What's left of the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday the number of terrorist attacks worldwide and deaths from such attacks dropped in 2016 for the second straight year. The global downward trend is attributed to decreases in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen.
The report singles out Iran as the top sponsor of state-funded terrorism, with Syria and Sudan also cited as top problematic supporters.
You can access the full report and related statements here.
A preceding note from the Office of the Spokesperson:
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland noted in its Statistic Annex that the total number of terrorist attacks in 2016 decreased by nine percent and total deaths due to terrorist attacks decreased by 13 percent, compared to 2015. This was largely due to fewer attacks and deaths in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Yemen. Although terrorist attacks took place in 104 countries in 2016, they were heavily concentrated geographically. Fifty-five percent of all attacks took place in five countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines), and 75 percent of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in five countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, and Pakistan).
In 2016, terrorist groups continued to exploit ungoverned territory and ongoing conflict to expand their reach. ISIS remained the top terrorist threat in 2016, directing and inspiring terrorist cells, networks, and individuals around the world. ISIS was expelled from a significant amount of territory it had controlled at the beginning of 2016, a trend that has accelerated into the first half of 2017 due to coordinated military operations of the 72-member Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Al-Qa’ida also remained a resilient and adaptive threat. Iran continued to be the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Terrorist groups supported by Iran – most prominently Hizballah – continued to threaten U.S. allies and interests even in the face of U.S.-led intensification of financial sanctions and law enforcement.
The report also summarizes how U.S.-supported and developed multilateral institutions continued to provide platforms for action. In September, the UN Security Council adopted UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2309 (2016) – the first UNSCR focused exclusively on the terrorist threat to civil aviation. The 30-member Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), which the United States founded and co-chaired from 2011 to 2015, endorsed good practices in a number of areas relevant to terrorism prevention under its Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence. With support from the United States, the GCTF also launched an ongoing soft-targets initiative to build political will and increase capacity to prevent soft-target attacks and mitigate their effects. Throughout 2016, the United States and its partners pursued new, more robust counter-messaging initiatives designed to degrade the influence of terrorist organizations online and through social media.
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