State releases 2016 country report on terrorism
On July 19, the State Department released the 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism. The annual Country Reports on Terrorism provide policy-related assessments and country-by-country breakdowns of foreign government counterterrorism cooperation, and contain information on state sponsors of terrorism, terrorist safe havens, foreign terrorist organizations, and the global challenge of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear terrorism.
The 2016 report names the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) a top terrorist threat, as well as terrorist groups backed by Iran. According to the report, while ISIS attacks increased in 2016, there were fewer terrorist attacks and fewer fatalities overall worldwide.
While the 2015 Country Report on Terrorism was critical of interagency cooperation in many of the countries’ reports, the 2016 report notes that terrorist attacks on soft targets lead to “increased focus on the need for greater coordination and interoperability between intelligence agencies and law enforcement at the national level, increased information sharing, and expanded public-private partnerships.”
The report also pointed to an increased awareness of what drives violent extremism in 2016, with the GCTF endorsing terrorism prevention training and implementing international platforms for information sharing and cooperation among counter-radicalization experts.