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Since September 11, 2001, the United States has established a strong and sophisticated counterterrorism enterprise to reduce the threat of large-scale terrorist attacks on the homeland.  Twenty-one years later, the terrorist threats we face are more ideologically diverse and geographically diffuse than ever before.  At the same time, the United States is confronting a dynamic range of national security challenges, including strategic competition, cybersecurity threats, and climate change.  Therefore, to confront evolving and emerging terrorist threats within the context of broader national security priorities, the United States is entering a new era of counterterrorism, one increasingly rooted in diplomacy, partner capacity building, and prevention, and recognizing successful counterterrorism efforts require use of the full range of counterterrorism tools and a whole-of government and whole-of-society counterterrorism approach.

In 2021, the United States and its partners continued to make major strides against terrorist organizations under this new framework, bolstering diplomatic and multilateral engagements and partner capacity building efforts.  Through U.S. leadership, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS (Defeat-ISIS) raised more than $600 million in pledges to support stabilization projects in liberated areas of Iraq and Syria and established the Africa Focus Group (AFFG) to provide a mechanism for direct engagement with African Coalition members on addressing the threat of ISIS affiliates on the African continent.  The United States designated three ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) leaders, including Emir Sanaullah Ghafari, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, in response to the August attack on Kabul International Airport, which killed at least 185 people — including 13 U.S. servicemembers supporting evacuation operations — and injured more than 150 others.  The United States also completed nine designations against al-Qa’ida (AQ)-linked individuals and entities and offered a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the location or identification of Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al‑Anabi, the leader of the terrorist organization AQ in the Islamic Maghreb.  Additionally, the United States increased diplomatic engagement across the globe to counter Iran-backed Hizballah’s destabilizing activities, with more countries using their national authorities to designate, ban, or otherwise restrict the terrorist organization.  The United States released its first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which includes a focus on transnational Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE).  To that end, the United States, in partnership with the United Kingdom and the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), launched the first-ever criminal justice practitioner’s guide on countering REMVE.  The United States, partnering with Norway, also launched a Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) effort to develop a GCTF REMVE Toolkit for policymakers and practitioners that will build on the IIJ’s REMVE guide.

Despite key counterterrorism successes, terrorist groups remained resilient and active.  ISIS continued to promote a large-scale terrorism campaign, responding to increased counterterrorism pressure by adapting its tactics and techniques.  Groups affiliated with ISIS ramped up activities in the Lake Chad Region of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.  Despite losing its territorial “caliphate” in 2019, ISIS in Iraq and Syria maintained a significant operational structure and conducted terrorist operations in that region.

In 2021, AQ and its affiliates constituted an enduring threat to the United States and its allies.  AQ continued to leverage its branches in the Middle East and Africa — notably AQ in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabaab, and Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin — that remain quite capable of inflicting damage on our allies and targeting our interests.  AQ-related threats expanded from West Africa and the Sahel into the Gulf of Guinea littoral states in 2021, with Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo reporting terrorist group activity and attacks in their northern border regions.

In Afghanistan, ISIS, elements of AQ, and regionally focused terrorist groups maintained an active presence and conducted terrorist activities.  Despite taking significant losses from U.S. and NATO forces in recent years, ISIS-K continued to conduct terrorist attacks against civilians and the Taliban.  ISIS-K remained a resilient enemy with roughly 2,000 to 3,000 fighters in the country, although precise estimates are hard to determine.  AQ and its regional affiliate AQ in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) continued to have a presence in Afghanistan.  Haqqani Network members and key leaders also have assumed formal and informal roles within the Taliban.  Although the Taliban committed to preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan to stage attacks against the United States or others, the extent of its ability and willingness to prevent AQ and ISIS-K from mounting external operations remained unclear.

Iran continued to be the leading state sponsor of terrorism, facilitating a wide range of terrorist and other illicit activities around the world.  Regionally, Iran supported acts of terrorism in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen through proxies and partner groups such as Hizballah and Hamas.  Additionally, senior AQ leaders continued to reside in Iran and engaged with other AQ elements from the country.  Globally, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security remained Iran’s primary actor involved in supporting terrorist recruitment, financing, and plots across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.  Iran also maintained a near-global procurement network, obtaining cutting-edge technology from companies and locales around the world to bolster its terrorist and military capabilities.

REMVE remained a threat to the United States and our allies.  Violent white supremacists and like-minded individuals continued to promote violent extremist narratives, recruit new adherents, raise funds, and conduct terrorist activities — both online and offline — across Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.  REMVE actors also continued to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to radicalize individuals and incite violence, particularly against health professionals, government officials, and minority populations.  Additionally, the December arrest of four neo-Nazi actors in Brazil for allegedly plotting an attack against Jewish and Black residents on New Year’s Eve demonstrates the growing reach and influence of REMVE adherents globally.

As terrorist threats morphed and metastasized, the United States adapted its counterterrorism approach and marshalled international efforts to counter global terrorism.  In 2021, the United States supported the listing of two individuals to the UN Security Council’s 1267 ISIL/Da’esh and al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee and three individuals to the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee; these were the first three additions to the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee since 2018.  The UN also listed ISIS-Tunisia (aka JAK-T) at the 1267 Sanctions Committee, bringing the total number of ISIS affiliates listed at the UN since 2019 to seven.  In December the United States co-chaired a political director-level meeting of Defeat-ISIS Coalition members that also included an inaugural meeting of the AFFG, an endeavor the United States co-leads with Italy, Morocco, and Niger to counter ISIS networks in the sub-Sahara region.  At this meeting, the Defeat-ISIS Coalition welcomed Burkina Faso as its 84th member.  Further, the United States continued to make notable gains in a high-level diplomatic campaign to counter Hizballah’s terrorist and other illicit activities.  In May, Austria banned the use or display of any Hizballah-related symbols, building on the previous ban that was limited to symbols of Hizballah’s so-called military wing.  In November, Australia announced its intention to expand its domestic designation of Hizballah by declaring the group in its entirety a terrorist organization.  Through U.S. diplomatic efforts, 15 countries have now designated, banned, or otherwise restricted Hizballah, applying their national authorities over the past several years.

The United States prioritized multilateral engagements to advance its counterterrorism priorities, bolster partner capacity to implement international obligations and commitments, and promote greater burden sharing.  To maintain international momentum on the use of battlefield evidence to investigate and prosecute terrorism cases, the United States and the IIJ co-hosted a UN General Assembly side event in September that brought together more than 100 criminal justice practitioners and senior policy officials from around the world to highlight recent advances in collection, exploitation, and international sharing.  In September, the 30-member GCTF adopted a Strategic Vision for the Next Decade and new framework documents that provide the international community with tools to prevent terrorist travel and enhance border security measures; address terrorist financing related challenges; and develop capacity to investigate and prosecute terrorist actors.  Similarly, the United States led the successful negotiation of UNSCR 2617 (2021), which was unanimously adopted in December and renewed the UN Counterterrorism Committee Executive Directorate mandate for another four years, preserving all precedent text related to the protection of human rights, inclusion of civil society, and importance of rule of law-based approaches.  The United States also leveraged other multilateral organizations such as NATO, INTERPOL, OSCE, OAS, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Council of Europe, the IIJ, and Hedayah.

Additionally, the United States continued to bolster partner capabilities to detect, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist networks.  The United States supported partner governments on the front lines against terrorist threats in critical areas, including information sharing, aviation and border security, law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, and countering the finance of terrorism, leading to real-world results that advanced shared security national security interests and protected the U.S. homeland.  To restrict terrorist travel, the United States also signed two new and expanded arrangements under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 to share information on known and suspected terrorists, bringing the total number of partner countries to over 75.  Under the Watchlisting Assistance and Support Program, the United States provided capacity building for countries to develop terrorist watchlists and exchange terrorist identity information.  The Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) border security platform grew to include 227 ports of entry in 23 countries, with international partners using it to screen hundreds of thousands of travelers each day and disrupt terrorist travel.

Through capacity building efforts, the United States also emphasized to its partners the critical responsibility of governments engaged in counterterrorism operations to ensure that their security forces’ respect international human rights and humanitarian law.  The United States also stressed the importance of partner governments’ holding their security forces accountable for violations and abuses committed against civilians during these counterterrorism operations.

Another major line of effort in 2021 was facilitating the repatriation, rehabilitation, reintegration, and prosecution of ISIS FTFs and family members, where appropriate.  About 2,000 non-Syrian and non-Iraqi FTFs remain in detention facilities controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and some 56,000 associated family members from more than 60 countries remain in displaced persons’ camps across northeastern Syria.  The only durable solution for this complex security and humanitarian crisis is the repatriation, rehabilitation, reintegration, and, where appropriate, prosecution of these populations.  To ensure that ISIS fighters and family members captured by the SDF never return to the battlefield, the United States continued to lead by example in bringing back its citizens and prosecuting them when applicable.  As of December the United States had repatriated 30 U.S. citizens from Syria and Iraq — 13 adults and 17 children — and the Department of Justice charged 10 of the adults with a variety of terrorism-related crimes.  The United States also urged other countries to repatriate, rehabilitate, reintegrate, and prosecute their citizens and assisted several countries in doing so with their citizens or nationals.

Furthermore, the United States continued to promote a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to prevent and counter violent extremism by engaging with governments, local religious leaders, and tech companies.  The Department of State supported international initiatives, including the Strong Cities Network and the Global Community Engagement & Resilience Fund, and concentrated on building local resiliency to terrorist radicalization, recruitment, and mis/disinformation, including in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Somalia, Tunisia, the Sahel, and the Western Balkans.  The United States also advanced international efforts by engaging the Global Internet Forum to Counterterrorism and endorsing the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online to support voluntary collaboration with technology companies to address terrorist and violent extremism, including REMVE, content online.  In September, the United States engaged with Twitter, Facebook, and Google/YouTube senior representatives to discuss the digital security of Afghan nationals with U.S. connections who may be targeted by the Taliban and other designated terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

This constitutes a brief overview of the United States’ ongoing work to protect our people from the ongoing threat of terrorism.  Country Reports on Terrorism 2021 provides a detailed review of last year’s successes and the ongoing challenges facing our country and our partners, challenges that will require a continued commitment to and investment in global counterterrorism efforts going forward.

Timothy A. Betts
Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism

See Appendix C.

The Human Rights Report

Significant human rights issues influenced the state of terrorist activity in many countries in this report, which may have impeded effective counterterrorism policies and programs or supported causes and conditions for further violence.  Such human rights issues included, among others, unlawful and arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary detention (all of the preceding by both government and nonstate actors); harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; violence against and unjustified arrests of journalists; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; widespread and pervasive corruption; repression of religious freedom and violence against religious minorities; and forced and bonded labor.

Please see the U.S. Department of State 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom for more information:

The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report

For additional information on money laundering and financial crimes regarding many of the countries in this report, see the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:  

Country or Organization Continent or Region
Afghanistan South and Central Asia
Albania Europe
Australia East Asia and the Pacific
Austria Europe
Bahrain Middle East and North Africa
Belgium Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina Europe
Bulgaria Europe
Cameroon Africa
Canada Western Hemisphere
Central African Republic Africa
Chad Africa
Croatia Europe
Cyprus Europe
Czech Republic Europe
Democratic Republic of the Congo Africa
Denmark Europe
Djibouti Africa
Egypt Middle East and North Africa
Estonia Europe
Ethiopia Africa
Fiji East Asia and the Pacific
Finland Europe
France Europe
Georgia Europe
Germany Europe
Greece Europe
Hungary Europe
Iceland Europe
Iraq Middle East and North
Ireland Europe
Italy Europe
Japan East Asia and the Pacific
Jordan Middle East and North Africa
Kenya Africa
Kosovo Europe
Kuwait Middle East and North Africa
Latvia Europe
Lebanon Middle East and North Africa
Libya Middle East and North Africa
Lithuania Europe
Luxembourg Europe
Malaysia East Asia and the Pacific
Mauritania Africa
Moldova Europe
Montenegro Europe
Morocco Middle East and North Africa
Netherlands Europe
New Zealand East Asia and the Pacific
Niger Africa
Nigeria Africa
Norway Europe
Oman Middle East and North Africa
Panama Western Hemisphere
Philippines East Asia and the Pacific
Poland Europe
Portugal Europe
Qatar Middle East and North Africa
Republic of Guinea Africa
Republic of North Macedonia Europe
Romania Europe
Saudi Arabia Middle East and North Africa
Serbia Europe
Singapore East Asia and the Pacific
Slovakia Europe
Slovenia Europe
Somalia Africa
South Korea East Asia and the Pacific
Spain Europe
Sweden Europe
Taiwan East Asia and the Pacific
Tunisia Middle East and North Africa
Türkiye Europe
Ukraine Europe
United Arab Emirates Middle East and North Africa
United Kingdom Europe
United States Western Hemisphere
Yemen Middle East and North Africa
Arab League Middle East and North Africa
Community of Sahel-Saharan States Africa
NATO Western Hemisphere Europe
The European Union Europe




Terrorist groups primarily aligned with AQ and ISIS conducted attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers, government personnel and facilities, and security forces, which resulted in deaths, injuries, abductions, and the capture and destruction of property across Sub-Saharan Africa during 2021.  Terrorists routinely manipulated intercommunal disputes by supporting longstanding claims against other groups to gain support for terrorist operations.  These actors continued to carry out attacks on military outposts; kidnap or attack western private citizens and humanitarian workers; attack churches, mosques, and schools teaching western curricula; and assassinate civil servants and politicians.  African countries, as well as regional and multinational organizations, sustained counterterrorism efforts against terrorist groups throughout 2021.

In East Africa, AQ-affiliate al-Shabaab (AS) retained access to recruits, the ability to raise and manage substantial resources, and de facto control over large parts of Somalia through which it moved freely and launched high-profile, sophisticated attacks on civilians, government personnel and facilities, and security forces, including Somali and African Union peacekeeping operations.  ISIS-linked fighters in East Africa continued to conduct small-scale local attacks.  In Central Africa, ISIS-linked fighters conducted attacks primarily against civilians and security forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.  In the Lake Chad region, ISIS-West Africa and Boko Haram (BH) continued to conduct attacks primarily in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger.

In the Sahel region, terrorist groups continued their operations in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.  These included al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) affiliate Jama’at Nusrat al‑Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) and ISIS-affiliate ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS).  In Southern Africa, ISIS-linked fighters continued operations in northern Mozambique and ISIS-linked facilitation networks continued alleged activity in South Africa.

The United States continued to support partners across affected regions of Sub-Saharan Africa in their efforts to build counterterrorism capacity in areas including aviation and border security, improving regional security forces, countering terrorist finance, advancing criminal justice sector reforms, and training and mentoring of law enforcement to manage crisis response and conduct investigations.  African partners undertook efforts to develop and expand regional cooperation mechanisms to detect and interdict terrorist travel and other terrorism-related activities.


Burkina Faso
Democratic Republic of the Congo
South Africa

East Asia and the Pacific


During 2021, governments in East Asia and the Pacific faced diminished threats from U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, REMVE, and terrorists inspired by ISIS.  CT pressure from regional security forces made significant impacts on the leadership structure of several terrorist organizations in the Philippines and Indonesia.  Most incidents involved attacks against soft targets and public spaces, such as a March suicide bombing at a church in Indonesia and a bus attack in the Philippines that killed four persons in June.  CT pressure and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have reduced opportunities for radicalization to violence through more traditional, person-to-person networks and increased the phenomenon of radicalization online as many people spent more time at home and online.  The pandemic and corresponding increases in time spent online also has exacerbated the problem of misinformation and disinformation, particularly online, and allowed terrorists greater opportunities to gain new adherents on the internet and inspire violence.  REMVE continues to be a concern for Australia and New Zealand.  Governments in East Asia and the Pacific voiced concerned about the possibility of Afghanistan attracting a new wave of foreign terrorist fighters.

Authorities in East Asia and the Pacific continued to investigate and prosecute terrorism cases, increase regional cooperation and information sharing, and address critical border and aviation security gaps.  Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, and New Zealand are members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum.  Japan also is a member of the G-7 Counterterrorism and Counter-Crime Rome-Lyon Group.  Regional multilateral organizations, such as ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum, also shared best practices on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism.

Burma and the People’s Republic of China used counterterrorism as a pretext to crack down on opposition movements and to repress members of religious and ethnic minorities, respectively.


China (Hong Kong and Macau)



During 2021, Europe continued to face ongoing terrorist threats and concerns, including from U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (REMVEs), and terrorists inspired by ISIS.  ISIS proved its ideological influence, even in the absence of controlling physical territory, and continued to project its power by recruiting from European countries and inspiring attacks against symbolic European targets and public spaces.  Most terrorist incidents involved simple plots with easily executable tactics, using knives, guns, or vehicles to injure or kill targets of opportunity in France, Germany, Türkiye, and the UK.

In Eastern Europe, the United States maintained many strong counterterrorism partners.  While the threat of terrorism in Eastern Europe remains low, foreign terrorist groups take advantage of active illicit smuggling and trafficking networks to attempt to facilitate entry of terrorists into Europe from the Middle East and South Asia.

Additionally, Eastern European countries, especially former communist countries, have become the target of state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda, seeking to exploit societal and cultural wedge issues and strengthen extremist groups.  In 2021, Türkiye remained a transit point for FTFs departing Syria and Iraq.  Also, Türkiye expanded its counterterrorism operations in Iraq and Syria and provided counterterrorism support to Somalia.

Separately, many European governments are concerned about the additional threat posed by REMVE actors.  REMVE groups actively worked to engage, recruit, and radicalize to violence online.  The persons motivated and inspired by these violent extremist groups and ideologies behaved as lone actors, frequently using improvised weapons to make attacks against individuals repeatedly criticized by the REMVE groups or identified on target lists.  The lack of formal ties between the REMVE groups and lone actors significantly limited the ability of law enforcement to pursue charges, legal designations, or sanctions against the groups inspiring the attacks.  Common themes motivated the attacks, including antivaccine sentiments, xenophobia, and socioeconomic inequality.

The United States supported partners across Europe in their efforts to build counterterrorism capacity and technical assistance in aviation and border security, advisory assistance for regional security forces, countering terrorist finance, advancing criminal justice sector reforms, and training and mentoring of law enforcement to manage crisis response and conduct investigations.  European partners undertook efforts to develop and expand regional cooperation mechanisms to detect and interdict terrorist travel and other terrorism-related activities.


Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Netherlands
North Macedonia
United Kingdom

The Middle East and North Africa


Terrorist groups continued to operate and maintain safe havens in the Middle East and North Africa throughout 2021.  ISIS and its affiliates, al-Qa’ida (AQ) and affiliated groups, and Iran-backed groups continue to pose the greatest terrorist threats to the region.

