US Terrorism Report: 59% of Terrorist Attacks in 2017 Were in 5 Asian Countries
Almost 59% of all terrorist attacks in 2017 took place in five Asian countries, including India and Pakistan. The other three countries include Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines. The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide last year decreased by 23%. Similarly, the total deaths due to terrorist violence decreased by 27%, according to the report. The decline in terrorist violence was largely due to dramatically fewer attacks and deaths in Iraq.
Although terrorist attacks took place in 100 countries in 2017, they were concentrated geographically. Similarly, 70% of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in five countries, and those are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria. Despite many successes, the terrorist landscape grew more complex in 2017. ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their affiliates have proven to be resilient, determined, and adaptable.
Iran remains the world’s leading “state sponsor of terrorism” and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Mr Sales said Tehran uses a number of proxies and other instruments such as Lebanese Hizbollah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force. The threats posed by Iran’s support for terrorism are not confined to the Middle East; they are truly global.
Nathan Sales, State Department coordinator of counter-terrorism, said, “We have seen Iran’s and its proxies’ terrorist-related activities across the globe. There are active fund-raising networks in places as far afield as Africa, in South America. We’ve seen weapons caches planted around the world.”
Al-Qaida was a determined and patient adversary. It has largely remained out of the headlines in recent years as it has been content to let ISIS bear the brunt of the international response, but one shouldn’t confuse that period of relative quiet with al-Qaida’s abandonment of its capabilities or intentions to strike the US and its allies.
Sales further added, “That is why we are continuing to keep the pressure on al-Qaida, its affiliates, and its individuals. The report details a number of efforts that we’ve taken to designate, and I mentioned in my opening remarks, efforts that we have taken to designate al-Qaida affiliates in Syria, in Mali, as well as individuals who are associated with the group. So, although ISIS has gotten the headlines, we remain focused and determined to confront al-Qaida wherever we find it.”