The Department of State has issued the 2020 Country Reports on Terrorism, or CRT, which provides an overview of successes in the fight against terrorism as well as new and ongoing threats posed by terrorist organizations. The report’s Annex of Statistical Information shows that both the number of terrorist attacks and the overall number of fatalities resulting from those attacks increased by more than 10 percent in 2020 compared with 2019.
Over the last year, the terrorist threat has become more geographically dispersed in regions around the world. The United States has responded to the evolving threat, including by expanding the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, which now counts 84 members. The Defeat-ISIS Coalition worked to consolidate gains in Iraq and Syria, while broadening efforts to counter the growing ISIS threat in West Africa and the Sahel.
In 2020, nine countries across the Western Hemisphere and Europe took significant steps to designate, ban, or otherwise restrict Hizballah. Reflecting the growing threat from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, the State Department also designated a white supremacist terrorist organization for the first time in 2020, imposing sanctions against the Russian Imperial Movement and three of its leaders.
The United States and its partners continued to battle Al-Qaida, or AQ, and its affiliates around the world in 2020. AQ further bolstered its presence abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.
Iran continued to support acts of terrorism regionally and globally during 2020. Regionally, Iran supported proxies and partner groups in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, including Hizballah and Hamas. Globally, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force remained the primary Iranian actors involved in supporting terrorist recruitment, financing, and plots across Europe, Africa, and Asia, and both Americas.
The United States continues to play an important role in marshaling international efforts to counter global terrorism. In 2020 the United States led the UN Security Council’s 1267 Sanctions Committee’s efforts to designate ISIS affiliates in West Africa, the Greater Sahara, Libya, Yemen, and Indonesia.
The United States also engaged a host of international partners to prevent and counter violent extremism, both online and offline.
This year’s CRT report reflects the United States’ unwavering commitment to protect the lives of the American people and those of its allies from the ongoing threat of terrorism.