ISIS maintained significant operational capabilities and conducted terrorist operations throughout Syria and Iraq, while continuing to promote a large-scale terrorism campaign across the region.  While ISIS remains unable to control territory and its leadership ranks have been significantly degraded, the group remains a serious threat to U.S. interests and security in the region and beyond.  ISIS fighters continued to wage a low-level insurgency in Iraq and Syria, seeking to destabilize the region, recruit new members, and regain territory.  More than 10,000 ISIS fighters, including some 2,000 non-Iraqi and non-Syrian FTFs, remained in Syrian Democratic Forces-controlled detention facilities in northeast Syria.  More than 70,000 associated foreign family members, most of them children, remain in humanitarian camps for displaced persons.  The COVID-19 pandemic continued to present logistical challenges to repatriations, but the United States continued to encourage allies and partners to repatriate their citizens and to prosecute or rehabilitate and reintegrate them, as appropriate.  Beyond Iraq and Syria, ISIS branches, networks, and supporters across the Middle East and North Africa remained active, including in the Arabian Peninsula, Libya, the Sinai Peninsula, Tunisia, and Yemen.  The 85-member U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS continued its comprehensive efforts to prevent a resurgence of ISIS’s so-called physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria and the activities of its branches and networks.

Al-Qa’ida and its affiliates constituted an enduring threat to the United States and its allies and partners in the Middle East and North Africa.  These groups remain capable of inflicting damage on our allies and partners and targeting our interests.  Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continues to linger in the seams between the various parties to Yemen’s civil war, despite pressure from the Houthi military campaign in al-Bayda governorate.  Though al-Qa’ida’s leadership ranks in the Middle East and North Africa continued to be degraded in 2021 and the group suffered setbacks, al-Qa’ida remained a resilient adversary.  It actively sought to reconstitute its capabilities and maintain safe havens in the region amid fragile political and security climates, including in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

Iran-supported groups continue to engage in dangerous and destabilizing activity across the Middle East, with Iran using the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its proxies and partners to advance its interests abroad.  Iran continued to acknowledge the active involvement of the IRGC-QF in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the latter in support of the Assad regime.  Through the IRGC-QF, Iran continued its support to several U.S.-designated terrorist groups, providing funding, training, weapons, and equipment to various groups within the region.  Among the groups receiving support from Iran are Hizballah, Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, al-Ashtar Brigades and Saraya al-Mukhtar in Bahrain, Kata’ib Hizballah and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq in Iraq, and Hizballah al-Hijaz in Saudi Arabia.  Iran also provided weapons and support to other militant groups in Iraq and Syria, to the Houthis in Yemen, and to the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Iran-backed militias continued sporadic attacks on Embassy Baghdad and bases hosting U.S. and other Defeat-ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.

Iranian support and guidance for the Houthis enabled attacks against Saudi Arabia in 2021.  These attacks employed armed drones and ballistic missiles, which damaged airports and critical infrastructure.  Iran also continued providing Hizballah with the bulk of the group’s annual operating budget, an allocation estimated in recent years to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  This support has made Hizballah a dangerous terrorist partner with Iran and the most-capable terrorist organization in Lebanon.  It also has enabled Hizballah to project its power throughout the region, including in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf.  Hizballah’s presence in Lebanon and Syria continued to pose a threat to Israel.  Israel continued to warn the international community about Hizballah’s efforts to produce precision-guided missiles within Lebanon with Iranian assistance.  Hizballah has said that it has enough precision-guided missiles for a confrontation with Israel, but it has denied missiles are being developed in Lebanon.  Although Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank and Gaza continued to threaten Israel, Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces continued their coordination in the West Bank to constrain the ability of these organizations to conduct attacks.


Israel, West Bank, and Gaza
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates

South and Central Asia


South and Central Asia in 2021 saw, in addition to continued terrorist activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a volatile mix of insurgent attacks punctuated by incidents of terrorism in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and threats by the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) against Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Al-Qa’ida and its regional affiliate in the Indian subcontinent, AQIS, kept a low profile in accordance with Taliban directives.

Following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, ISIS-K, elements of AQ, and regionally focused terrorist groups maintained a presence in Afghanistan and conducted terrorist activities in the region.  ISIS-K had between 2,000 and 3,000 fighters in the country, although precise estimates are hard to determine.  Haqqani Network members and key leaders have increased their public profile and meeting with international envoys since assuming both formal and informal roles within the Taliban following the insurgent group’s takeover of Kabul.

ISIS-K increased high-profile terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, often targeting members of vulnerable ethnic and religious minority populations such as Hazara Shias.  Multiple terrorist incidents targeted members of the Shia community.  On August 26, an ISIS-K suicide bomber attacked the Kabul airport, killing 13 U.S. servicemembers and more than 170 Afghan civilians.

The United States has not made a decision to recognize the Taliban or another entity as the Government of Afghanistan but has pressed the Taliban to uphold their counterterrorism commitments under the 2020 U.S.-Taliban Agreement (the “Doha Agreement”).  The Taliban have repeatedly committed publicly to meet their Doha Agreement commitment to prevent any group or individual from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.  However, the extent of the Taliban’s ability to prevent AQ and ISIS-K from mounting external operations remained unclear.  Instability and potential terrorist activities emanating from Afghanistan became a serious concern for the country’s neighbors, as they worried about spillover effects from the conflict and instability.

ISIS-K, elements of al-Qa’ida (including affiliate AQIS), and terrorist groups targeting Pakistan — such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — continued to use the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region as a safe haven.  The numbers of attacks and casualties were higher than in 2020.

Instability in Afghanistan also affected Central Asian states, which remained on guard against violent extremist elements from Afghanistan crossing their borders, as well as the potential threat posed by the return of their citizens who traveled to Iraq or Syria to fight with terrorist groups.  Tajikistan, which shares an 843-mile border with Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan strengthened their border security through a large increase in U.S. assistance, as well as additional security cooperation with Russia, China, and others.

Tajikistan approved the national strategy on countering extremism and terrorism for 2021-2025 and adopted a law on combating terrorism.  Uzbekistan approved its first “National Strategy on Countering Extremism and Terrorism for 2021-2026,” and the country also finalized its first national CT/CVE and AML/CFT strategies.

Elsewhere in the South and Central Asia region, the United States continued to build on its strategic partnership with the Government of India, including through the annual Counterterrorism Joint Working Group and the Quad counterterrorism tabletop exercise alongside Australia and Japan.


Kyrgyz Republic
Sri Lanka

Western Hemisphere


Terrorism remained a security concern for most countries throughout the Western Hemisphere in 2021.  National or locally oriented groups, such as the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, or ELN), Segunda Marquetalia, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) in Colombia and Venezuela and Shining Path/Sendero Luminoso in Peru remained the region’s most significant terrorist threats.  Transnational terrorist organizations have a limited presence, with small pockets of supporters in the region.  Corruption, weak governmental institutions, insufficient interagency cooperation, weak or nonexistent legislation, and limited resources — all compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic — remained obstacles to improving security in 2021.  Nevertheless, governments in the Western Hemisphere made significant progress in their counterterrorism efforts and strengthened regional cooperation against terrorism.

Lebanon-based and Iran-backed terrorist group Hizballah continued its long history of activity in the Western Hemisphere, including fundraising by its supporters and financiers in places like the tri-border area, where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet.  Hizballah supporters generate funding through licit and illicit activity and donate undetermined amounts to Hizballah in Lebanon, which uses the funds to advance its broader agenda.  In recent years, Hizballah supporters and members have been identified in Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and the United States.

On November 30, the U.S. Secretary of State revoked the designation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), reflecting FARC’s formal disarmament and dissolution as a unified organization that engages in terrorism or terrorist activity or has the capability or intent to do so in accordance with the 2016 Peace Accord.  Simultaneously, the Secretary designated FARC dissident groups Segunda Marquetalia and FARC-EP (Ejército del Pueblo, in Spanish) as FTOs and their leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.  Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela all experienced continued terrorist activity.  Segunda Marquetalia, FARC-EP, and the ELN continued to commit acts of terror throughout Colombia, including bombings, kidnappings, violence against civilian populations and demobilized FARC members, attacks against utilities infrastructure, and violent attacks against military and police facilities.

Authorities in the Western Hemisphere actively participated in multilateral and regional efforts to counter terrorism.  Peru remained determined to uphold its commitment to host the next CT ministerial conference despite having to delay until 2022.  The Organization of American States’ Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (OAS-CICTE) held its 20th regular session on September 25.  Several countries in the region joined the U.S.-funded OAS-CICTE 24/7 Inter-American Network on Counterterrorism, which seeks to strengthen cooperation between member states to prevent and address terrorist threats in the Western Hemisphere.


Trinidad and Tobago

This report provides a snapshot of events during 2021 relevant to countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.  It does not constitute a new announcement regarding such designations.

To designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.  Once a country is designated, it remains a State Sponsor of Terrorism until the designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria requiring the President to certify either a) that a designated country has not provided any support for acts of international terrorism during the previous six months and has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future, or b) that there has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the designated country, that the country is not supporting acts of international terrorism, and that the country has provided assurances it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.  A wide range of sanctions is imposed because of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the following:

  • A ban on arms-related exports and sales.
  • Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country’s military capability or ability to support terrorism.
  • Restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance.
  • Visa processing requirements.
  • Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.


Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

The use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials and expertise remained a credible terrorist threat in 2021.  As a countermeasure to this threat, the United States published a National Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Terrorism in 2018 and continues to work proactively to disrupt and deny ISIS and other nonstate actors’ CBRN capabilities.

The international community has established numerous international partnerships to counter the CBRN threat from terrorists and other nonstate actors.  The United States routinely provides technical and financial assistance as well as training to international organizations and partner nations to help strengthen their abilities to protect and secure CBRN-applicable expertise, technologies, and material.  Efforts to address CBRN terrorist threats through UNSCR 1540 and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism are detailed in Chapter 4.

The United States is an active member of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (GP), launched in 2002 to prevent terrorists — and states that support them — from acquiring or developing WMD.  Today, the G-7-led GP has expanded its membership to 30 countries and the European Union, sustaining a vital forum for countries to exchange information on national priorities for CBRN programmatic efforts worldwide, assess the threat landscape, share best practices, and coordinate assistance for these efforts.

The United States continues to support the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Division of Nuclear Security, which helps member states develop the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to threats of nuclear terrorism through the development of internationally accepted guidance, as well as the provision of training, technical advice and assistance, peer reviews, and other advisory services.

Through the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism (WMDT), the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program, and the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund, the Department of State coordinates its programming internally with other U.S. government agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture.

In 2021, WMDT undertook multiple bilateral and multilateral capacity building assistance projects and activities with priority foreign partners.  These included several workshops with Nigerian law enforcement and laboratory stakeholders to examine chemical weapon sampling and analysis methods and techniques.  WMDT also provided law enforcement officials from Algeria, Iraq, and Jordan training to enhance their capabilities to identify potential terrorist chemical and biological attack tripwires.  In addition, WMDT supported the development and execution of virtual engagements that advanced multilateral programming and policy priorities.  These promoted international adherence to and implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, strengthened burden sharing with partner nations, and addressed global radiological, chemical, and biological terrorism threats.

ISN’s Global Threat Reduction Program (GTR), managed by CTR, continued its work to prevent states and terrorist groups from acquiring or proliferating WMD to attack the United States.  In 2021, GTR’s chemical, biological, and nuclear security programs engaged with hundreds of foreign partners through virtual trainings to strengthen capacities to detect and counter WMD terrorism threats.  In Iraq, GTR provided virtual training on advanced CBRN incident management to the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government CBRN teams to ensure the whole of Iraq is prepared to respond to any potential chemical or biological attacks.  In response to the threat of transnational terrorists using unrestricted, commercially available material to conduct chemical weapons (CW) attacks, GTR collaborated with security forces around the world to train law enforcement in partner countries to detect and prevent CW attacks against vulnerable transportation hubs, such as railways and subways, and trained partners in academia, industry, and the transport sector to secure chemicals in their custody against malicious access.

GTR’s biosecurity programming continues to support partner capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks of high-consequence pathogens — whether intentional, accidental, or natural.  GTR worked to strengthen coordination and information sharing between and among ministries as well as security and research sectors to enhance detection and response to outbreaks and bioweapon attacks.  The program continued to work with government, industry, and academic personnel through virtual engagements in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Nigeria, the Philippines, and other countries to promote the adoption of security measures to prevent individuals or nonstate actors from acquiring weaponizable chemical, biological, and nuclear material and technology.

The Department of State’s EXBS program funds capacity building programs aimed at strengthening legal and regulatory systems, developing licensing tools, enhancing border security and trade enforcement, providing outreach to key industrial and business sectors, and encouraging information sharing within governments and across national borders.  As part of a core national security strategy to counter terrorist organizations, a key objective of EXBS is to provide stakeholders with substantive knowledge, skills, and tools to prevent state and nonstate actors from acquiring WMD, explosives, and conventional arms (including Man-portable Air Defense Systems and Antitank Guided Missiles) or using those materials against U.S. citizens and interests.  To achieve this objective, EXBS continued to train partner governments in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Western Hemisphere regions to detect, interdict, and counter the materials, technologies, and tactics that terrorists could use to carry out low-technology attacks on public transportation.

Additionally, in 2021, EXBS began implementing curricula for partner nation security forces to address threats posed by improvised threats, including the use of drones as delivery mechanisms and insider threats focused on the commercial aviation sector.  The program also provided comprehensive training to Middle Eastern and North African border security officials on cargo and passenger interdiction, border security, and counter-IED training.  EXBS partnered with the CT Bureau and the interagency to engage with key partners on aviation security programming.  Finally, EXBS and the CT Bureau furnished equipment and training to strengthen aviation security and mitigate threats to civilian aviation, and provided land border security training for Egyptian, Iraqi, and Libyan security forces to stem the flow of illicit materials and maintain gains made against ISIS and other nonstate actors.

The Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF), in collaboration with EXBS, is supporting the expansion of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) Program Global Shield.  With NDF’s support, the WCO will

  1. Cultivate foreign partners’ analytical capabilities to monitor illicit trade in chemical explosives precursors through risk-based targeting profiles.
  2. Conduct tactical operations to test participating countries’ capabilities to detect and interdict such trade.
  3. Provide training and equipment to sustain national-level targeting, detection, interdiction, and investigation of illicit chemical transfers.

The U.S. government continues to work with the interagency and partners to take steps to address the global challenge of chemical terrorism at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).  Such steps include measures aimed at facilitating OPCW Technical Secretariat (TS) access to additional response tools against chemical weapons use, including by nonstate actors.  U.S. efforts also include ensuring appropriate funding for the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team, which is responsible for identifying individuals or entities involved in the use of chemical weapons in certain cases, regardless of whether the perpetrators are state or nonstate actors.

The U.S. government is also working on developing OPCW States Parties capacity to safely analyze and identify chemicals that would be used in an attack, including by nonstate actors, and determine the likely provenance of such chemical weapons agents.  The Forensic Science Centre of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is, for example, working with the National Laboratory of Morocco as part of an OPCW labs twinning program.  In 2021, U.S. government experts helped draft indicative guidelines for OPCW States Parties on how to secure their chemical value chain, including from nefarious nonstate actors.  The Department of State’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund also provided funding and personal protective equipment to support the OPCW TS’s special missions and contingency operations related specifically to Syria through the OPCW’s Trust Fund for Syria Missions.  Finally, the U.S. Government is studying the possibility of assisting African and Southeast Asian countries vulnerable to terrorism with developing chemical protection plans in line with requirements of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Terrorist safe havens described in this report include ungoverned, undergoverned, and ill-governed physical areas where terrorists are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, transit, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both.

As defined by section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the U.S. Code, the terms “terrorist sanctuary” and “sanctuary” exclude the territory of a country the government of which is subject to a determination under section 4605(j)(1)(A) of Title 50 [deemed under Section 1768(c)(2) of the NDAA of FY 2019 to refer to section 1754(c) of the NDAA FY19 as of August 13, 2018]; section 2371(a) of Title 22; or section 2780(d) of Title 22.  (For information regarding the DPRK, Iran, and Syria, see Chapter 2, State Sponsors of Terrorism.)

Terrorist Safe Havens


Somalia.  Many parts of Somalia, particularly Somaliland and the Juba River Valley, remained terrorist safe havens in 2021 because federal and local authorities had a limited ability to project influence beyond populated areas and some forward operating bases.  Al-Shabaab raised much of its funds by extorting people in ungoverned areas of Somalia.

According to independent sources and non-governmental organizations engaged in demining activities on the ground, there was little cause for concern regarding the presence of WMD in Somalia.

The Lake Chad Region.  In 2021, Boko Haram (BH) and ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) maintained safe havens in parts of northeastern Nigeria and on islands in Lake Chad, preventing the reestablishment of state administration, service delivery, and humanitarian relief in broader territory surrounding Lake Chad.  While BH’s terrorist safe havens have been reduced owing in large part to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and clashes with ISIS-WA, ISIS-WA has continued to extend its reach, battling both government forces and those of BH.  Forces from Nigeria and other members of the MNJTF (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger) continued to combat both terrorist groups, but still lack the ability to clear safe havens or to secure borders and hold and effectively administer territory regained from the militants.  ISIS‑WA continues to conduct — through suicide bombers, vehicle-borne IEDs, raids, ambushes, kidnappings, and other means — asymmetric attacks against civilians, military, and government personnel.  It funds itself primarily by “taxing” local populations, kidnapping for ransom, and looting material.

In February, BH militants fired a series of rocket-propelled grenades in Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing at least 10 people.  In April, a heavily armed ISIS-WA group killed 33 soldiers at a Nigerian base, destroyed a main battle tank, and stole several other military vehicles.  When soldiers arrived in response to the attack, ISIS-WA ambushed the reinforcements.  This attack was followed by a series of attacks throughout Yobe State in Nigeria’s Northwest.  The next month, ISIS-WA attacked and overran BH’s bases in the Sambisa Forest, resulting in the death of BH’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.  Numerous BH militants reportedly joined ISIS-WA following Shekau’s death, but BH remnants remain active around Lake Chad.  No government in the Lake Chad region was known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

The Trans-Sahara.  In 2021, AQ affiliate Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) and other groups, including ISIS-Greater Sahara, continued to stage asymmetric attacks in the Trans-Sahara region, expanding and consolidating areas under their control and preventing effective government provision of services.  These terrorist groups have freedom of movement throughout Mali and Burkina Faso, except for major cities.  JNIM continued to conduct large-scale attacks and massacres, expanding its operational footprint and capabilities, with JNIM alone responsible for more than 500 incidents in 2021.  JNIM’s success attracts support from other regional terrorist groups, including Nigeria-based and AQ-aligned Ansaru.  JNIM continued to insert itself into longstanding ethnic conflicts such as the Fulani-herder-versus-Dogon-farmer conflict over water and grazing land.

