According to State Department statement published last week global terror attacks declined last year, but threat deemed more complex
The statement affirmed that number of terrorist attacks worldwide decreased by 23 percent in 2017 and the number of deaths from such incidents dropped by 27 percent.
Those statistics illustrate the sweeping gains the U.S. and its allies have made in combating the Islamic State, al-Qaida, and other extremist groups across the globe.
ISIS, al-Qaida, and their affiliates have proven to be resilient, determined and adaptable, and they have adjusted to heightened counterterrorism pressure in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere.
Terrorism claimed the lives of 4,269 people in Iraq last year, compared to 9,782 in 2016. And the number of attacks in that country dropped to 1,951, from 2,969 in 2016.
Overall, there were 8,584 terrorist attacks around the world in 2017, claiming more than 18,700 lives and causing more than 19,400 injuries. While attacks occurred in 100 countries, they were concentrated in five countries: Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines.
99 percent of the territory that ISIS occupied in Iraq and Syria has now been liberated – freeing more than 7.7 million people from the grip of that brutal terrorist group.
The State Department report lists four state-sponsors of terrorism: North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Syria. Sales singled out Iran as the most pernicious player.
However, in the whole report Sudan was not involved in any of the attacks, added to that the international community recognized that Khartoum is doing well in anti-terrorism activities.
The testimonies of several international organizations’ figures such as the international Police Organization (Interpol) prove that Sudan is cooperating in breaking up human trafficking rings.
The question that poses itself is why Sudan is still in terrorism list despite the fact that Khartoum is no longer supporting terrorism.
In October 2017, the United States ended a twenty-year economic embargo on Sudan but said its removal from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism requires a number of benchmarks after admitting that Khartoum is no longer supporting terrorism.
We believe that the commending of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the efforts of Sudan not to use civilian facilities for military purposes and not to recruit children could be a reason to reconsider removing Sudan from terrorism list let alone its cooperation in anti-human trafficking activities.
It is high time for the US Administration to reconsider its listing Sudan among the state-sponsors of terrorism.
Lifting Sudan from terrorism black list will be an additional incentive to exert more efforts in several other international issues of common interest.