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U.S.: Global Terrorism More Decentralized; Islamic State Still Greatest Threat

  • RFE/RL

The U.S. State Department says global terrorism is becoming more decentralized, and the Islamic State (IS) group, which commands sizable numbers of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, continues to pose the greatest international threat.

In its annual report released June 2, the department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism said IS fighters suffered major losses in 2015, withdrawing from around 40 percent of the areas they had seized earlier in Syria and Iraq.

The group’s finances have also been squeezed by sanctions and air strikes targeting its oil refining infrastructure and transportation networks.

The report names well-known groups such as Boko Haram, which announced its allegiance to the IS group last year, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab, saying they remain potent threats in their respective regions in Africa and the Middle East.

It also singles out Iran as the “the foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” pointing to its longtime support of the Lebanese militant group Hizballah.

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