Vast swaths of Mali’s territory — particularly in the country’s northern region and along its eastern borders with Niger and Burkina Faso — remained effectively ungoverned in 2021.  In these spaces, terrorist networks, including groups linked to JNIM and ISIS-Greater Sahara, have taken root and exploited the lack of state presence to plan and conduct operations and to recruit operatives.  The area where terrorist groups can operate freely continues to grow and, over the last year, extends south along the Burkinabe border to Côte d’Ivoire.

No government in the region was known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory, although the region remained prone to arms and munitions smuggling.

Mozambique:  The Islamic State in Mozambique (ISIS-M), was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States in March.  ISIS-M continued attacks in Cabo Delgado and Niassa Provinces in northern Mozambique and expanded into Mtwara, Tanzania. Mozambique, Rwanda, and the South African Development Community (SADC) coordinated a response to the threat in July, which resulted in an increase in ISIS-M events against state forces.  This was the first year in which most ISIS-M activity were clashes with state/external forces rather than attacks against civilians.

In March, ISIS-M attacked the town of Palma, the administrative capital of Palma District, and the northernmost district bordering Tanzania in Cabo Delgado Province (CDP).  This was ISIS-M’s first attack on the district capital, and the city was under siege from the FTO until April.  ISIS-M activity in Palma and Nangade during the first five months of 2021 surpassed the total number of events in 2020, indicating a geographic shift northward of ISIS-M’s attacks in CDP when compared with its activity in previous years.

In July, the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) completed its deployment of special forces and police to CDP.  In addition, elements from Botswana, South Africa, and Angola arrived under the auspices of the SADC Standby Force mission to Mozambique to counter ISIS-M.  By September, Mozambican security forces (FDS) and RDF troops continued small-scale clearing operations, including maritime interdictions, against retreating ISIS-M fighters in CDP.  The FDS and RDF, with support from the SADC Standby Force, also began to conduct counter‑ISIS‑M operations in Niassa Province, which borders CDP to the West.

While coordinated regional forces enjoyed some success in containing ISIS-M in CDP, ISIS-M attacked several villages in the Mecula and Marrupa districts in neighboring Niassa Province beginning in November.  During a December attack, heavily armed insurgents killed a civilian and razed houses and cars in several villages south of Mecula town in Niassa Province.  Throughout the year, there were 384 ISIS-M events with a total of 1,127 fatalities among civilians, state forces, and ISIS-M militants.

The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Sudan.  Sudan’s extensive and porous borders and physical location continue to make the country a potential gateway for linking violent extremist activities in the region.  Though Sudan has in general endeavored to tighten its border control measures, continued illicit and unmonitored movement across the borders is likely.  The results of the autumn counterterrorism raids surfaced primarily foreign terrorists, speaking to terrorists’ continued ability to use Sudan as a logistical and facilitation hub.

The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Southeast Asia

The Southern Philippines.  The Philippine government closely tracked terrorist groups that continued to operate in some areas, particularly in the southern Philippines.  The government sustained aggressive military and law enforcement operations to deny safe haven to such groups and prevent the flow of FTFs through its territory.  The government further deepened close counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, enhancing military and law enforcement efforts to address the full spectrum of terrorist threats, including from WMD.

Although the Philippine government possesses the political will to apply security measures against terrorist threats and has consistently partnered with the United States and other nations to build the capacity to do so, it is still working to apply a coordinated whole-of-government approach to counter terrorism and prevent the Philippines from being used as a terrorist safe haven.  The continued ability of terrorist organizations to operate in the southern Philippines reflects the centuries-long challenge of governing effectively in the country’s more remote areas and of establishing consistent security in a region characterized by a strong separatist identity, endemic poverty, and religious differences.

The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

The Sulu/Sulawesi Seas LittoralThe Government of Indonesia conducts monitoring and surveillance of suspected terrorist cells in its territory but acknowledges that a lack of resources hinders its ability to monitor potential terrorist activity in maritime and remote parts of Indonesia, including the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas.

The Malaysian government sustained efforts to deny terrorists use of the Sulu/Sulawesi Seas as a safe haven by working with Indonesia and the Philippines to prevent the flow of incoming and outgoing foreign terrorists throughout its territory.  Malaysian authorities reported that information sharing with the Philippines resulted in the arrests and deportation of suspected Abu Sayyaf Group members in May 2021.

The governments were not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through their territories.

The Middle East and North Africa

Sinai Peninsula.  In 2021, ISIS-Sinai Province (ISIS-SP) continued to conduct IED, sniper, and small-arms attacks against security forces and pro-government Bedouin groups, predominately in a small northern strip of the Sinai Peninsula.  ISIS-SP also kidnapped and assassinated civilians who were collaborating with Egyptian security forces.  Egyptian security operations that led to the March death of a senior ISIS-SP commander, the September high-profile defection of a prominent ISIS-SP religious figure (reportedly behind the deadly 2017 al-Rawda Mosque attack), and increasing rank-and-file ISIS-SP defections coincided with a significant decrease in the frequency and complexity of ISIS-SP attacks across the Sinai — less than half the rate of 2020.

The Government of Egypt continued its wider counterterrorism strategy of infrastructure, development, and humanitarian projects on the Sinai Peninsula, spending hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to compensate North Sinai residents for houses or land lost or damaged in counterterrorism operations, payments to the families of those killed and injured, and for medical aid and social assistance.  North Sinai residents have filed grievances about compensation calculations and disbursements.

Egypt continued to partner with U.S. counterterrorism efforts and support measures to prevent the proliferation and trafficking of WMD.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territories.

The United States has supported Egypt’s efforts to combat ISIS-SP and other terrorist groups in Egypt by providing mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles, counter-IED and counter-sniper training, rotary and fixed-wing surveillance and transport aircraft, mobile sensor towers, and F-16s and AH-64 Apache helicopters (both of which conduct airstrikes against ISIS-SP).  The United States routinely engages in military-to-military discussions on how it can help Egypt defeat ISIS-SP and other terrorist groups in Egypt, including at the U.S-Egypt Military Cooperation Committee in September and the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue in November.

Iraq.  Iran-backed Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Hizballah, and Harakat al-Nujaba — all U.S.-designated terrorist organizations — and other Iran-backed Iraqi militias continued to maintain an active presence in Iraq targeting U.S., Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and Iraqi forces and logistics convoys.  These groups claimed responsibility for multiple attacks on U.S. interests, including Embassy Baghdad, throughout the year.  Terrorists conducted more than 100 IED attacks on Defeat-ISIS-contracted convoys and launched at least 40 indirect fire attacks against U.S. interests in Iraq.  Iran-aligned militias launched several drone and rocket attacks against Erbil Air Base during the year and killed a U.S. contractor with a rocket attack in February.

While ISIS has been defeated territorially and its leadership ranks have been significantly degraded, the group remains a serious threat to the stability of Iraq and to U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition interests in the region.  Methods of attack included bombings, indirect fire, IEDs, sniper fire, and ambushes.  ISIS fighters continue to wage a low-level insurgency in northern and central Iraq, seeking to regain territory while also endorsing violence abroad through ISIS’s branches and networks and inspiring lone-actor attacks.  Supported by the 85-member Defeat-ISIS Coalition, the Government of Iraq maintained nominal control of the territory retaken from ISIS.  ISIS continued to carry out assassinations, as well as suicide, hit-and-run, and other asymmetric attacks throughout the country.  The United States continued to engage with Iraqi government officials, including officials in the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, to deny ISIS access to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials, including in areas with reduced government regulatory control over and/or law enforcement access to CBRN facilities and enterprises.  The United States worked to strengthen the expertise and ability of Iraq’s government, academic institutions, and private sector to secure weaponizable chemical and biological materials and to detect, disrupt, and respond effectively to suspected CBRN activity.  The United States and Iraq also maintain a bilateral partnership to counter nuclear smuggling under the framework of the 2014 Joint Action Plan on Combating Nuclear and Radioactive Materials Smuggling.

Lebanon.  Lebanon remained a safe haven for terrorist groups, including in Hizballah-run areas.  Hizballah used these areas for terrorist recruitment, training, fundraising, and financing.  The Government of Lebanon did not take meaningful actions to disarm Hizballah, even though Hizballah continued its weapons buildup in defiance of UNSCR 1701.

Other terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, continued to operate inside Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps, which remain outside of Lebanese government control.  Lebanon’s lack of a strong control regime for the storage and movement of weaponizable materials posed risks for the spread of WMDs, including for potential terrorism.  In 2021 the Lebanese Arms Forces, Internal Security Forces, and other Lebanese authorities partnered with U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent proliferation and trafficking of WMD.

Libya.  Libya remained politically divided during the year between the Government of National Unity (GNU) and eastern-based parallel institutions and groups.  Terrorist groups attempted to exploit a security vacuum in the southern region of the country but were limited in their ability to do so because of tactical gains by the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) against these groups.  The nationwide ceasefire signed in 2020, after the LNA’s failed attempt to take control of Greater Tripoli, was largely respected.

The GNU, although the internationally recognized government, lacked the capacity and reach to exercise control in most of Libya and relied on armed groups for security in areas it did not have the ability to effectively control, including the capital Tripoli.  The GNU had limited ability to eliminate terrorist safe havens, track or prevent the flow of FTFs in and out of the country or ensure effective counterproliferation efforts owing to difficulties of controlling the borders and underresourced enforcement of security procedures at airports, seaports, and land-border crossings.  The GNU and aligned groups maintained their strongest influence in the Western Mountains and the northwest coastal areas stretching from the Tunisian border to territory just west of Sirte.  LNA-aligned groups exerted control in the remainder of Libya, including Cyrenaica, and the central and southern districts of Jufra, Kufra, Murzuq, and Sabhā.  Although significantly degraded, remnants of terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb continue to pose threats particularly in Libya’s vast, sparsely populated desert areas in the South.  The LNA effectively countered terrorism in the East and the South of the country, but its counterterrorism gains were limited to areas under its control.  During the year, significant numbers of foreign forces, fighters, and mercenaries remained deployed to the country, including the Russian-backed private military company Wagner Group.

YemenThe Iran-backed Houthis continued to control large portions of northern Yemen, where the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continued to maintain a presence.  The Saudi-led coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provided support to the Republic of Yemen government (ROYG), which continued to fight to hold off further advances and reclaim areas held by the Houthis.  The ROYG, with Saudi and Emirati support, continued counterterrorism operations to degrade al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS-Yemen operations in the country.  However, owing to the ongoing conflict, instability, and its own degraded capabilities, the ROYG was constrained severely in its ability to prevent terrorist training, funding, recruitment, and transit.  Although AQAP and ISIS-Yemen have been weakened in recent years, the two groups continued to benefit from the ongoing conflict, successfully instilling themselves among elements of the anti-Houthi coalition and exploiting the security vacuum with room to operate in large parts of the country.  Further, AQAP continued to harbor external operations ambitions.  The ROYG was as cooperative with U.S., Saudi, and Emirati counterterrorism operations as its limited capacity allowed.

Yemen’s political instability continued to hinder efforts to enact or enforce comprehensive strategic trade controls to counter the flow of weapons and munitions in the region.  This left Yemen vulnerable as a transit point for destabilizing weapons, including weapons originating from Iran.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territories.

South Asia  

Afghanistan.  Terrorist and insurgent groups, including ISIS-K, elements of AQ (including affiliate al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent [AQIS]), and terrorist groups targeting Pakistan (such as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan), continued to use Afghanistan, especially its remote regions, as a safe haven throughout 2021.

Before the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the Taliban takeover of Kabul, U.S. and Afghan security forces partnered in numerous counterterrorism efforts through Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and the Afghan government executed its own counterterrorism operations.  After the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the danger of terrorist groups operating from safe havens in Afghanistan increased significantly.  The Taliban itself remains a U.S. Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), and several members of the Taliban are individually UN and/or U.S. designated terrorists.  Haqqani Network, which is designated as an FTO and SDGT, has members and key leaders who have also assumed both formal and informal roles within the Taliban.

The Taliban has committed publicly to meet its Doha Agreement commitment to prevent any group or individual from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.  However, the extent of the Taliban’s ability to prevent AQ and ISIS-K from mounting external operations remained unclear.  Though al-Qa’ida has weakened, its regional affiliate in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS) continued to operate from remote locations in Afghanistan that have served as safe havens.

ISIS-K increased high-profile attacks against civilians in Afghanistan both before and after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, often targeting vulnerable minority populations such as Hazara Shias.  In November the UN said there were 334 attacks attributed to ISIS-K so far in the year, compared with 60 in 2020, and assessed that ISIS-K was present in nearly all the country’s provinces.  In August an ISIS-K suicide attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport killed 183 people, including 13 members of the U.S. military.  ISIS-K was estimated to have 2,000 to 3,000 fighters in Afghanistan in 2021.

The potential for WMD trafficking and proliferation in Afghanistan remained a concern.  Before August the United States helped the Afghanistan government enhance its capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear and other radioactive material smuggling incidents.  Before the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the Afghanistan and U.S. governments also continued to work to implement comprehensive strategic trade controls and to strengthen Afghanistan’s border security; however, since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, U.S.-Afghan cooperation in border security has ceased, potentially increasing the possibility of WMD trafficking.

Pakistan.  Major terrorist groups focused on conducting attacks within Pakistan included Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Balochistan Liberation Army, and ISIS-K.  The TTP and other designated terrorist groups continue to conduct attacks against Pakistani military and civilian targets.  Although Pakistan’s national action plan calls to “ensure that no armed militias are allowed to function in the country,” several UN- and U.S.-designated terrorist groups that focus on attacks outside the country continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2021, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).  Although Pakistan took some steps in 2021 to counter terror financing and to restrain some India-focused militant groups, authorities did not take sufficient action to dismantle them.  In September, Pakistan successfully prosecuted JeM founder Masood Azhar in absentia and JeM leader Abdul Rauf Azhar; however, LeT and JeM continue to operate within Pakistan.

Pakistan is committed to combating the trafficking of items that could contribute to the development of WMDs and their delivery systems.  Pakistan was a constructive and active participant in IAEA-hosted meetings and in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.

Western Hemisphere

Colombia.  Rough terrain and dense forest cover, combined with low population densities and historically weak government presence, define Colombia’s borders with Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.  Historically, these conditions have allowed terrorist groups — particularly Segunda Marquetalia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), and the National Liberation Army (ELN) — to operate.  The 2016 peace accord between the Government of Colombia and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) led to the demobilization of the majority of FARC combatants and the FARC’s conversion into a political party.  However, ongoing challenges to peace accord implementation and continued security vacuums have created risk for terrorist activity and attacks on civilians, security forces, and infrastructure in some areas in 2021.  A troubling number of FARC members refused to demobilize, estimated at around 2,600 individuals who chose not to participate in the peace process or who have subsequently joined the dissident ranks of the Segunda Marquetalia and FARC-EP.  They continued engaging in terrorist and other criminal activities, particularly in border regions and areas previously controlled by the FARC.

The ELN perpetrated armed attacks across the country in 2021.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Cuba.  Cuba, citing peace negotiation protocols, refused Colombia’s request to extradite 10 ELN leaders living in Havana after that group claimed responsibility for the 2019 bombing of the national police academy in Bogotá, killing 22 people and injuring 87 others.  During 2019, Colombia filed extradition requests for ELN leaders Victor Orlando Cubides (aka Pablo Tejada) and Israel Ramírez Pineda (aka Pablo Beltrán) with the Cuban government, to which Cuba has not acceded.

Cuba also harbors several U.S. fugitives from justice wanted on charges of political violence, many of whom have resided in Cuba for decades.  For example, the Cuban government has refused to return Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, a fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List, who was convicted of executing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.  Cuba also has refused to return William “Guillermo” Morales, a fugitive bomb maker for the Armed Forces for National Liberation (or FALN), who is wanted by the FBI and escaped detention after being convicted of charges related to domestic terrorism; Ishmael LaBeet, aka Ishmael Muslim Ali, who received eight life sentences after being convicted of killing eight persons in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1972 and hijacking a plane to flee to Cuba in 1984; and Charles Lee Hill, who has been charged with the 1971 killing of New Mexico State Policeman Robert Rosenbloom.  The Cuban government provides housing, food ration books, and medical care for fugitives residing there.

In 2021 the Department of State designated Cuba a State Sponsor of Terrorism, citing, in part, the continued presence of ELN negotiators.

The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Venezuela.  Much of Venezuela is ungoverned, undergoverned, or ill governed.  The Maduro regime allows and tolerates the use of its territory by terrorist organizations.  The regime continues to provide safe haven for Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), Segunda Marquetalia, and the Colombian-origin National Liberation Army (ELN).  Financial ties with regime-aligned Segunda Marquetalia, ELN, and Venezuelan paramilitary groups facilitate the public corruption and graft schemes of the regime to include members of the armed forces.  However, Venezuelan security services also have clashed with FARC dissident groups.  Colombian authorities contend that significant numbers of ELN, Segunda Marquetalia, and FARC-EP leaders and members are located in Venezuela.

The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

White-Identity Terrorism/Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism

Pursuant to the FY 2021 NDAA, section 1299F(h), the Department of State was directed to incorporate in the annual Country Reports on Terrorism all credible information about “white-identity terrorism” (WIT), including relevant attacks, the identification of perpetrators and victims of such attacks, the size and identification of organizations and networks, and the identification of notable ideologues.

In 2021 the Counterterrorism Bureau instructed all Department diplomatic and consular posts to engage with their host governments regarding individuals or groups affiliated with REMVE, with particular attention to advocates for WIT who perceive that their idealized ethnically white identity is under attack from or is being replaced by those who represent and support multiculturism and globalization.

In response, European governments and the European Union reported that REMVE, including WIT, was a growing counterterrorism priority but noted that many governments have decades of experience addressing these types of threats.  Several European governments and the EU observed that groups engaged in REMVE, including WIT, lack hierarchical structures and typically do not have a central command.  They assessed that lone actors pose a greater threat than more formalized organizations, with these individuals communicating and influencing one another on social media, including closed chat groups and messaging platforms.  Such groups also organize both virtually and in person in unofficial settings, such as employment groups, sports clubs, and concerts.

In 2021, there were no known successful WIT attacks and one successful conviction for planned WIT violence:

  • United Kingdom: In June, neo-Nazi Dean Morrice was sentenced to 18 years in jail for multiple terror offenses that included stockpiling explosive materials for making bombs.  UK Police also found he had terrorism manuals and instructions for a 3D-printed gun.

In addition, foreign partners in 2021 designated, proscribed, banned, or subjected to similar actions and/or authorities the groups below.  Statutory criteria and domestic legal authorization to take such action differ greatly across governments.  For example, other governments may rely solely on speech-related activity as the basis of the designation, proscription, or banning actions, which raises freedom-of-expression concerns and is not permissible in the United States under First Amendment protections.

