The State Department released the Country Reports on Terrorism 2006. The 326 page document is divided into seven chapters: Strategic Assessment; Country Reports; State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview; The Global Challenge of WMD Terrorism; Terrorist Safe Havens; Terrorist Organizations; and, Legislative Requirements and Key Terms.
Over 30 specific terrorist groups and their activities are reviewed in the report; as well as information on the activities of significant countries around the globe. The complete report is available for download here:
Here are some interesting excerpts:
Types of Attacks:
As was the case in 2005, in 2006 most attacks were perpetrated by terrorists applying conventional fighting methods that included using bombs and weapons, such as small arms. However, technology continues to empower terrorist and effective methods of attack continue to be developed by them to offset countermeasures. Terrorists continued their practice of coordinated attacks that included secondary attacks on first responders at attack sites, and they uniquely configured weapons and other materials to create improvised explosive devices.
Terrorist safe havens:
Terrorist safe havens are defined in this report as ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed areas of a country and non-physical areas where terrorists that constitute a threat to U.S. national security interests are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both. Physical safe havens provide security for terrorist leaders, allowing them to plan acts of terrorism around the world. Global communications and financial systems, especially those created by electronic infrastructure such as the internet, global media, and unregulated economic activity, further allow terrorists to carry out activities, particularly the dissemination of propaganda and misinformation, without the need for a physical safe haven. These “virtual” havens are highly mobile, difficult to track, and difficult to control, and are not based in any particular state. This part of the report, however, will not address virtual safe havens, focusing instead on physical safe havens.
The Material Threats:
Some terrorist organizations, such as AQ, have openly stated their desire to acquire and use nuclear weapons. The diffusion of scientific and technical information regarding the assembly of nuclear weapons, some of which is now available on the Internet, has increased the risk that a terrorist organization in possession of sufficient fissile material could develop its own nuclear weapon. The complete production of a nuclear weapon strongly depends on the terrorist group’s access to fissile material and scientific expertise.
State Sponsors of Terrorism:
State sponsors of terrorism provide critical support to non-state terrorist groups. Without state sponsors, terrorist groups would have much more difficulty obtaining the funds, weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations. Most worrisome is that some of these countries also have the capability to manufacture weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other destabilizing technologies that could get into the hands of terrorists. The United States will continue to insist that these countries end the support they give to terrorist groups.
The Terrorist Conveyor Belt:
Radicalization of immigrant populations, youth and alienated minorities in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa continued. It became increasingly clear, however, that such radicalization does not occur by accident, or because such populations are innately prone to extremism. Rather, there was increasing evidence of terrorists and extremists manipulating the grievances of alienated youth or immigrant populations and then cynically exploiting those grievances to subvert legitimate authority and create unrest.
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