The Boston Marathon Bombings End a Decade of Strikingly Few Successful Terrorism Attacks in U.S

The bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday was the end of more than a decade in which the United States experienced strikingly few terrorist attacks, in part because of far more aggressive law enforcement tactics in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In fact, Sept. 11 was an anomaly in an overall gradual decline in the number of terrorist attacks since the 1970s, according to one of the most authoritative sources of terrorism statistics, the Global Terrorism Database, maintained by a consortium of researchers and based at the University of Maryland.

Only in 2009, after 13 people were killed in a shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas, did the number of fatalities in post-9/11 terrorism on American soil rise into double digits in a single year. That was a sharp contrast with the 1970s, by far the most violent decade since the tracking began in 1970, the database shows.

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