International actions taken in 2021 included the following:

  • Alvarium (banned by France) was created in 2018 in Angers, France. French authorities banned Alvarium for promoting violence and discrimination against individuals based on their country of origin or religion and accuse Alvarium of engaging in anti-immigrant and anti-Islam speech.  French authorities note that Alvarium maintains links with other like-minded groups, and that Alvarium members were repeatedly involved in acts of violence and vandalism.
  • Aryan Strikeforce (ASF) (designated by Canada) was founded in the United Kingdom between 2006 and 2010. Canadian authorities note that the neo-Nazi group aims to carry out violent activities to overthrow governments, start a race war, and eradicate ethnic minorities.  According to Canadian authorities, ASF subscribes to the philosophy of decentralized leaderless resistance and has had chapters in the UK and the United States, and contacts in Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa, and Canada.  Canadian authorities note that members of the group have been convicted of crimes in the UK and the United States involving the production of chemical weapons, preparing and possessing material useful to commit acts of terrorism, facilitating the transfer of bomb making instructions, and attempting to secure illegal firearms.  Canadian authorities note that ASF had planned a suicide bombing attack on counter protesters during a 2016 white-supremacist rally in Pennsylvania.
  • Atomwaffen Division (designated by Canada and the United Kingdom) was founded in the United States in 2013. Canadian authorities note that the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) calls for acts of violence against racial, religious, and ethnic groups and informants, police, and bureaucrats, to prompt the collapse of society.  According to Canadian authorities, AWD has previously held training camps, also known as hate camps, where its members receive weapons and hand-to-hand combat training.  AWD members have also carried out violent acts at public rallies, including the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.  According to UK authorities, AWD’s online propaganda has encouraged and promoted terrorist acts and this content likely remains influential among accelerationist groups.  UK authorities note that in 2020 AWD claimed it had disbanded, following pressure from U.S. law enforcement agencies.  In 2020, the National Socialist Order (NSO) announced itself online as AWD’s “successor.”  UK authorities note that AWD is almost certainly now operating under the name NSO in the United States.
  • The Base (designated by Australia, Canada, and the UK) is a neo-Nazi organization founded in 2018. Canadian authorities note that the group was primarily active in the United States and promotes a nihilistic and accelerationist rhetoric — an ideology embraced by white supremacists who have determined that a societal collapse is both imminent and necessary.  The group advocates for direct action, especially in the form of violence, to create chaos, incite a race war, and establish a white ethno-state.  The network specifically seeks to recruit individuals with military experience so that they can leverage their training.  According to Canadian authorities, the Base has distributed manuals for lone-wolf terror attacks, bomb making, countersurveillance, and guerilla warfare to its members.  Canadian authorities note that group members plotted to carry out attacks at a 2020 rally in the U.S. state of Virginia, and the group also organized training camps in weaponry and military tactics around North America.
  • Génération Identitaire (banned by France) is a Lyon-based group that “incites discrimination, hatred, and violence” against individuals based on their country of origin or religion. French authorities accuse the group of engaging in anti-immigrant and anti-Islam speech.  According to French authorities, the group, which has branches in several European countries, could be regarded “as having the character of a private militia” and has ties to white-supremacist groups.  Also according to French authorities, Génération Identitaire has tried to patrol land and sea borders to prevent migrants from reaching Europe.
  • James Mason (designated by Canada) is a lifelong American neo-Nazi responsible for publishing a series of newsletters during the 1980s that promoted the idea of lone actors conducting terrorist attacks against the United States government to bring about the collapse of society and a race war. According to Canadian authorities, Mason’s collective works, published as a book called Siege, have served as the ideological grounding for neo-Nazi groups such as Atomwaffen Division (AWD) and serves as the backbone for AWD’s worldview and training program.  Canadian authorities note that Mason also has provided tactical direction on how to operate a terrorist group and has met with members of AWD, where he coached them on propagandizing murder and genocide.
  • Proud Boys (designated by Canada) is a neofascist organization that was formed in 2016 and engages in political violence. Canadian authorities note that members of the group espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, antisemitic, anti-immigrant, and/or white-supremacist ideologies and associate with other white-supremacist groups.  According to Canadian authorities, the group consists of semi-autonomous chapters located in the United States, Canada, and internationally.  The group and its members have openly encouraged, planned, and conducted violent activities against those they perceive to be opposed to their ideology and political beliefs.  According to Canadian authorities, the group regularly attends Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests as counter protesters, often engaging in violence targeting BLM supporters.  Canadian authorities note that on January 6 the Proud Boys played a pivotal role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol; leaders of the group planned their participation by setting out objectives, issuing instructions, and directing members during the insurrection.  The leader of the Proud Boys was arrested two days before the insurrection as part of a stated effort by U.S. law enforcement to apprehend individuals who were planning to travel to the Washington, D.C., area with intentions to cause violence.
  • Russian Imperial Movement (designated by Canada), or RIM, provided paramilitary-style training to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Europe and actively works to rally these types of groups into a common front against their perceived enemies.  In 2016, two Swedish individuals attended RIM’s training course; thereafter, they committed a series of bombings in Gothenburg, Sweden, targeting a refugee shelter, a shelter for asylum seekers, and a café — crimes for which they were convicted in Sweden. In 2020, the U.S. government also designated RIM and members of its leadership as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
  • Sonnenkrieg Division (designated by Australia) is a UK-based white-supremacist group established in 2018 as a splinter group of the System Resistance Network.  Members of the group were convicted in the UK of “encouraging terrorism and possession of documents useful to a terrorist” in 2019.  The group encouraged and glorified acts of terrorism through its posts and images.
  • Three Percenters (designated by Canada) are a decentralized entity within the broader anti-government militia movement in the United States, with a presence in the United States and Canada. Canadian authorities note that the Three Percenters have been linked to bomb plots targeting U.S. federal government buildings and Muslim communities.  Canadian authorities further note that in 2015 a Three Percenter was arrested and convicted of shooting and wounding five men at a BLM demonstration in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 2020, two of the group’s leaders directed a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, which involved acquiring and detonating explosives to divert police attention from the kidnapping, as well as to carry out public executions of public officials by hanging them on live television.
Countering Terrorism on the Economic Front

In 2021 the Department of State designated five new groups as FTOs and amended one existing FTO designation by adding aliases.  In addition, 30 entities and individuals were designated as SDGTs under the Department’s authorities in Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.  The Department also reviewed and maintained the FTO designations of 15 entities.

The Department of the Treasury also designated entities and individuals under E.O. 13224, as amended.  For a list of all U.S. designations, see the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

2021 Foreign Terrorist Organization/Executive Order 13224 Group Designations

On January 14 the Department of State designated Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) as an FTO.  HASM was previously designated under E.O. 13224 on January 31, 2018.  (See Chapter 5, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for further information on HASM.)

On March 10 the Department of State designated the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC) under E.O. 13224.  The FTO designation of ISIS-DRC became effective on March 11.  (See Chapter 5, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for further information on ISIS-DRC.)

Also on March 10, the Department of State designated the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Mozambique (ISIS-Mozambique) under E.O. 13224.  The FTO designation of ISIS-Mozambique became effective on March 11.  (See Chapter 5, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for more information on ISIS-Mozambique.)

On December 1 the Department of State designated Segunda Marquetalia as an FTO and under E.O 13224.  (See Chapter 5, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for further information on Segunda Marquetalia.)

Also on December 1, the Department of State designated the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) as an FTO and under E.O. 13224.  (See Chapter 5, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for further information on FARC-EP.)

Again on December 1, the Department of State amended the E.O. 13224 and FTO designations of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) to include additional aliases.  (See Chapter 5, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, for more on ISIS-K.)

2021 Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 Designations

On January 12 the Department of State designated two Iran-based al-Qa’ida leaders: Muhammad Abbatay, also known as Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, and Sultan Yusuf Hasan al-’Arif.

Also on January 12 the Department of State designated three leaders of the al-Qa’ida Kurdish Battalions an al-Qa’ida-linked group that operates on the border between Iran and Iraq: Isma’il Fu’ad Rasul Ahmed, Fuad Ahmad Nuri Ali al-Shakhan, and Niamat Hama Rahim Hama Sharif.

On January 13 the Department of State designated Abd al-Aziz Malluh Mirjirash al-Muhammadawi, also known as Abu Fadak.  Muhammadawi is the former secretary general of Kata’ib Hizballah and is separately working in conjunction with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.

On January 14 the Department of State designated Yahya al-Sayyid Ibrahim Musa and Alaa Ali Ali Mohammed Al-Samahi.  Musa is a Türkiye-based HASM leader.  Al-Samahi is a Türkiye-based senior HASM official with an operational role in the group.

On March 10 the Department of State designated ISIS-DRC leader Seka Musa Baluku and ISIS-Mozambique leader Abu Yasir Hassan.

On May 20 the Department of State designated Yusuf al-Madani.  Al-Madani is a prominent leader of Houthi forces and the commander of forces in Al Ḩudaydah, Ḩajjah, Al Maḩwīt, and Raymah, Yemen.

On June 28 the Department of State designated Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, also known as Petit Chapori.  Djibo is an ISIS-Greater Sahara leader operating in the Ménaka Region of Mali.

On August 6 the Department of State designated five terrorist leaders in Africa: Bonomade Machude Omar, Sidan ag Hitta, Salem ould Breihmatt, Ali Mohamed Rage, and Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir.  Omar leads the Military and External Affairs Departments for ISIS-Mozambique.  Hitta is a JNIM senior leader and commander.  Breihmatt is a JNIM senior leader and emir.  Rage is al-Shabaab’s spokesman and a senior leader of the group.  Abdikadir is an al-Shabaab senior leader.

On November 22 the Department of State designated three ISIS-K leaders: Sanaullah Ghafari, Sultan Aziz Azam, and Maulawi Rajab.  Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir, is ISIS-K’s current overall emir.  Azam, also known as Sultan Aziz, has held the position of ISIS-K spokesperson since ISIS-K first came to Afghanistan.  Rajab, also known as Maulawi Rajab Salahudin, is a senior leader of ISIS-K in Kabul province, Afghanistan.

On December 1 the Department of State designated three FARC-EP leaders: Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernandez, Miguel Santanilla Botache, and Euclides Espana Caicedo.  Fernandez, also known as Ivan Mordisco, is the commander and overall leader of FARC-EP.  Botache, also known as Gentil Duarte, is a commander in FARC-EP and deputy to Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernandez.  Caicedo, also known as Jhon Fredey Henao Munoz, is the most senior commander of multiple units of the FARC-EP organization in important territorial areas.

Also on December 1, the Department of State designated three Segunda Marquetalia leaders: Luciano Marin Arango, Hernan Dario Velasquez Saldarriaga, and Henry Castellanos Garzon.  Arango, also known as Ivan Marquez, is the founder and overall leader of Segunda Marquetalia.  Saldarriaga, also known as El Paisa, is a senior commander in Segunda Marquetalia and serves as the group’s military commander.  Garzon, also known as Romana, is a senior leader in Segunda Marquetalia with military operations responsibilities.

Multilateral Efforts to Counter Terrorism

In 2021 the United States continued to work through multilateral organizations to promote U.S. approaches to countering terrorism, and to strengthen regional and international counterterrorism efforts, including by developing and promoting global norms and building the capacities of states to implement them.  At the UN, the United States supported negotiations to conduct the biennial review of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy and the renewal of the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate mandate that updated the international counterterrorism framework to address evolving threats, including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE).

Other examples of U.S. multilateral engagement are described below.

The United Nations.  One priority for the United States is sustained and strategic engagement at the UN on counterterrorism issues.  Throughout 2021 the UN remained actively engaged in addressing the evolving threat of terrorism to international peace and security, including through the biennial review of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy, the renewal of the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate mandate that updated the international counterterrorism framework to address evolving threats (including REMVE), and the renewal of the UN 1267 ISIL and al-Qa’ida sanctions mandate.

U.S. engagement with UN actors on counterterrorism included the following:

  • The UN Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED).  The United States led the successful negotiation of UNSCR 2617 (2021) that was adopted unanimously on December 27 to renew the UN/CTED mandate for another four years. The resolution focuses on the protection of human rights, inclusion of civil society, and importance of rule-of-law-based counterterrorism approaches, and it addresses new and evolving threats for the first time in a UNSCR that condemns terrorism “on the basis of xenophobia, racism, and other forms of intolerance.”  Further, it recognizes the need to improve the collection, handling, preservation, and sharing of battlefield evidence; recognizes the increasing global misuse of unmanned aerial systems by terrorists to conduct terrorist attacks; and calls for a global report within one year to assess member states’ implementation of the provisions in UNSCRs 2178 (2014) and 2396 (2017) to counter terrorist travel and address the evolving threat of foreign terrorist fighters and their accompanying families.  The United States also supported the negotiation of several resolutions and Presidential Statements, including one to commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11.

The United States supported CTC and CTED efforts to assess evolving terrorist trends and to analyze capacity gaps of member states to implement UNSCRs 1373, 1624, 2178, 2396, and other relevant counterterrorism resolutions, and to facilitate training and other technical assistance to UN member states.  In 2021, CTED held six open briefings on issues including terrorist threats to civil aviation and the role of the criminal justice sector in bringing terrorists to justice through the effective use of battlefield- or military-collected evidence.  CTED also completed 67 Overview of Implementation Assessments and Detailed Implementation Surveys and shared 18 assessment visit reports with the Global Counterterrorism Coordination Platform, which was launched in March.

  • UN Security Council Sanctions Regimes. In 2021 the United States led or supported the listing of four individuals by the Security Council’s 1267 ISIL/Da’esh and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and three individuals by the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee; these were the first three additions to the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee since 2018.  In addition, ISIS-Tunisia (aka JAK-T) was listed by the 1267 Sanctions Committee, bringing the total number of ISIS affiliates listed at the UN since 2019 to seven.  The United States worked closely with the UN 1267 ISIL/Da’esh and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee by proposing listings, providing amendments, engaging the committee’s ombudsperson regarding petitions for de-listings, and providing input to the committee to enhance its procedures and implementation of sanctions measures.  The United States also assisted the monitoring team with information for its research and reports.  Three individuals were de-listed, and 163 entries were amended during the year, supporting the UN 1267 Committee’s priority to ensure due process and accurate listings.  The total figures on the list are 264 individuals and 89 entities, as of December 31.  The committee also worked to ensure the integrity of the list by conducting regular reviews and endeavoring to remove those individuals and entities that no longer meet the criteria for listing.  The United States also led the negotiation of several other counterterrorism sanctions-related UN Security Council Resolutions, including UNSCR 2615, which provided a humanitarian exemption for the Taliban Sanctions Regime; UNSCR 2611, which renewed the mandate of the Taliban sanctions regime’s Monitoring Team; and UNSCR 2610, which renewed the mandate of the ISIS/AQ sanctions regime’s Monitoring Team.
  • The UN Global Assembly and UN Office of Counterterrorism.  The UN Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT) continued to work closely with the 40 UN entities plus INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union through the Global Counterterrorism Coordination Compact, to ensure balanced implementation of the four pillars of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy:  1) strengthen the delivery of UN counterterrorism capacity building assistance to member states; 2) promote and improve visibility; 3) advocacy; and 4) resource mobilization for UN counterterrorism efforts.  The United States supported the biennial review of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy in 2021 and negotiated a General Assembly resolution that updated the global counterterrorism framework to address threats and challenges associated with REMVE, repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and their families, battlefield evidence, terrorist use of drones, terrorist sentencing commensurate with the seriousness of the crime, and soft targets protection and security. The United States also participated in the UN’s Counterterrorism High-Level Week organized by UNOCT by providing high-level speakers in several of the side events, focusing on FTF repatriation; countering terrorist misuse of unmanned aerial systems; terrorist watchlisting; REMVE; and terrorist use of new and emerging technologies.
  • The UN Office on Drugs and Crime.  The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC’s) Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) continued to assist countries seeking to ratify and implement the universal legal instruments against terrorism, and it provided assistance forcountering the financing of terrorism in conjunction with UNODC’s Global Program Against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism.  The United States supported UNODC/TPB as a counterterrorism assistance implementer, particularly for programming concentrated on strengthening the criminal justice system’s response to terrorism by member states.  In 2021 the United States continued to support UNODC/TPB programs that concluded a series of training workshops in North Africa and South and Central Asia on countering terrorist travel and supporting border-related terrorism prosecutions.  This workshop series, beginning in 2019 and funded in part by the Counterterrorism Bureau, highlighted best practices in watchlisting, information sharing, screening, and evidence collection to assist countries in meeting the obligations of UNSCR 2396.  The United States also participated in the UNODC Expert Group on the Prevention of and Responses to Terrorist Attacks on the Basis of Xenophobia, Racism and other forms of Intolerance, or in the name of Religion or Belief and coordinated U.S. government input that will be included in the UNODC training manual.
  • The UN Security Council 1540 Committee. The 1540 Committee monitors and facilitates efforts to implement UNSCR 1540 (2004) requirements, which address the nexus of proliferation concerns surrounding chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, on the one hand, and activities by nonstate actors, who wittingly or unwittingly provide WMD-related assistance to terrorist organizations, on the other.  The 1540 Committee’s Group of Experts (GoE) participates in a wide range of multilateral and regional activities designed to facilitate technical assistance to member states when they request it.  Using Office for Disarmament Affairs Trust Fund resources to cover expenses, the GoE also has interacted with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the World Customs Organization, INTERPOL, UNODC, the Financial Action Task Force, and other multilateral counterterrorism bodies, as well as with individual countries to this end.  The United States is one of eight countries, plus the EU, that have contributed to the 1540 Trust Fund, which is used to support these activities and to financially support 1540 regional coordinator positions in the OAS, the OSCE, the AU, and ASEAN.  U.S. funds also continued to be used to conduct projects that assist African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries in strengthening national 1540 implementation by providing training to national 1540 points of contact and developing voluntary national action plans (NAPs).  Given the key role played by current 1540 coordinators in GoE-supported peer-to-peer reviews, the United States will continue to promote the idea of establishing additional 1540 regional coordinators, to increase the number and quality of NAPs in the lead-up to a UNSCR 1540 Comprehensive Review, which will take place throughout 2022.
  • The Global Counterterrorism Forum.  Founded in 2011 by the United States and Türkiye,the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) aims to diminish terrorist recruitment and radicalization while increasing countries’ capacity to deal with terrorist threats within their borders and regions by strengthening civilian institutions to counter terrorism.  Canada and Morocco are GCTF co-chairs until late 2022.

