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Shafaq News/ The US State Department's annual report on terrorism revealed that Iraq is still classified as one of the "safe havens" for extremist organizations, accusing Iran of continuing to support "terrorist" acts in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.
The report stated, "Washington and its allies continued to work successfully against terrorist organizations in 2022, and the international coalition, through American leadership, collected more than $440 million in pledges to achieve stability, while the threats of terrorist organizations continued in a number of conflict areas."
The annual report stated that the United States pledged to grant $107 million to support infrastructure and other vital projects in Iraq and northeastern Syria, and the United States and the United Kingdom jointly hosted a donor conference with 14 governments, and with many United Nations and humanitarian organizations, to discuss steps to improve... Security and humanitarian conditions in Al-Hawl camp for displaced people in northeastern Syria.
The report noted that despite major counter-terrorism successes, terrorist groups remained active and determined to attack, and ISIS maintained an enduring global project, promoting a large-scale terrorist campaign throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
In 2022, Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups remained active even after the death of leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in July, while in Afghanistan, elements of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and regionally focused terrorist groups remained active in the country.
“Iran remains a leading sponsor of terrorism,” the report noted, having facilitated a wide range of terrorist and other illicit activities around the world.
Regionally, Iran has supported terrorist actions in Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen through proxies and partner groups such as Hezbollah, and the IRGC-QF and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security remain key actors in supporting terrorist recruitment, financing, and conspiracy across Africa. Asia, Europe, North and South America.
The report explained that terrorist groups allied primarily with Al-Qaeda and ISIS launched attacks against civilian infrastructure and civilians in Africa, including humanitarian workers and government employees, as well as against security forces.
These attacks resulted in deaths, injuries, kidnappings, and the seizure and destruction of property across sub-Saharan Africa during 2022.
Terrorists routinely manipulate inter-sectarian conflicts to gain support for terrorist operations, according to the report.
In East Asia and the Pacific, the threat to governments in the region from US-designated foreign terrorist organizations and ISIS-inspired terrorists has diminished, and counterterrorism pressure from regional security forces has continued on the leadership structure of many ISIS-affiliated terrorist organizations in the Philippines and Indonesia.
The report confirmed that most terrorist incidents committed by ISIS-affiliated terrorist organizations in 2022 included attacks against military or police targets, and Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia reported the repatriation of some foreign terrorist fighters or their families in 2022.
In the Middle East and North Africa, the report says that terrorist organizations continued to operate and maintain safe havens in the region throughout 2022.
ISIS and its entities, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and Iranian-backed groups continue to pose the greatest terrorist threats to the region.
These groups have particularly expanded their work in conflict-affected areas, such as within Iraq, Syria and Yemen. However, ISIS and Al-Qaeda suffered significant leadership losses during the reporting period, including the killing of Al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri and ISIS emir Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, according to the report.
Iran also continued its broad support for terrorism in 2022, and Iran used the Quds Force, its agents, and partners to destabilize the region and enhance its influence abroad. Through the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran provided funding, training, weapons, and equipment to many groups that the United States designated as terrorist in the region.
The report indicated that the Lebanese Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran, continued to collect funds from its supporters and financiers in key locations.
Hezbollah supporters seek to generate funding through legitimate and illicit activity and then transfer it to the group's headquarters to enable Hezbollah to advance its broader agenda, according to the report.
As for South and Central Asia in 2022, the region witnessed continued terrorist activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, continued rebel attacks against security forces and terrorist incidents in the Jammu and Kashmir region of the Indian Union, and threats from the Khorasan Province of the Islamic State against Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Al-Qaeda and its regional branch, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, appeared to remain out of the limelight, apparently as directed by the Taliban.
The report classifies Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as states sponsoring terrorism, while among the countries considered safe havens for terrorism were Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia, in addition to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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