person was killed in 29 percent of terrorist incidents in 1995 the highest percentage of fatalities to incidents recorded in the Chronology since 1968--and an increase of two percent over the previous years record figure7 In the United States this trend was most clearly reflected in 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City Since the turn of the century fewer than a dozen of all the terrorist incidents committed world-wide have killed more than a 100 people The 168 persons confirmed dead at the Murrah Building ranks sixth on the list of most fatalities caused this centuryin a single terrorist incident--domestic or international8 The reasons for terrorisms increasing lethality are complex and variegated but can generally be summed up as follows The growth in the number of terrorist groups motivated by a religious imperative The proliferation of amateurs involved in terrorist acts and The increasing sophistication and operational competence of professional terrorists Religious Terrorism The increase of terrorism motivated by a religious imperative neatly encapsulates the confluence of new adversaries motivations and rationales affecting terrorist patterns today Admittedly the connection between religion and terrorism is not new9 However while religion and terrorism do share a long history in recent decades this form particular
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