The GCTF comprises three thematic and two regional working groups:  Countering Violent Extremism, Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law, Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Capacity Building in the East Africa Region, and Capacity Building in the West Africa Region.  In 2017 the United States and Jordan became co-chairs of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Working Group for an initial two-year term.  The United States and Jordan renewed their co-chairmanship of the FTF Working Group in 2019 for another two-year term, now extended until late 2022 because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The United Nations is a close partner of the GCTF and a participant in its activities.  The GCTF continued to increase cooperation and partnership as outlined in the 2018 joint GCTF-UN statement marking enhanced cooperation between the two bodies.  The GCTF serves as a mechanism to further the implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy and more broadly to complement and reinforce existing multilateral counterterrorism efforts, starting with those of the UN.  The GCTF also partners with a wide range of regional multilateral organizations, including the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO, the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and ASEAN.

In October, GCTF ministers formally endorsed two new framework documents and an addendum to an existing framework document (found at

  • GCTF Good Practices for the Implementation of Countering the Financing of Terrorism Measures While Safeguarding Civic Space
  • Memorandum on Criminal Justice Approaches to the Linkages Between Terrorism and Core International Crimes, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes, Crimes, Human Trafficking, Migrant Smuggling, Slavery, and Crimes Against Children
  • Addendum to the New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Travel

Moreover in 2021, the GCTF continued the work of the Forum by migrating initiatives to webinar formats, including two co-led by the United States:

  • The Watchlisting Guidance Manual initiative created a “toolkit” to assist countries with implementing a whole-of-government approach to managing the watchlisting and screening of known and suspected terrorists (KSTs).  This toolkit is a useful resource for policy-makers, law enforcement officials, immigration and consular officers, and agencies that manage and operate watchlists.  As states adopt the practices put forth in the toolkit, it should not only increase border security but also, through the standardized management of watchlist information, increase trust in global information-sharing initiatives to stop terrorists.  These practices also will help countries further implement recommendations in the New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Travel and obligations established in UNSCR 2396.  The United States and the UN co-chaired four global webinars in 2020 and 2021.  In 2022 the Maritime Security Initiative will couple with the Watchlisting Toolkit Initiative to host the first combined event to address best practices in security and border control with an emphasis on maritime efforts.
  • ‘The Initiative on Maritime Security and Terrorist Travel’ addresses potential vulnerabilities in the maritime sector that could be exploited by terrorists.  In 2021, this initiative examined how to improve information sharing between and among governments on topics such as KSTs transitioning through official ports, the use of ships and small vessels as weapons, and the smuggling or trafficking of narcotics or arms through subregional workshops focused on West Africa, East Africa, and East Asia Pacific’s tri-maritime border (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines) culminating in the adoption of the Maritime Addendum to the New York Memorandum in October.
  • ‘Initiative on Criminal Justice Responses to the Linkages Between Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crimes, and International Crimes.’ In 2021 the GCTF Criminal Justice and Rule of Law Working Group held virtual workshops to examine the links between terrorism and international crimes, which resulted in the adoption of the GCTF Memorandum on Criminal Justice Approaches to the Linkages Between Terrorism and Core International Crimes, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Crimes, Crimes, Human Trafficking, Migrant Smuggling, Slavery, and Crimes Against Children in October.
  • ‘Initiative on National-Local Cooperation in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Policy Toolkit Initiative.’ Australia and Indonesia, as co-chairs of the CVE Working Group, held workshops in 2021, with further planned workshops in 2022, to provide context- and sector-specific tools, advice, and expertise to facilitate the translation of good practices into national and local action.  The co-chairs plan to resend a draft Gender and Preventing CVE (P/CVE) Policy Toolkit at the Twentieth GCTF Coordinating Committee in 2022.
  • The GCTF’s ‘Strategic Vision Initiative,’ launched by GCTF co-chairs Canada and Morocco, reaffirmed GCTF founding principles as reflected in the 2011 Political Declaration and emphasized the importance of the GCTF’s contributions to the civilian counterterrorism landscape.  This initiative resulted in the adoption of the “GCTF Strategic Vision for the Next Decade” in 2021.  This Strategic Vision seeks to provide new momentum to the Forum’s work, builds on its achievements, and strengthens its overall impact and relevance, including considering proposals on ways to deepen and broaden the implementation of GCTF Framework Documents.
  • Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE) Initiative: The United States launched the GCTF’s work in addressing REMVE-related challenges in 2021.  In April the United States led two GCTF Exploratory Dialogues — among the first multilateral events focused exclusively on international REMVE threats and challenges.  The dialogues featured keynote remarks from Acting CT Coordinator John Godfrey and were attended virtually by nearly 150 participants, representing more than 50 countries and 70 organizations and academic institutions.  During two online webinars, discussions focused on varying definitions, the current REMVE landscape, current legal frameworks, and practical operational and policy responses to the REMVE threat.  Speakers examined existing GCTF resources pertaining to the REMVE threat, current gaps in available resources, and how the GCTF could best address REMVE-related challenges.  As a result of these dialogues, the United States partnered with Norway (a non-GCTF Member) in October to initiate the development of a GCTF REMVE Toolkit that will outline good practices in addressing the REMVE radicalization lifecycle, drawing on and complementing the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law’s Criminal Justice Practitioner’s Guide Addressing Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism.  The GCTF REMVE Toolkit will be developed through a series of virtual seminars and workshops and presented to the GCTF’s 21st Coordinating Committee in September 2022 for review and adoption.

GCTF-Inspired Institutions.  The following three institutions were developed to operationalize GCTF good practices and to serve as mechanisms for strengthening civilian criminal justice responses to terrorism:

  • The International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law. Since its establishment in Malta in 2014, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) has become a widely respected training institution for sustainable rule-of-law capacity building activities to criminal justice sector practitioners, including lawmakers, police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials, policymakers, and other justice sector stakeholders on how to address terrorism and related transnational criminal activities.  In the last five years, the IIJ has trained more than 7,000 criminal justice practitioners from 123 participating countries.  In 2021 the IIJ continued its steady increase in investment from donors, including from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the EU.  Through funding from the United States, the IIJ trained more than 700 practitioners in 2021 on issues related to battlefield evidence, REMVE, addressing homegrown terrorism, combating prison radicalization, successfully prosecuting terrorism, increasing international cooperation in terrorism investigations and prosecutions, juvenile justice, and the successful launch of the first-ever counterterrorism academic curriculum (CTAC) for midlevel practitioners.  Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, the IIJ’s new Academic Unit adapted the CTAC course, designed to provide a baseline counterterrorism knowledge for midlevel law enforcement and criminal justice actors for a virtual environment.  Additionally, the IIJ and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime continued a Department of State-supported initiative to identify practical approaches to managing remote access for judicial proceedings in terrorism cases in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Finally, the IIJ, in partnership with the United States and the UK, published its Criminal Justice Practitioner’s Guide Addressing Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism in July and launched a follow-on initiative to socialize these practices with partner governments at a UN General Assembly side event in September.
  • Hedayah. Hedayah is the first-ever international center of excellence for CVE, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Hedayah concentrates on capacity building, dialogue and CVE communications, and research and analysis.  Hedayah continued to organize capacity building workshops on CVE communications, education-based approaches to CVE, countering REMVE efforts, rehabilitation and reintegration workshops, and CVE national action plans.  In 2021, Hedayah supported Tunisia and Tajikistan to improve these governments’ awareness of P/CVE strategic communication approaches and tools through a new CVE communication strategy.  Hedayah also helped find innovative solutions to counter terrorist use of the internet by helping counter terrorist and violent extremist narratives working with tech companies, youths, and students to develop their own solutions to online violent extremist propaganda.  Hedayah also continued to promote its “Blueprint for a Rehabilitation and Reintegration Center,” a best-practices tool developed to help rehabilitate and reintegrate FTFs and their family members.  In 2021, Hedayah raised almost $13 million for programs and operating expenses from donors including Australia, Japan, Spain, the UAE, the UK, the United States, and the EU.
  • Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund. In 2013 the GCTF called for the establishment of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) to serve as the first global fund to strengthen community resilience to terrorism.  Based in Geneva, Switzerland, GCERF focuses on preventing and countering terrorism by building the capacity of small, local, community-based organizations.  Since its inception, GCERF has raised more than $150 million from the United States, Switzerland, the European Union, Japan, Qatar, Canada, Norway, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Morocco, and Niger (a recipient and donor country).  The United States has contributed $20.8 million thus far.  GCERF has launched a public-private partnership program to encourage private companies to invest in its prevention programming.  To date, several private-sector organizations have provided in-kind contributions.  GCERF supports 35 grants in 14 partner countries: Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia.  Estimated conservatively, GCERF projects have reached 2.2 million direct beneficiaries and 13.2 million indirect beneficiaries.  In 2021, Niger became the first partner and donor country for GCERF.

Strong Cities Network.  In 2015 the Strong Cities Network (SCN) launched at the UN General Assembly with support from the United States.  With 25 founding members, the SCN now includes more than 150 local governments across six continents.  The SCN provides local governments with a forum to exchange best practices and lessons learned on CVE, including through global summits, regional workshops, exchanges, and an online portal.  The London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue serves as the SCN secretariat and conducts in-depth capacity building training and mentorship to members in Central Asia, East and West Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Western Balkans.  With support from the United States, SCN members in Bangladesh, Kenya, and North Macedonia have developed local action plans.  In January the SCN and the U.S. Conference of Mayors organized a virtual discussion between the Dalai Lama and more than 70 local leaders from around the world on using kindness and compassion to counter hate and division.  In October, the SCN partnered with other organizations to host REMVE-focused workshops in Bratislava for Slovak stakeholders and Brussels for stakeholders from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).  Through its I-24/7 secure global police communications system, INTERPOL connects member states’ law enforcement officials to its investigative and analytical databases, and to its system for requesting assistance in criminal investigative matters by sending messages and the publication of notices for various purposes.  The U.S. Department of State funds INTERPOL counterterrorism-related programs through INTERPOL’s General Secretariat and INTERPOL Washington, the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB) of the U.S. Department of Justice, to help countries affected by the FTF phenomenon provide access to I-24/7 to frontline officials.  By extending these connections beyond a country’s national central bureau to strategic, high-volume airports, seaports, and land ports of entry — as well as other government agencies with investigative responsibilities — national authorities are better enabled to identify, deter, and interdict FTFs and other transnational criminals.  Acknowledging the value of this initiative and the importance of addressing connectivity gaps in countries at risk of FTF travel, in 2016 the G-7 pledged to extend I-24/7 connectivity to 41 priority countries by the end of 2021.  Since that pledge, the U.S. Department of State has engaged INTERPOL through the USNCB to help fulfill the G-7 commitment by providing funding for projects aimed at extending connectivity in 19 countries.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of State has provided resources directly to INTERPOL to enhance its capacity to receive, analyze, and disseminate information regarding the identities and movements of FTFs.  Developing the organization’s capacity to process and disseminate this critical information supports the provision to member country law enforcement and border control authorities of actionable information to support screening procedures and investigations into terrorism-related crimes.  To further support this initiative, the U.S. Department of State also has provided funding to support the development of a platform that will enhance INTERPOL’s analytic capability by allowing its disparate datasets to be easily filtered, queried, and cross-referenced to efficiently process associations, such as between an FTF identity profile and a reported lost or stolen travel document.  The United States recognizes the great value in its long partnership with INTERPOL and the role of the USNCB to ensure critical FTF data are shared and accessible throughout the global law enforcement community.

European Union.  The EU and its member states remain top counterterrorism partners for the United States.  The EU and the United States share a common definition of terrorism and have established a common list of terrorist groups.  Most recently, the United States began working closely with the EU and its members states on countering racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE), which the Europeans often refer to as “right wing extremism” or “far-right extremism.”  These threats, largely from violent white supremacists, are on the rise in both Europe and the United States, where these actors’ movements appear to be centered and based.  There are significant transnational linkages between REMVE actors and networks on both sides of the Atlantic, and both the United States and the EU work together to tackle these threats.  By working together, the United States and the EU made progress in elevating REMVE issues, both at the political and policy levels.

While the military campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria is now largely complete, the detention of terrorists, seizure of their associated materials, and management of evidence collected are critical to successfully prosecute and secure convictions of returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).  The EU is an integral partner in tackling these challenges associated with battlefield evidence, particularly in promoting its use to support investigations and prosecutions of FTFs.  During COVID the U.S. government continued to encourage EU member states to take responsibility for their FTFs and associated family members located in al-Hol and al-Roj displaced persons camps by repatriating, prosecuting, rehabilitating, and reintegrating them as appropriate.  Although EU institutions note that decisions related to repatriating FTFs and their family members from the battlefield in Syria are reserved for the member states, the EU has stated that rehabilitating and reintegrating returning citizens is a priority both at the EU and the national level.  However, few repatriations took place during 2021, and human rights and humanitarian groups continue to criticize the inaction of EU member states to repatriate their citizens.  The U.S. Departments of Defense, Justice, and State continue efforts with the EU and its members states to facilitate the sharing of battlefield evidence, as well as emphasize that counterterrorism cooperation is an important area for NATO-EU cooperation.

In May the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) announced its first joint operation outside of the EU, deploying 50 officers to Albania in support of border security and managing migratory flows from Greece.  In July and October, Frontex announced two additional operations in Montenegro to bolster the country’s sea borders, with a particular concentration on anti-smuggling of drugs, weapons, trafficked humans, and terror material.  The European Commission also signed two nonbinding counterterrorism arrangements with Albania and North Macedonia in October, and in December proposed revising Europol’s mandate to improve the agency’s ability to collect and analyze data relevant to cross-border crimes and terrorist offenses.  The revised mandate would also allow Europol to create its own special category of “information alerts” in the Schengen Information System, using information sourced from third countries or international organizations and subject to certain restrictions.  Europol has officers and personnel in Italy and Greece who work alongside border security and immigration officers to assist in screening incoming migrants against Europol databases.

Following adoption of its “Counterterrorism Agenda” in 2020, the European Commission proposed a variety of legislative tools in 2021 intended to improve the EU’s collective defense against terrorism.  In January, it issued a draft revision of the Europol Regulation that would allow, for the first time, Europol to establish lookouts in the EU’s Schengen Information System for use by EU border and police authorities.  The regulation is expected to be adopted by the Council and Parliament in 2022.  In June the Regulation on Addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online entered into force, requiring service providers operating in the EU to remove content within one hour of notification by a competent authority in the EU.  Also in June, the Commission published its Strategy towards a fully functioning and resilient Schengen Area, outlining plans to improve border management within the EU.  In December it proposed an update to the Prüm Decision that would further codify cross-border law enforcement cooperation in EU law and establish a consistent, EU-operated technical infrastructure for the exchange of data under Prüm.  This step, if approved, will bring Prüm, first adopted in 2006, more in line with the EU’s recent interoperability efforts.  Despite these improvements, the EU’s constantly evolving data privacy framework also continues to make law enforcement and border security cooperation between EU member states and non-EU countries, including the United States, more challenging.

Internationally, the EU Council adopted a decision in October launching a European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Mozambique to counter terrorism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.  The EUTM became fully operational in December, with 84 military personnel (from EU member states) providing training in two centers.  The two-year program is funded by the European Peace Facility to train 11 companies of Mozambican marines and commandos to serve as a quick reaction force to terrorist threats.  The EU also continued six military and law enforcement capacity building missions in the Horn of Africa, the Central African Republic, and the Sahel, working closely with U.S. elements in counterterrorism, border security, and stabilization efforts.  To date, the EU has pledged almost $270 million for the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, a coalition of five West African nations providing border security and counterterrorism operations in the Sahel.  The EU has also initiated the Partnership for Stability and Security in the Sahel to assess the security sector in West African countries and coordinate donor funding to fulfill their needs.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  Under Sweden as the 2021 Chair in Office, the OSCE approach to counterterrorism focused on working to address the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, mainstreaming a gender-responsive approach to counterterrorism, and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Under the Swedish chairmanship, the OSCE in April held its annual OSCE-wide Counterterrorism Conference as a virtual/in-person hybrid event.  With an emphasis on using a whole-of-society approach to preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism, common themes highlighted by the participating states included addressing terrorism, violent extremism, and other potentially “harmful” online content, including through strengthening public-private partnerships and enhancing law enforcement cooperation, while respecting human rights such as freedom of expression.  The United States in October also participated in the fifth OSCE-wide Seminar on Passenger Data Exchange, urging OSCE participating states to establish Passenger Name Record systems based on International Civil Aviation Organization standards and practices.  OSCE staff actively participated in global and regional efforts supported by the United States through the GCTF, the IIJ, and NATO.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  At the June Summit, NATO allies reaffirmed NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism, as it contributes to all three core tasks of the Alliance.

Following the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and security forces in August and the end of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, NATO launched a comprehensive assessment of NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan.  This assessment concluded, in part, that NATO made significant gains in the fight against terrorism, but that the wider ambition of building a stable Afghanistan proved extremely challenging.  NATO formally updated the Counterterrorism Action Plan (CTAP) with continued emphases on awareness and analysis, preparedness and responsiveness, capabilities, capacity building and partnerships, and operations.  The United States continued to invest foreign assistance resources to support implementation of the CTAP.  With this support, NATO strengthened criminal justice actors’ ability to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate terrorism cases and enhance civilian-military coordination in the Middle East and North Africa through a Battlefield Evidence training at the Stability Policing Center of Excellence in Vicenza, Italy, from November 29 through December 3.  In June, Allies endorsed a Strengthened Resilience Commitment to continue to take a whole-of-government approach to enhancing the resilience of Allies’ societies and achieving the seven NATO Baseline Requirements for national resilience, through enhanced civil-military cooperation and civil preparedness; closer engagements with Allies’ populations, the private sector, and non-governmental actors; and the centers of expertise on resilience established by Allies.  NATO is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and provides Airborne Warning and Control System surveillance flights and staff-to-staff support.

NATO international staff members regularly collaborate with the AU, the EU, the IIJ, the OSCE, the UN, and other international and regional organizations.

Council of Europe.  The United States participates in the Council of Europe (the CoE) as an observer.  The CoE’s counterterrorism priorities, as established in its current 2018-22 Strategy, include preventing terrorism through criminal law and law enforcement measures, ensuring terrorist offenses are investigated in the most efficient and quickest manner possible, and protecting persons against terrorism.  The CoE’s counterterrorism committee (CDCT) convened several working groups throughout the year on the Risk Assessment of Individuals Indicted or Convicted for Terrorist Offenses; Emerging Terrorist Threats; Best Practices Relating to Deradicalization, Disengagement and Social Reintegration; and the Use of Information Collected in Conflict Zones as Evidence in Criminal Proceedings Related to Terrorist Offenses.  The Council of Europe hosted a December 7-8 conference on the Roles of Women and Children in Terrorism, where the United States highlighted funding for the Mother Schools: Parenting for Peace program.  The biennial CDCT plenary addressed topics including battlefield evidence, addressing radicalization, increasing information sharing, and bioterrorism.  During the plenary, the United States worked with member states to advance critical support on battlefield evidence, terrorist radicalization, information sharing, and emerging terrorist threats, including REMVE.  CoE staff members regularly coordinate with countries and other multilateral organizations and entities such as the EU, the OAS, the OSCE, and the UN.

