59% of terrorist attacks in 5 Asian countries

World

20 Sep 2018

59% of terrorist attacks in 2017 happened in 5 countries

Almost 59% of all terrorist attacks in 2017 took place in five Asian countries, including India and Pakistan, according to US report.

The other three countries include Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines.

The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide last year decreased by 23%. Similarly, total deaths due to terrorist violence decreased by 27%, the annual State Department Country Report on Terrorism said.

Terrorist attacks

In 2017, terrorist attacks took place in 100 countries

The decline in terrorist violence was largely due to dramatically fewer attacks and deaths in Iraq, said Nathan Sales, State Department Coordinator of Counterterrorism.

"Although terrorist attacks took place in 100 countries in 2017, they're concentrated geographically," he said.

"70% of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in five countries, and those are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria," he added.

ISIS, al-Qaeda

ISIS, al-Qaeda have proven to be resilient, determined, adaptable: Sales

Sales said the report notes a number of major strides that the United States and its allies made to defeat and degrade terrorist organizations in 2017.

However, despite these many successes, the terrorist landscape grew more complex in 2017, he said.

"ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their affiliates have proven to be resilient, determined, and adaptable," the State Department Coordinator of Counterterrorism, added.

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Homegrown terrorists

We're experiencing increase in attacks by homegrown terrorists: Sales

We're experiencing increase in attacks by homegrown terrorists: Sales

Sales said foreign terrorist fighters were heading home from the war zones in Iraq and Syria or traveling to third countries to join ISIS branches there.

"We are also experiencing an increase in attacks by homegrown terrorists...We've seen ISIS-directed or ISIS-inspired attacks outside the war zone on soft targets and in public spaces like hotels, tourist resorts, and cultural sites," Sales said.

Iran

Iran, the world's leading 'state sponsor of terrorism'

Iran, Sales alleged, 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.

Tehran uses a number of proxies and other instruments such as Lebanese Hizbollah and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp's Quds Force.

The threats posed by Iran's support for terrorism are truly global, he asserted.

Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda was a determined and patient adversary: Sales

Sales said al-Qaeda was a determined and patient adversary.

He said 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-Qaeda's abandonment of its capabilities or intentions to strike the US and its allies, Sales said.

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