First decrease acts of terrorism since 2012
The U.S. State Department released its annual survey of worldwide terrorism this week, which revealed that terror attacks decreased in 2015 for the first time in three years.
According to the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, the total number of terrorist attacks decreased 13 percent from 2014 to 2015. Additionally, total fatalities due to terrorist attacks declined 14 percent year-over-year in 2015, which, the report noted, is largely due to fewer attacks and fatalities in Iraq, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
Overall, 2015 results show the first decline in attacks and fatalities across the globe since 2012. Despite the overall decreases, though, a group of countries saw terrorist attacks and resulting deaths rise in 2015 — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.
Across 2015, terrorist attacks occurred in 92 countries. But both attacks and resulting fatalities were both heavily concentrated in a small number of countries. According to the report, more than 55 percent of 2015 terrorist attacks occurred in just five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nigeria, while 74 percent of fatalities due to terrorist attacks also occurred in just five countries total: Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan.
— Department of State (@StateDept) June 2, 2016
Iran is top state sponsor of terror
In 2015, Iran remained the top worldwide sponsor of terrorism in 2015. According to the Department of State, Iran provided support — financial, training, and equipment — to various terrorist groups across the globe, but namely to Hizballah.
According to the Country Reports on Terrorism, Strategic Assessment: “Iran continued to be deeply involved in the conflict in Syria, working closely with the Asad regime to counter the Syrian opposition, and also in Iraq where Iran continued to provide support to militia groups, including Foreign Terrorist Organization Kata’ib Hizballah. In addition, it was implicated for its support to violent Shia opposition group attacks in Bahrain. Iran was joined in these efforts by Hizballah, which continued to operate globally, as demonstrated by the disruption of Hizballah activities in Peru in 2014 and Cyprus in 2015.”
The Department of State called Iran “the leading state sponsor of terrorism globally” and made a point to mention that efforts will be made to disrupt the nation’s support of terrorist groups going forward. The U.S. is counting on deeper ongoing cooperation and coordination with Europe, South America, and West Africa to make progress countering efforts made by terrorist groups sponsored by Iran.