Group of Seven Roma-Lyon Group on Counterterrorism and Counter-Crime:  The UK served as the 2021 Group of Seven (G-7) President and set an ambitious agenda for the year that culminated in the adoption of the G-7 Interior and Security Ministerial Statement that focused on counterterrorism-related priorities and deliverables, including data sharing on threats from Afghanistan; countering REMVE; preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism online; and collaboration on Passenger Name Record data and International Civil Aviation Organization standards.  The United States participated in the experts working group on some key issues, including terrorist use of the internet.  The United States participated in the Roma-Lyon Group’s Heads of Delegation meetings and the Roma-Lyon Group on Counterterrorism and Crime’s six subgroups, ensuring the facilitation and implementation of ongoing projects that develop good practices for counterterrorism and law enforcement.  The United States also continued chairing the Roma Lyon Group’s cross-modal Transportation Security Subgroup, including overseeing ongoing collaboration related to foreign investment in the transportation sector and on flight school security.

Organization of American States’ Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism.  The OAS Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (OAS/CICTE), which has 34 member states and 70 observers, focused activities in 2021 on cybersecurity, border security, preventing the financing of terrorism, preventing the proliferation of WMD, preventing violent extremism, the security of mass gatherings (including tourist destinations), and addressing the FTF phenomenon.  OAS/CICTE led the commemoration of June 3 as Inter-American Day Against Terrorism, encouraging member states to counter terrorism in the Western Hemisphere and around the world.  The committee held its 21st regular session in a virtual format during October 7-8.  In 2021, 17 member states including the United States participated in the Inter-American Network on Counterterrorism.  The network operates on a 24/7 basis to facilitate communication among points of contact designated by each member state, so they can respond more effectively to terrorist threats.  OAS/CICTE staff regularly collaborate with other multilateral organizations, including the Council of Europe, the GCTF, and the UN.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the East Asia Summit.  Counterterrorism activities with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 27-member ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) countries in 2021 included annual meetings on counterterrorism and transnational crime and capacity building through ASEAN-related institutions.  The United States is leading a three-part ARF workshop series on information sharing and aviation security, designed to raise awareness of countries’ obligations under UNSCR 2396 and to explain helpful tools for implementation.  The first workshop was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2019.  The second occurred virtually, in February.  The third and final workshop in this series is anticipated for 2022.  Building on these ARF workshops, the United States co-hosted, along with the governments of Indonesia and South Korea, workshops on watchlisting as well as on aviation security in the time of COVID with the 10 ASEAN countries.  These workshops were postponed from 2020 but occurred in November.  The United States also funded and participated in ASEAN workshops during the development of an ASEAN Training of Trainers Program to Address Disinformation and Promote Media Literacy in 2021, which will be incorporated into the Second Annual ASEAN-U.S. CVE workshop to be held in 2022.

The East Asia Summit — which includes the 10 ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States — issued several statements in 2021, including one on Women, Peace, and Security, noting the importance of women’s roles to addressing root causes of terrorism.  In 2020 the United States and ASEAN negotiated a new five-year “Plan of Action,” which outlined continued and increased engagement on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism efforts.  ASEAN in 2019 adopted the Bali Work Plan to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism 2019-25.  The objective of this workplan is to provide an implementation framework to guide relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, organs, and entities in carrying out the necessary activities and monitor effectiveness in preventing and countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment.  The United States supported the process of developing the workplan through participation in CVE workshops and providing technical assistance and consultations with various stakeholders, such as ASEAN sectoral bodies and civil society organizations, to provide input on the implementation of the workplan.  CVE consultations for 2020 were largely focused on countering violent extremism through media literacy and advancing critical thinking.  Owing to COVID-19 conditions in the region, the Second Annual ASEAN-U.S. CVE workshop, co-chaired with Indonesia, was postponed to 2022.  The United States also works on counterterrorism issues, including in the maritime space, through the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) continued to work under the Counterterrorism and Secure Trade Strategy adopted in 2019 and updated its annual workplan in 2021.  The strategy, first adopted in 2011, endorses the principles of security, efficiency, and resilience and advocates for risk-based approaches to security challenges across supply chains, travel, finance, and infrastructure.  Members also concentrated on furthering the APEC Counterterrorism Working Group (CTWG) Strategic Plan 2018-22, which set priorities in areas such as the evolving threat of FTFs, terrorist financing, border and critical infrastructure security, and information sharing.  In 2021 the United States hosted a workshop on soft target protection in an aviation ecosystem.  The CTWG Terms of Reference expired in 2021, and member economies did not reach consensus to endorse a new Terms of Reference.  Senior officials did not renew the mandate of the group by year’s end.  Despite the sunsetting of the CTWG, APEC’s counterterrorism efforts will continue through relevant existing subfora.

The African Union.  There are two main bodies within the AU that lead its counterterrorism efforts — the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department’s Conflict Management Division, located at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and the African Center for the Study and Research of Terrorism (CAERT) in Algiers.  CAERT is the lead for all the AU’s CVE activity.  CAERT priorities include: 1) building capacity of member states on CT/CVE; 2) developing and/or implementing member-state CVE national action plans; and 3) enhancing international cooperation to ensure relevant regional approaches are taken fully into account.  In 2020 the AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) established the Special Unit on Counterterrorism within the framework of the African Standby Force, which has yet to be operationalized.  Once in operation, the Special Unit will aim to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the PSC and the Regional Economic Communities.  It also will share experiences and best practices, as well as lessons arising from continental and regional mechanisms deployed against terrorism and violent extremism, such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (or AMISOM), the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin, the G-5 Sahel, and the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes.  The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic slowed AU implementation of deepened counterterrorism focus.

G-5 Sahel.  Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger formed the G-5 Sahel in 2014 to concentrate on the four pillars of security, resilience, infrastructure, and governance.  In 2021 the G-5 Sahel Joint Force conducted military operations to disrupt the activities of terrorist operations in transborder regions of the five member states.  Multiple countries, including the United States and France, and the EU have provided or pledged donor support to the G-5 Sahel Joint Force.

The League of Arab States:  The League of Arab States (LAS) is a regional organization consisting of 22 member states that promotes the interests of the Arab world.  The LAS serves as a forum for member states to coordinate policy on matters of concern, including countering violent extremism and other threats.  The LAS also is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

The International Civil Aviation Organization.  The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes the development of international air navigation safety and security standards and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.  The ICAO adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, its infrastructure, flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation.  The ICAO’s AVSEC2021 event, which concluded on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 attacks of 20 years ago, featured substantive and compelling discussions on aviation security, including contributions from current and former colleagues in government and industry.  The ICAO’s involvement during the crisis in Afghanistan progressed from issuing guidance to avoid Afghanistan’s airspace to tackling the technical issues that culminate in the safety and security of civil aviation.  The 2020 Council of ICAO approval of amendments to Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention establishing new Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) regarding states’ development and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems took effect in February.  These SARPs are a direct response to UNSCR 2396 of 2017, which requires states to develop the capability to collect, process, and analyze PNR data, in furtherance of ICAO SARPs.  UNSCR 2396 also requires states to ensure PNR data are used by and shared with all their competent national authorities, with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for the purpose of preventing, detecting, and investigating terrorist offenses and related travel.  The United States continues to seek to raise the profile of aviation security within the ICAO Secretariat, with the objective of parity between safety and security in the ICAO.

The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.  In 2021 the United States continued to serve as co-chair of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), a voluntary partnership of 89 nations and six international organizations committed to strengthening global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism.  In 2021 the GICNT held three virtual multilateral engagements that provided an interactive forum to share and discuss best practices around plans, policies, and procedures to detect and respond to radiological/nuclear terrorism incidents.

Financial Action Task Force.  The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body that sets standards and promotes effective implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and proliferation financing.  FATF’s efforts to improve understanding and compliance with global FATF standards are supported by FATF-style regional bodies worldwide.  In 2021, FATF continued to address terrorist financing through ongoing work.  This included regular, nonpublic updates to the FATF global network on the financing of ISIS and al-Qa’ida and their affiliates, and the completion of a nonpublic best practices paper on investigating and prosecuting terrorist financing and an update to previously issued terrorist financing risk indicators.  FATF also published a report on ethnically or racially motivated terrorism financing in July.

Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online (Christchurch Call).  In May the United States officially joined the New Zealand- and France-led Christchurch Call, established in a 2019 Summit after the horrific livestreamed terrorist attacks in Christchurch earlier that year, and Secretary Blinken participated in the second annual Christchurch Call Summit.

When the decision was announced, the United States applauded language in the Christchurch Call emphasizing the importance of respecting human rights and the rule of law, including the protection of freedom of expression, and noted that in participating in the Christchurch Call, the United States would not take steps that would violate the freedoms of speech and association protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, nor violate people’s reasonable expectations of privacy.  The United States engaged in active partnership with governments, tech companies, and civil society in the forum’s workstreams on key issues such as algorithms and positive interventions to better ensure that online platforms are not exploited for terrorist or violent extremist purposes.

Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.  The United States continued to participate in the industry-led Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).  The GIFCT was established by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Microsoft in 2017, in close partnership with UN-affiliated Tech Against Terrorism, and reorganized as an NGO in 2020 to prevent and counter terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of online platforms through developing and sharing technology, including providing assistance to smaller companies, research, and prevention programs.  In 2021 the United States continued to serve on the GIFCT Independent Advisory Committee and participated in GIFCT Working Groups on Crisis Response, Legal Frameworks, Technical Approaches (including algorithmic amplification), and Positive Interventions.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  In 2021 the United States continued its efforts with government, tech company, civil society, and other expert stakeholders to develop the OECD’s Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content (TVEC) Voluntary Transparency Reporting Framework (VTRF).  The aim of the VTRF as a tool is to increase voluntary reporting by all platforms of all sizes to help build the evidence base for sound policy-making as well as to avoid regulatory fragmentation.  The first phase of the OECD TVEC VTRF project was effectively completed under the auspices of the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy in 2021.  A basic reporting template is expected to be released publicly in 2022, to allow implementation and feedback from tech companies to inform further work.

Aqaba Process. In 2021 the United States participated with other governments, private-sector companies, and selected stakeholders in Jordan’s counterterrorism-focused Aqaba Process.  King Abdullah II of Jordan launched the Aqaba Process in 2015 as an informal international platform that aimed to bring together government decisionmakers and other stakeholders to coordinate, at a strategic level, confronting terrorists and violent extremists both offline and online.  Jordan started the Aqaba Process to address the need for a holistic approach that addresses all terrorist threats collectively and simultaneously, sometimes regionally or thematically.  Jordan co-chaired with the United States the first Aqaba Process Tech Meeting in Napa, California, in 2019.

Long-Term Programs and Initiatives Designed to Counter Terrorist Safe Havens and Recruitment

Countering Violent Extremism

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) refers to proactive assistance and engagements designed to reduce the ability of violent extremist groups and their affiliates and adherents to influence, radicalize, recruit, and mobilize individuals and communities to terrorism and violent extremism.  Countering radicalization and recruitment to violence is an essential counterterrorism tool.  The U.S. government’s strategy to minimize the impact of terrorism and violent extremism includes efforts to build the capacity of local actors to address their drivers at the source.  CVE requires a comprehensive rule-of-law-based and human-rights-respecting approach involving national and local governments, religious leaders, civil society, educators, women, youth, the private sector, and affected communities.  In 2021, through bilateral and multilateral engagement, the Counterterrorism Bureau (the CT Bureau) emphasized four key areas in strategy formulation, diplomatic engagement, and foreign assistance programming:  1) countering racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism; 2) countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes; 3) rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters and associated family members; and 4) strategic messaging.  The CT Bureau partnered with government officials, community leaders, NGOs, mental health professionals and social workers, religious figures, and others to build a prevention architecture to counter radicalization and recruitment to violence.

Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism

The CT Bureau increased its efforts to combat racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE).  REMVE — in particular, white-identity terrorism — continues to be a threat to the global community, with violence both on the rise and spreading geographically, as white-supremacist and nativist movements and individuals increasingly target immigrants; Jewish, Muslim, and other religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex individuals; governments; and other perceived enemies.  The CT Bureau is working with law enforcement, civil society, social services, and foreign partners to take concrete actions to address this growing threat.  In October the CT Bureau sponsored REMVE-focused workshops in Bratislava and Brussels to increase awareness of and political will to counter the threat from REMVE with European partners.

Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes

The CT Bureau continued promoting U.S. policy on this issue in bilateral and multilateral engagements.  As global attention on preventing and countering terrorists’ exploitation of internet-based platforms continues to grow, the CT Bureau worked to ensure the U.S. response was measured and aligned with U.S. policy and legal frameworks for internet freedom and freedom of expression.  The United States believes that protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, is an important part of our counterterrorism strategy because increased censorship and other restrictions on human rights can actually undermine counterterrorism efforts and lead to greater instances of terrorist radicalization.  The CT Bureau played a leading role in coordinating and negotiating language that promoted U.S. policy consistent with our longstanding guiding principles.

The United States endorsed the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online in May, and the CT Bureau worked to ensure the U.S. position was reflected in the G-7 Statement on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism Online, as well as the G-20 leaders’ statement.  The CT Bureau engaged regularly with technology companies to improve voluntary information sharing, particularly on the presence of designated terrorist organizations and their members online, as well as terrorist trends and tactics.  The CT Bureau also engaged regularly with the industry-led Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), including participating in a GIFCT working group, and UN-affiliated Tech Against Terrorism, demonstrating the U.S. approach in working collaboratively with the private sector and other stakeholders such as civil society organizations to counter the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.

Rehabilitation and Reintegration

Rehabilitation and reintegration of former terrorist fighters and their family members has continued to be a pressing concern for the global community.  The CT Bureau coordinated global engagement on the rehabilitation and reintegration of FTF families repatriated from Syria and Iraq, though pandemic restrictions complicated these efforts.  The bureau sponsored practitioner exchanges and partnered with the Government of Kazakhstan on a side event at the OSCE’s counterterrorism conference in Vienna in March to share best practices on rehabilitation and reintegration.  The CT Bureau also supported rehabilitation and reintegration training for civil society organizations in Indonesia.  These engagements, which emphasized the importance of providing returnees with psychosocial services and involving community-level stakeholders in the reintegration process, led multiple countries to agree to repatriate their citizens and update their approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration, which could, in turn, encourage other nations to agree to repatriate their citizens from Syria and Iraq.

Strategic Messaging

The CT Bureau continues to work with the Global Engagement Center’s Resiliency Campaign focused on Iraq, Syria, and Jordan as part of the Defeat-ISIS effort.  This campaign focused on four areas:  1) creating a local environment inhospitable to ISIS; 2) sustaining global support to defeat ISIS; 3) portraying ISIS as another failed movement; and 4) reducing ISIS’s ability to disseminate propaganda used to recruit, radicalize, or mobilize supporters.  This campaign brought together elements within the U.S. Department of Defense to coordinate messaging efforts within specified countries.

The CT Bureau in coordination with Hedayah — the Abu Dhabi-based CVE Center of Excellence — trained and supported government and civil society officials from Kosovo and Kyrgyzstan ‎in developing communication strategies to complement CVE national action plans, building positive messaging campaigns, and developing interventions and better understanding of the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.

ASEAN in 2019 adopted the Bali Work Plan to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism 2019-25.  The objective of this workplan is to provide an implementation framework to guide relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, organs, and entities in carrying out the necessary activities and monitor effectiveness in preventing and countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment.  In 2021 the CT Bureau, in coordination with ASEAN and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office to ASEAN, supported programs that counter disinformation by providing consultations and presentations on media literacy and critical thinking skills in Indonesia.  Regionally, in Southeast Asia, the CT Bureau also supported the USAID Office’s program “ASEAN Training of Trainers Program to Address Disinformation and Promote Media Literacy.”

International Platforms to Advance CVE

In 2021 the CT Bureau maintained robust support for key international platforms that serve to push global CVE initiatives, while sharing the burden of CVE programs with global partners.  In the past year, the CT Bureau has helped multilateral institutions raise millions of dollars for local CVE programming in targeted localities.

  • Strong Cities Network: The Strong Cities Network (SCN) launched in 2015 at the UN General Assembly with support from the United States.  With 25 founding members, the SCN now includes more than 150 local governments across six continents.  The SCN provides local governments with a forum to exchange best practices and lessons learned on CVE, including through global summits, regional workshops, exchanges, and an online portal.  The London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue serves as the SCN secretariat and conducts in-depth capacity building training and mentorship to members in Central Asia, East and West Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Western Balkans.  With support from the United States, SCN members in Bangladesh, Kenya, and North Macedonia have developed local action plans, while engagement between U.S. mayors and their global counterparts will increase in 2022.
  • Global Community Engagement Resilience Fund: The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) supported 35 active grants in 14 partner countries: Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia.  In November, the CT Bureau participated in high-level site visits to Tirana, Albania, and to Kosovo to see the newly launched rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R) initiative in the Western Balkans.  The CT Bureau also supported GCERF’s efforts to establish a Regional Accelerated Funding Panel consisting of national governments, the donor community, and key actors in the R&R landscape to ensure effective coordination and impact in the Western Balkan region.  Additionally, GCERF continued to increase its international donor base and contributions, with Niger joining as both a donor and recipient country.  Since GCERF’s inception five years ago, 17 international donors have provided roughly $150 million for the organization, complementing U.S. contributions of about $21 million.  In 2021, Niger became the first partner and donor country for GCERF.  To date, several private sector organizations have provided in-kind contributions.  Estimated conservatively, GCERF projects have reached 2.2 million direct beneficiaries and 13.2 million indirect beneficiaries.  GCERF launched its 2021-25 Replenishment Campaign, led by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.  Through this campaign, GCERF aims to raise an additional $120 million to provide better alternatives for two million people directly at risk of radicalization and recruitment, and to build a safety net among 10 million other people in their communities in more than 20 countries.
  • Hedayah:  In 2021, Hedayah continued advising and assisting governments and training civil society in CVE strategies and approaches, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism, and rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters and associated family members.  Hedayah also continued to support Tunisia and Tajikistan, to develop and disseminate countermessaging content for vulnerable communities, build resiliency to terrorist narratives to counter the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, improve government awareness of CVE strategic communication approaches, and assist governments in implementing their CVE national action plans.  In direct response to the ongoing global need to address returning FTFs, Hedayah continued to promote its Blueprint of a Rehabilitation and Reintegration Center: Guiding Principles for Rehabilitating and Reintegrating Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Their Family Members.  In 2021, Hedayah raised almost $13 million for programs and operating expenses from donors including Australia, Japan, Spain, the UAE, the UK, the United States, and the EU.

