The State Department is reporting
apparent good news in the war on terrorism--the total number of terrorist incidents was at its lowest level since 1969.
This appears to be a generous reading of the statistics at best. As someone else pointed out, having a better year against terrorism than 2001 is not exactly setting the bar very high. I went to the State Department's webside and checked the data for myself. Although the paragraph above cites deaths from terrorism, I was not able to find that statistic. I did find casualties
, which clearly includes the wounded, and there the numbers were not positive. There were 2738 casualties in 2002. While that was down substantially from 2001's 5,431, it is higher than 2000's 1,391 and 1999's 940.
All these numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt of course. For example, the report lists 1,440 Americans killed by terrorists in 2001 (I guess the rest killed on 9-11 were citizens of other countries?), but only 90 wounded, which seems an extremely low number to me.
And a higher casualty rate in 2002 as compared to 1999 and 2000 is not necessarily unexpected or a negative. When you go after the terrorists they frequently move their plans up, so it may be that we have taken casualties that would otherwise have been taken in 2003 or 2004.