The US State Department on Thursday concluded in a new assessment that the terrorist group remained a “persistent and widespread worldwide threat” until last year.
Regarding Western counter-terrorism efforts by the end of 2020, the last year of former President Donald Trump’s White House term, the report concluded, “The United States and its allies have made significant progress against terrorist organizations.” However, it said, “the threat of terrorism is more geographically spread across regions around the world.”
The report states that although the Islamic State terrorist group has lost all of its occupied territories in Iraq and Syria, “the organization and its branches continue to conduct terrorism operations around the world, carrying out deadly attacks globally.” Killed more people than in 2020. any previous year.
The report noted that al-Qaeda and its allies suffered “significant” losses from the two key leaders, yet their network “acquired terrorist resources and conducted terroristic conduct in under-governed locations in the Middle East, continued to exploit conflict zones and security gaps. Attacks.”
The State Department concluded that al-Qaeda “consolidated its presence abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, where affiliates of AQAP, al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa, and Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin in the Sahel Remain. The most active and dangerous terrorist group in the world.”
In addition, it said, “Iran continued to support acts of terrorism both regionally and globally during 2020. Regionally, Iran has supported proxy and partner groups including Hezbollah and Hamas in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.” supported.”
The report said senior al-Qaeda officials “are living in Iran and facilitating terrorist operations from there. Globally, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qds Forces are operating in Europe, Africa and Asia, and both in the Americas.” The primary Iranian actors involved in terrorist recruitment, financing, and supporting plots remained.
The State Department report said the global COVID-19 pandemic has “complicated the terrorist landscape, creating both challenges and opportunities for terrorist groups. While the pandemic has disrupted terrorist travel, financing and operations.” Granted, terrorist groups have adapted their approach and appeal, using the Internet to continue to radicalize others for violence and persuasive attacks around the world.”
Islamic State “exploited the crisis to reinforce violent extremist narratives, declaring to followers that the virus was ‘God’s wrath on the West,'” the report concluded.
Despite the ongoing terrorist threat, the report said the US is “playing a major role” in prosecuting IS foreign terrorist fighters and marshalling allies to fight global terrorism.
It said that in order to ensure that Islamic State fighters captured by Syrian democratic forces would never return to the battlefield, “the United States has taken an example in bringing back its citizens and prosecuting them when appropriate.” continued to lead,” which includes 10 charges of an array of terrorism. Related offences.