More broadly, the CT Bureau leveraged other U.S. and donor government support for Hedayah programming — including USAID support for CVE ‎communications work in Kenya.‎

Civilian Counterterrorism Capacity Building Programs

As the terrorist threat has evolved and significantly expanded geographically in recent years, it has become clear that mitigating this threat depends on the political will and enhanced capabilities of our partners to counter terrorism.  To succeed over the long term, the United States must have partners who not only prevent, disrupt, and degrade networks militarily or through law enforcement — while comporting with international laws and norms — but also leverage robust civilian capabilities.  The United States needs partners in law enforcement, the justice sector, and corrections that can prevent and disrupt attacks and investigate, arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate terrorists and their facilitation networks.

The United States supports various programs to build partners’ law enforcement capacity to counter terrorism, including by strengthening the ability of justice and corrections officials to counter terrorism.  The CT Bureau funds, plans, and oversees capacity building programs that provide law enforcement and criminal justice officials with the tools needed to address security vulnerabilities and counter terrorist threats on their own.

  • The Antiterrorism Assistance program
  • The Countering Terrorism Finance program
  • Counterterrorism Engagement With Allies
  • The Terrorist Interdiction Program
  • The Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund

In 2021, CT resources allowed the Department of State to significantly expand civilian law enforcement counterterrorism capacity building activities with key partner nations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, South and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and other regions to mitigate the threat posed by FTFs, prevent and counter terrorist safe havens and recruitment, and counter Iran-sponsored terrorism.

Counterterrorism programs enabled multiple partner nations to pursue terrorist organizations and share information with U.S. law enforcement agencies charged with global counterterrorism operations.  Counterterrorism support strengthened security at airports and land borders, augmenting security for direct flights to the United States.  CT programs also supported multilateral efforts to strengthen law enforcement and build CVE capabilities.  Recipient law enforcement organizations have used the skills and assistance to crack down on terrorists globally and save hundreds of lives from planned attacks.

Rewards for Justice

The Department of State’s national security rewards program, Rewards for Justice (RFJ), was established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism, Public Law 98-533 (codified at 22 U.S.C. § 2708).  Rewards for Justice is managed by the Diplomatic Security Service.  RFJ’s goal is to generate information that helps protect U.S. national security.

Under this program, the Secretary of State may authorize reward payments to individuals who furnish information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone for committing, or conspiring or attempting, or aiding or abetting,  an act of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property; the prevention, frustration, or favorable resolution of an act of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property, including by dismantling an organization in whole or significant part; the identification or location of an individual who holds a key leadership position in a terrorist organization; or the disruption of financial mechanisms of a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  Pursuant to legislative amendments, the Secretary may also authorize reward payments to individuals who furnish certain other national security information related to the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and foreign election interference.

Since RFJ’s inception in 1984, the Secretary has authorized payments of more than $250 million through this program to individuals who provided actionable information that helped resolve threats to national security and continued to do so in 2021.

To generate leads, RFJ issues reward offers for information covered by its statutory authority.  In 2021 the RFJ program announced the following new reward offers for information:

  • January 12.  A reward of up to $7 million for information on Muhammad Abbatay, known as ’Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi.  Al-Maghrebi is an Iran-based key leader of al-Qa’ida (AQ) and the longtime director of AQ’s media arm, al-Sahab, and is the son-in-law and senior advisor to former AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
  • March 29.  A reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the location or identification of Salim Jamil Ayyash, a senior operative in the assassination unit of the terrorist organization Lebanese Hizballah, or information leading to preventing him from engaging in an act of international terrorism against a U.S. person or U.S. property.
  • April 13.  A reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the location, recovery, and safe return of U.S. citizen Abdulbari al-Kotf, who was taken from his home in Sana’a, Yemen, in 2018.
  • May 18.  A reward of up to $5 million for information concerning the kidnapping of Cydney Mizell, a humanitarian aid worker who went missing in Afghanistan in 2008.
  • June 2.  A reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the location or identification of Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi, the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb.
  • November 2.  A reward of up to $5 million for information leading to those responsible for the 2019 abduction of U.S. citizen Ihsan Ashour in Baghdad.
  • December 20.  A reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in the 2015 terrorist attack that left U.S. citizen Avijit Roy dead and his wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, seriously injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Throughout 2021, RFJ readvertised reward offers across the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, for:

  • Information leading to the identification or location of terrorist senior leaders
  • Information on those responsible for terrorist attacks or terrorism-related kidnappings
  • Information leading to the disruption of Hizballah and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps financial networks
  • Information on past, planned, or future attacks against U.S. diplomatic missions or personnel

Support for Pakistan

The United States continues to cooperate with Pakistan on regional security and counterterrorism.  The U.S. government provides robust law enforcement, counternarcotics, and rule of law assistance for Pakistan, as well as limited defense, counterterrorism, and anti-money laundering assistance.

The United States also continues to provide civilian assistance on a focused set of priorities.  The United States and Pakistan cooperate to address COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, with the United States providing nearly 38 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and $35.4 million for COVID-19-related assistance in 2021.  The United States also provides assistance to support trade and economic growth, including partnering with U.S. businesses, civil society, and the regions bordering Afghanistan.  This assistance is intended to improve the lives of the Pakistani people and support U.S. objectives.  The United States continues to support people-to-people exchanges to alleviate misunderstandings and complications in the bilateral relationship.

The table below shows bilateral assistance provided to Pakistan for fiscal years FY 2019, FY 2020, and FY 2021.

Account   FY 2019  FY 2020  FY 2021 
Total Bilateral Foreign Assistance*   76.4 73.4 81.2
Economic Support Fund   44.0 46.0 45.0
Global Health Programs   3.0 7.0
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement   26.0 20.9 25.0
Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining   0.8 0.8 0.7
International Military Education and Training   3.5 0.7 3.5
Food for Peace Title II   2.1 2.0

*Figures in millions, U.S. $ 

Counterterrorism Coordination With Saudi Arabia

Countering Violent Extremism.  In 2021, Saudi Arabia continued to be a premier counterterrorism partner of the United States.  Saudi authorities worked closely with the United States to implement counterterrorism commitments and remained eager to enhance defense and security cooperation with the United States, including on countering violent extremism (CVE) issues.  Regular high-level consultations and cooperation with the United States played a crucial role in the Saudi government’s ability to address domestic and regional terrorism threats, and U.S. government-implemented programs helped Saudi Arabia increase its capacity to detect, deter, and respond to terrorist threats.  Saudi Arabia maintained adequate legal frameworks, security forces, and institutional preparedness to combat extremist threats.   The main threat was the Iran-backed, Yemen-based Houthis, whose cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia totaled over 400 in 2021, more than double the number of attacks in 2020.  Saudi Arabia remained a regional leader in countering terrorist financing, hosting the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center that brings together the United States and Persian Gulf region partners to confront new and evolving networks and lead efforts on anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing measures.

On the multilateral front, Saudi Arabia worked closely on capacity building efforts to increase regional cooperation, minimize duplication of efforts, enhance information sharing, and address border security gaps.  Saudi leadership worked to advance counterterrorism cooperation with Muslim-majority states, including through the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.  Saudi Arabia participated actively in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and provided significant support in facilitating U.S. military operations in the region.

Saudi CVE activities concentrated on identifying pathways to terrorist radicalization and recruitment with a heavy emphasis on the close monitoring of social media and other internet activity.  CVE institutions focused on refuting extremist interpretations of Islam, emphasizing nationalism, and cultivating appreciation for Saudi culture and heritage as the basis for national identity.  Saudi Arabia’s ideological approach to countering terrorist propaganda also included family outreach initiatives; integration of gender considerations in CVE work; and public messaging campaigns to amplify moderate voices in mainstream media, mosques, Islamic organizations, community centers, and prisons, to curb the appeal of radical ideology and to counter extremist messages.  Security authorities continued to employ the Center for Counseling and Care to deprogram, monitor, and rehabilitate former Saudi terrorists or foreign fighters.

With the goal of reducing the potential for interfaith extremism and terrorist acts, the Saudi government-affiliated Muslim World League promoted tolerance and encouraged interfaith dialogue through religious conferences and visits that brought Saudi religious scholars together with counterparts from other faiths to increase acceptance of other religions.  The Saudi government made further progress in revising textbooks used in the public K-12 curriculum to reduce intolerant and extremist content.  The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call, and Guidance issued circulars to every Saudi mosque that included a directive to remove extremist literature and a prohibition on proselytizing.  In contrast, antisemitic language was used in several Friday sermons at the Two Holy Mosques.  Social, legal, economic, and political discrimination against the country’s Shia minority continued.  The Saudi government’s potential use of terrorism laws to prosecute political dissidents remained a concern.

U.S. Agency for Global Media Initiatives: Outreach to Foreign Muslim Audiences

This section is provided by the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

We refer you to Factsheet-4-27-22.pdf for information on U.S. Agency for Global Media’s outreach to foreign Muslim audiences.

Visas for Participants in United States Programs

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs’ visa policies and procedures have two fundamental missions:  1) protecting national security by helping secure U.S. borders against actual or potential threats, while 2) facilitating legitimate travel and international exchange.  Focusing on these two missions safeguards our nation’s borders and ensures efficient adjudications of visa applications for individuals seeking to participate in visitor exchange programs.

Visa applicants are subject to a thorough interagency screening process that draws on biographic and biometric data.  Some applications may undergo further interagency screening and vetting after the interview.  Because of this, program sponsors and applicants should coordinate to initiate visa applications well in advance of planned travel.  We advise applicants to obtain passports immediately, as they must have a passport to apply for a visa.

USAID Basic Education in Muslim-Majority Countries

The U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education for Fiscal Years 2019-23 (the Strategy) was released on September 14, 2018.  The Strategy demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to international education and presents an opportunity to advance global diplomatic and development leadership on pressing international education challenges, as called for in the Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development (aka READ) Act, Division 2, P.L. 115-56.  The goal of the Strategy is to achieve a world where education systems in partner countries enable all individuals to acquire the education and skills needed to be productive members of society.  To accomplish this goal, the U.S. government has two principal objectives: 1) improve learning outcomes; and 2) expand access to quality basic education for all, particularly marginalized populations.  The U.S. government recognizes that its investments in international education serve as a force multiplier for all its work in international development.  Strengthening education systems in developing countries advances U.S. foreign policy goals, promotes U.S. and international security, and helps accelerate economic growth at home and abroad.

Under the U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education, agencies and departments are working together to improve learning outcomes and expand access to quality basic education for all.  The U.S. Government Support to Basic Education Map and the Fiscal Year 2020 U.S. Government Strategy Report to Congress highlight where the U.S. government is working, program education levels for each country, and examples of the type of coordination that is currently happening across agencies.

The USAID Education Policy, released in 2018, further articulates the Agency’s vision and direction for supporting partner countries in strengthening their capacity to deliver quality learning opportunities for children and youth.  The primary purpose of programming in education by USAID is to achieve sustained, measurable improvements in learning outcomes and skills development.  The policy applies to education programming across all levels (from preprimary through higher education), contexts (stable contexts to crisis and conflict-affected environments), settings (formal and nonformal), and providers (state and nonstate).  The principles laid out in the policy drive decision making for new education investments supporting the vision that partner country education systems must enable all children and youths to acquire the education and skills needed to be productive members of society.

Economic Reform in Muslim-Majority Countries

We refer you to  and for information on USAID’s economic reform programs.

Designations of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) expose and isolate the designated terrorist organizations, deny them access to the U.S. financial system, and create significant criminal and immigration consequences for their members and supporters.  Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and governments.

In 2021 the Department of State designated Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) — of ISIS-Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC), ISIS-Mozambique, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) — and Segunda Marquetalia as FTOs.  The Department also amended the FTO designation of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) to add additional aliases.  The Department revoked the designations of Ansarallah, which had been designated earlier that year, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

On May 20, 2022, the Department announced revocation of five Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designations:  1) Basque Fatherland and Liberty, 2) Aum Shinrikyo, 3) Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, 4) Kahane Chai, and 5) Gama’a al-Islamiyya.  Although these revocations occurred outside of the reporting period for this report, they have been included in the 2021 Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT) to avoid confusion.  Please refer to previous editions of the CRT for further information about these groups.

Legal Criteria for Designation Under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as Amended

1. It must be a foreign organization.

2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.

3. The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

U.S. Government Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations in 2021

AAD (Ansar al-Dine)
BH (Boko Haram)
ISIS-DRC (ISIS-Democratic Republic of the Congo)
ISIS-GS (ISIS-in the Greater Sahara)
ISIS-WA (ISIS-West Africa)
JNIM (Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin)
Ansaru (Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan)
AS (Al-Shabaab)
AQIM (Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb)

ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group)
AUM (Aum Shinrikyo)
CPP/NPA (Communist Party of Philippines/New People’s Army)
ISIS-P (ISIS-Philippines)
JAT (Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid)
JI (Jemaah Islamiya)

ETA (Basque Fatherland and Liberty)
CIRA (Continuity Irish Republican Army)
DHKP/C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front)
RS (Revolutionary Struggle)

AAB (Abdallah Azzam Brigades)
AAMB (Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade)
AAB (Al-Ashtar Brigades)
ANF (Al-Nusrah Front)
AQ (Al-Qa’ida)
AQAP (Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula)
AAI (Ansar al-Islam)
AAS-B (Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi)
AAS-D (Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah)
AAS-T (Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia)
AOI (Army of Islam)
AAH (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq)
AAA (Asbat al-Ansar)
IG (Gama’a al-Islamiyya)
HASM (Harakat Sawa’d Misr Harakat)
ISIS-SP (ISIS Sinai Province)
IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps)
ISIL-Libya (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya)
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)
JRTN (Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi)
KC (Kahane Chai)
KH (Kata’ib Hizballah)
PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)
MSC (Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem)
PIJ (Palestine Islamic Jihad)
PLF (Palestine Liberation Front–Abu Abbas Faction)
PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine)
PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command)

AQIS (Al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent)
HQN (Haqqani Network)
HUJI (Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami)
HUJI-B (Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh)
HUM (Harakat ul-Mujahideen)
HM (Hizbul Mujahideen)
IM (Indian Mujahedeen)
IJU (Islamic Jihad Union)
IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan)
ISIS-K (ISIS Khorasan)
JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed)
Jaysh al-Adl
LeT (Lashkar e-Tayyiba)
LJ (Lashkar i Jhangvi)
LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)
TTP (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan)

ELN (National Liberation Army)
FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army)
Segunda Marquetalia
SL (Shining Path)


Ansar al-Dine

Aka Ansar Dine; Ansar al-Din; Ancar Dine; Ansar ul-Din; Ansar  Eddine; Defenders of the Faith

Description:  The Mali-based group Ansar al-Dine (AAD) was designated as an FTO on March 22, 2013.  AAD was created in 2011 after its leader Iyad ag Ghali failed in his attempt to take over another secular Tuareg organization.  Following the 2012 coup that toppled the Malian government, AAD was among the organizations (which also included al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM] and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa) to take over northern Mali, destroy UNESCO World Heritage sites, and enforce a severe interpretation of Sharia on the civilian population living in the areas under its control.

Beginning in 2013, French and allied African forces conducted operations in northern Mali to counter AAD and other terrorist groups, eventually forcing AAD and its allies out of the population centers it had seized.  Ghali, however, remained free and appeared in AAD videos in 2015 and 2016 threatening France and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

In 2017 the Sahara Branch of AQIM, AAD, al-Murabitoun, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

Activities:  In 2012, AAD received backing from AQIM in its fight against the Government of Mali, including for its capture of the Malian towns of Agulhok, Gao, Kidal, Tessalit, and Timbuktu.  In 2013, AAD members were reportedly among the Tuareg rebels responsible for killing 82 Malian soldiers and kidnapping 30 others in an attack against Agulhok.  Before the French intervention in 2013, Malian citizens in towns under AAD’s control allegedly faced harassment, torture, and death if they refused to comply with the group’s laws.

AAD was severely weakened by the 2013 French intervention, but it increased its activities between 2015 and 2017, conducting multiple attacks against UN, French, and Malian forces.

AAD did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Mali

Funding and External Aid:  AAD cooperates closely with and has received support from AQIM since its inception.  AAD is also said to receive funds from foreign donors and through smuggling operations.

Boko Haram

Aka Nigerian Taliban; Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad; Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna  Lidda’awati wal-Jihad; People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad; Sunni Group for Preaching and Jihad

Description:  Boko Haram (BH) was designated as an FTO on November 14, 2013.  The Nigeria-based group is responsible for numerous attacks in the northern and northeastern regions of the country as well as in the Lake Chad Basin in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger that have killed thousands of people since 2009.

In 2015, BH pledged allegiance to ISIS in an audiotape message.  ISIS accepted the pledge, and BH began calling itself ISIS-West Africa.  In 2016, ISIS announced that Abu Musab al-Barnawi was to replace Abubakar Shekau as the new leader of the group.  Infighting then led BH to split.  Shekau maintained a group of followers and affiliates concentrated primarily in the Sambisa Forest; this faction became known as BH, while al-Barnawi’s group separated and was designated as ISIS-West Africa.  On May 19, 2021, Shekau was reportedly killed during a clash with ISIS-West Africa.

Activities:  BH crosses porous Lake Chad-region borders to target civilians and military personnel in northeast Nigeria, the Far North Region of Cameroon, and parts of Chad and Niger.  The group continued to evade pressure from Lake Chad country forces, including through the regional Multinational Joint Task Force.

In 2014, BH kidnapped 276 female students from a secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.  BH has continued to abduct women and girls in the northern region of Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, some of whom are subjected to domestic servitude, other forms of forced labor, and sexual servitude, including through forced marriages to its members.

During 2017 and 2018, BH increased its forced abduction of women and girls and ordered them to carry out suicide attacks on civilians.  During 2019, BH reportedly killed at least 275 people, mostly civilians, and displaced thousands in the Far North Region of Cameroon.

In 2020, suspected BH fighters attacked trucks carrying passengers along a military checkpoint in Nigeria, killing at least 30 people; killed at least 92 Chadian soldiers in Boma, Chad; attacked villages in northeast Nigeria and killing hundreds of people; and claimed responsibility for the abduction of more than 330 students from an all-boys school in Nigeria’s northern Katsina State.

In February 2021, suspected Boko Haram militants launched rocket-propelled grenades into densely populated areas from the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing at least 10 people.  In August, hundreds of Boko Haram fighters attacked a military post in southern Niger, killing at least 16 soldiers and wounding at least nine others.

Strength:  BH is estimated to have several thousand fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria

Funding and External Aid:  BH largely self-finances through criminal activities such as looting, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and bank robberies.

ISIS-Democratic Republic of the Congo

Aka ISIS-DRC; Allied Democratic Forces, Madina at Tauheed Wau Mujahedeen; City of Monotheism and Holy Warriors; Islamic State Central Africa Province; Wilayat Central Africa; Wilayah Central Africa Media Office; Wilayat Wasat Ifriqiyah; ISIS-Central Africa

Description:  ISIS-Democratic Republic of the Congo (ISIS-DRC) was designated as an FTO on March 11, 2021.  ISIS-DRC is responsible for many attacks across North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in eastern DRC.  Under the leadership of Seka Musa Baluku, ISIS-DRC has been notorious in this region for its brutal violence against Congolese citizens and regional military forces.

Activities:  In 2020, ISIS-DRC attacked the villages of Kamwiri, Kitsimba, and Lisasa in Beni, North Kivu Province, killing 21 people, abducting 20 others, and desecrating the Catholic Church in Lisasa.  Also in 2020, ISIS-DRC launched an attack on Kangbayi Central Prison in Beni, freeing 1,337 detainees.

In 2021, ISIS-DRC attacked displacement camps near the towns of Boga and Tchabi in Ituri Province, killing 57 people and abducting 25 others.  Also in 2021, ISIS-DRC conducted simultaneous suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, that killed three people and wounded 33 others.

Strength:  ISIS-DRC was assessed in 2019 to have at least 400 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Democratic Republic of the Congo

Funding and External Aid:  Although ISIS-DRC’s sources of funding remain largely unknown, the group probably does receive some support from ISIS.  The group has seized weapons and ammunition from the Congolese military.

ISIS in the Greater Sahara

Aka ISIS-GS; Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS); Islamic State of the Greater Sahel; ISIS in the Greater Sahel; ISIS in the Islamic Sahel

Description:  ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) was designated as an FTO on May 23, 2018.  ISIS-GS emerged when leader Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi and his followers split from al-Murabitoun.  Al-Sahrawi first pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015, which was acknowledged by ISIS in 2016.

Activities:  In 2017, ISIS-GS claimed responsibility for an attack on a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol in the region of Tongo Tongo, Niger, which killed four U.S. soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers.  In 2018, ISIS-GS was reportedly involved in numerous skirmishes and attacks in Mali and Niger, including ones that targeted French troops and civilians.  In 2019, ISIS-GS attacked a Malian military base, killing 54 soldiers.

In 2020, ISIS-GS militants attacked a Nigerien military base on the border between Niger and Mali, killing 89 soldiers, and were suspected of killing 6 French NGO workers, their Nigerien guide, and 1 other Nigerien citizen near Niamey, Niger.

In 2021, French forces killed the leader of ISIS-GS, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, in a strike in southern Mali.  Also in 2021, ISIS-GS claimed to have kidnapped and killed five Christian civilians at a roadblock between Gao and Niamey, Niger.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.


Aka Ansar al-Sunna; Helpers of Tradition; Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamaa; Adherents to the Traditions and the Community; al-Shabaab in Mozambique; Islamic State Central Africa province; Wilayah Central Africa; Ansaar Kalimat Allah; Supporters of the Word of Allah

Description:  ISIS-Mozambique reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS as early as April 2018, and was acknowledged by ISIS as an affiliate in 2019.  Since 2017, ISIS-Mozambique, led by Abu Yasir Hassan, has killed more than 1,300 civilians, and it is estimated that more than 2,300 civilians, security force members, and suspected ISIS-Mozambique militants have been killed since the terrorist group began its violent extremist insurgency.

Activities:  In 2020, ISIS-Mozambique launched a series of large-scale attacks that resulted in the capture of the strategic port of Mocimboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado Province (CDP) and killed at least 55 soldiers.  In 2021, ISIS-Mozambique attacked the town of Palma for four days, killing dozens of local civilians and foreign expatriate workers and looting about $1 million from banks.  Also in 2021, ISIS-Mozambique attacked three villages in Quissanga District, CDP, killing 17 civilians.

Strength:  ISIS-Mozambique is estimated to have up to 800 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Mozambique

Funding and External Aid:  Although sources of funding remain unclear, the group has targeted banks in previous operations.  The area’s natural resources — including gas, gems, timber, and wildlife — present opportunities for fund-raising.  In addition, the group has taken control of food supplies in areas under its control and has captured weapons from government security forces.

ISIS-West Africa 

Aka Islamic State West Africa Province; ISISWAP; Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-West Africa; ISIL-WA; Islamic State of Iraq and Syria West Africa Province; ISIS West Africa Province; ISIS West Africa; ISIS-WA

Description:  ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) was designated as an FTO on February 28, 2018.  In 2015 a faction of Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS in an audiotape message.  ISIS accepted the group’s pledge, and the group began calling itself ISIS-West Africa.  In 2016, ISIS announced that Abu Musab al-Barnawi was to become the new leader of ISIS-WA.

Activities:  ISIS-WA has been responsible for numerous attacks in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region since 2016.

In 2019, ISIS-WA attacked the convoy of the then-governor of Borno State as it drove from the capital of Maiduguri to a town near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, killing as many as 10 people.  In 2019, ISIS-WA claimed responsibility for two attacks in western Niger, ambushing Niger Army soldiers in Tongo Tongo, resulting in 28 deaths, while also attacking Niger security forces near the Koutoukalé prison that killed 1 soldier.

In 2019, ISIS-WA fighters launched an attack against a military base near Baga in the Lake Chad area, killing 20 Nigerian and five Chadian soldiers.  Also in 2019, ISIS-WA attacked a convoy of Action Against Hunger (AAH) and Nigerian health ministry employees in northeastern Nigeria.  One AAH driver was killed during the attack, while five persons were taken hostage; ISIS-WA claimed to have killed four of the hostages by year’s end.  Later that year, ISIS-WA released a video showing the execution of 11 reported Christians and claimed the killings were revenge for the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In 2020, ISIS-WA attacked the convoy of the Borno State governor in northeastern Nigeria, killing 15 security personnel.  Also in 2020, ISIS-WA claimed responsibility for two attacks in the Monguno and Nganzai areas in northeastern Nigeria, killing 20 soldiers and 40 civilians.  ISIS-WA also claimed responsibility for raiding a village in the Gubio area, killing 81 people.  Later that year, ISIS-WA fighters kidnapped a humanitarian aid worker and two local officials at a checkpoint in the village of Wakilti in Borno State.

In 2021, ISIS-WA fighters launched an attack on a military base near the town of Ajiri in Borno State, killing 5 soldiers, 15 JTF militia members, and 10 civilians, and was responsible for killing a Nigerian Army general and three soldiers during an attack on the local government area Askira Uba in Borno State.

Strength:  ISIS-WA has an estimated 3,500 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Nigeria and the greater Lake Chad region

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS-WA receives funding from local sources, the capture of military supplies, taxes, and kidnapping-for-ransom payments.

Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin

Aka Jamaat Nosrat al-Islam wal-Mouslimin; Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims; Group to Support Islam and Muslims; GSIM; GNIM; Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen

Description:  Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) was designated as an FTO on September 6, 2018.  JNIM has described itself as al-Qa’ida’s official branch in Mali and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks and kidnappings since its 2017 formation.  That year the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form JNIM.  JNIM is led by Iyad ag Ghali.  Multiple JNIM senior leaders have been killed in recent years, including JNIM’s former second in command, Ali Maychou, in 2019, senior JNIM commander Bah Ag Moussa in 2020, and senior leader Abdallaye Ag Albaka in 2021.

Activities:  In 2017, JNIM carried out an attack at a resort frequented by westerners outside of Bamako, Mali, and was responsible for the large-scale coordinated attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 2018.

In 2018, JNIM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack against an African Defeat-ISIS Coalition base in Mali that killed at least 6 persons and a truck bomb in a residential complex in Gao, killing 3 and injuring 30.  In 2019, JNIM claimed responsibility for an attack against a UN base in northern Mali, killing 10 Chadian Peacekeepers and wounding 25 others; an assault on a Malian military base, killing 11 soldiers; and a landmine under a passenger bus in central Mali, killing 14 civilians and injuring another 24.

In 2020, JNIM claimed responsibility for an attack against a Malian military camp near the border with Mauritania that killed 20 members of Mali’s security forces and wounded 5 others and a March raid on a Malian Army base in the northern town of Tarkint that killed at least 29 soldiers and wounded 5 others.

In 2021, JNIM claimed responsibility for numerous attacks including an April attack on a UN Peacekeeper camp in northern Mali that killed four Chadian Peacekeepers and wounded 34 others; an October complex IED attack in central Mali that killed 16 Malian soldiers and wounded 11 others; and multiple smaller attacks on Malian soldiers throughout the year.  JNIM also claimed responsibility for the April abduction of a French reporter working in Mali.

Strength:  JNIM is estimated to have between 1,000 and 2,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Niger

Funding and External Aid:  JNIM receives funding through kidnapping for ransom and extortion and from smugglers and traffickers who pay a tax in exchange for permission and safe transit through JNIM-controlled trafficking routes in Mali.

Jama’atu Ansarul Muslima Fi Biladis-Sudan

Aka Ansaru; Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan; Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa; JAMBS; Jama’atu Ansaril Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan

Description:  Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru) was designated as an FTO on November 14, 2013.  Ansaru publicly splintered from Boko Haram in 2012.  Since its inception, Ansaru has targeted civilians, including westerners, and Nigerian government and security officials.  Ansaru purportedly aims to defend Muslims throughout Africa by fighting against the Nigerian government and international interests.  Ansaru claims to identify with Boko Haram’s objectives and struggle, but it has criticized the group for killing fellow Muslims.

Activities: In 2012, Ansaru kidnapped a French engineer allegedly in response to French involvement in Mali.  In 2013, Ansaru kidnapped and subsequently killed seven international construction workers.

In 2016 the Nigerian Army announced the capture of Ansaru leader Khalid al-Barnawi.  In 2020, Ansaru claimed responsibility for attacking the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum in northern Nigeria, killing at least 30 Nigerian soldiers.  Ansaru did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown; however, given its narrower scope of operations, Ansaru’s membership is estimated to be much smaller than that of Boko Haram.

Location/Area of Operation:  Nigeria

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.


Aka al-Mulathamun Battalion; al-Mulathamun Brigade; al-Muwaqqi’un bil-Dima; Those Signed in Blood Battalion; Signatories in Blood; Those Who Sign in Blood; Witnesses in Blood; Signed-in-Blood Battalion; Masked Men Brigade; Khaled Abu al-Abbas Brigade; al-Mulathamun Masked Ones Brigade; the Sentinels

Description:  Al-Murabitoun was designated as an FTO on December 19, 2013, originally under the name al-Mulathamun Battalion.  Al-Murabitoun was originally part of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) but became a separate organization in 2012 after its leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, split from AQIM.  After the split, Belmokhtar threatened to fight against western interests and announced the creation of the al-Mulathamun Battalion.  In 2013 the al-Mulathamun Battalion and the Mali-based Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (known as MUJAO) announced that the two organizations would merge under the name “al-Murabitoun.”  In 2015, al-Murabitoun announced a re-merger with AQIM.  In 2017 the Sahara Branch of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Ansar al-Dine, and the Macina Liberation Front came together to form Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

Activities:  In 2013, what is now known as al-Murabitoun claimed responsibility for the attack against the Tiguentourine gas facility near In Amenas, in southeastern Algeria.  More than 800 people were taken hostage during the four-day siege, resulting in the deaths of 39 civilians, including 3 U.S. citizens.

In 2013, al-Murabitoun participated in twin suicide bombings on a northern Nigerien military base and a French uranium mine in Arlit, Niger.  The coordinated attacks killed more than 20 people, including all the attackers.

In 2015, al-Murabitoun claimed responsibility for an attack at La Terrasse restaurant in Bamako, Mali, that killed a French national, a Belgian national, and three Malians.  Al-Murabitoun also claimed responsibility for the 2015 hotel siege in central Mali that killed 17 people.  Also in 2015, al-Murabitoun operatives participated in the strike against the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, taking more than 170 people hostage — including U.S. citizens.  At least 26 people were killed in the attack, among them a U.S. international development worker.

Al-Murabitoun was reportedly involved in the 2016 AQIM attack on a  hotel in Burkina Faso that killed nearly 30, including a U.S. citizen.  In addition, al-Murabitoun claimed responsibility for a 2017 suicide car bombing at a military camp in Mali that killed more than 47 people and injured more than 115.  In 2018, al-Murabitoun was involved in fighting against French forces in Mali.  Al-Murabitoun did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, and Niger

Funding and External Aid:  In addition to the support it may receive through its connections to other terrorist organizations in the region, al-Murabitoun is likely funded through kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities.


Aka Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin; al-Shabab; Shabaab; Youth Wing; Mujahidin al-Shabaab Movement; Mujahideen Youth Movement; Mujahidin Youth Movement; al-Hijra; al Hijra; Muslim Youth Center; the Youth; MYC MYM; Pumwani Muslim Youth; Pumwani Islamist Muslim Youth Center; Hizbul Shabaab; Hisb’ul Shabaab; al-Shabaab al-Islamiya; al-Shabaab al-Islaam; al-Shabaab al-Jihaad; the Unity of Islamic Youth; Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujaahidiin; Harakatul-Shabaab al Mujaahidiin; Mujaahidiin Youth Movement

Description:  Al-Shabaab was designated as an FTO on March 18, 2008.  Al-Shabaab was the militant wing of the former Somali Islamic Courts Council that took over parts of southern Somalia during the second half of 2006.  Since the end of 2006, al-Shabaab and associated militias have engaged in violent insurgency using guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics against the transitional governments of Somalia.

Al-Shabaab is an official al-Qa’ida (AQ) affiliate and has ties to other AQ affiliates, including al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb.  The group’s leader is Ahmed Diriye, aka Ahmed Umar, aka Abu Ubaidah.

Composed of Somali recruits and foreign terrorist fighters, Al-Shabaab since 2011 has seen its military capacity reduced owing to the efforts of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali forces and to clashes within the group itself.  Despite al-Shabaab’s loss of urban centers since 2012, the group has maintained its hold on large sections of rural areas throughout Somalia and has conducted attacks in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Djibouti.

Activities:  Al-Shabaab has used intimidation and violence to exploit divisions in Somalia and undermine the Somali government, recruit new fighters, extort funding from local populations, and kill activists working to bring about peace through political dialogue.  The group has claimed responsibility for several high-profile bombings and shootings throughout Somalia targeting AMISOM troops and Somali officials.  Al-Shabaab has assassinated numerous civil society figures, government officials, journalists, international aid workers, and members of non-governmental organizations.

In 2010, Al-Shabaab was responsible for suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda — its first attacks outside of Somalia.  The attacks, which took place during the World Cup, killed 76 people, including a U.S. citizen.  In 2013, al-Shabaab staged a significant attack against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.  The multiday siege resulted in the deaths of at least 65 civilians, including foreign nationals from 13 countries as well as 6 soldiers and police officers.  Hundreds of others were injured.  In 2015, al-Shabaab carried out a raid with small arms and grenades on Kenya’s Garissa University College that killed 148 people.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest attacks against AMISOM troops in Somalia in 2016.  Using a VBIED and small arms fire, al-Shabaab assembled against a Kenyan AMISOM base and killed more than 100 soldiers.  Also, that year, al-Shabaab attempted to down Daallo Airlines Flight 159 with 74 passengers on board, but only the suicide bomber was killed in the explosion.

In 2017, al-Shabaab is believed to have conducted a double truck bombing in a Mogadishu intersection with heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic that killed more than 500 people and injured 300 others.

Al-Shabaab was involved in more than 1,000 violent events in Somalia and eastern Kenya in 2019.  In 2020, al-Shabaab fighters attacked the United States Armed Forces’ Camp Simba in Manda Bay, killing 3 U.S. citizens;  attacked a Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) convoy with small arms and grenades in Mandera County, Kenya, killing 1; detonated a car bomb at the gates of the Elite Hotel in Mogadishu, starting a four-hour gun battle with security official that killed at least 16 people; and claimed responsibility for killing 24 Somali troops in the Afgooye District, northwest of Mogadishu.

In January a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a Turkish construction company in Mogadishu, killing at least 5 people and wounding at least 14 others.  In April, at least 7 persons were killed and more than 11 others were injured when an al-Shabaab vehicle exploded outside of a police headquarters in Somalia’s capital city.  In August, al-Shabaab fighters stormed a military base and recaptured the town of Amara, which it had lost to government forces earlier that month.  In September, al-Shabaab detonated a car bomb at a Presidential Palace checkpoint in Mogadishu, killing at least eight persons.  In November, al-Shabaab was responsible for a large explosion outside a school in Mogadishu that killed at least eight people, including students.

Strength:  Al-Shabaab is estimated to have between 7,000 and 9,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda

Funding and External Aid:  Al-Shabaab receives enough income to launch attacks throughout Somalia, including against AMISOM bases and other civilian targets.  Al-Shabaab obtains funds through illegal charcoal production and exports, “taxation” of local populations and businesses, and by means of remittances and other money transfers from the Somali diaspora (although these funds are not always intended to support al-Shabaab members).

al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb

Aka AQIM; GSPC; Le Groupe Salafiste Pour la Predication et le Combat; Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat; Salafist Group for Call and Combat; Tanzim al-Qa’ida fi Bilad al-Maghrib al-Islamiya

Description:  The Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) was designated as an FTO on March 27, 2002.  The Department of State amended the GSPC designation in 2008, after the GSPC officially joined with al-Qa’ida in 2006 and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) became the primary name of the group.  Although AQIM remains largely a regionally focused terrorist group, it has adopted a more anti-western rhetoric and ideology.  The group aspires to overthrow “apostate” African regimes and create an Islamic state.  Following the death of AQIM leader Abdelmalek Droukdel, who was killed in 2020 by French forces, the group chose Abu Obaida Yusuf al-Annabi as Droukdel’s successor.

Activities:  Following AQIM’s 2007 bombing of the UN headquarters building and an Algerian government building in Algiers, which killed 60 people, AQIM’s northern leadership was contained to northeastern Algeria, while the group’s southern battalions focused mostly on kidnapping-for-ransom efforts.  In 2011 and 2012, however, AQIM took advantage of the deteriorating security situation across Libya, Mali, and Tunisia to expand its operations.  Terrorists with ties to AQIM were involved in the 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff members.  In 2014, AQIM killed 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush east of Algiers.

In 2015, AQIM claimed responsibility for multiple attacks on UN personnel in Mali that killed and wounded UN Peacekeepers, and, in cooperation with other terrorist groups, attacked the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, taking more than 170 hostages, including U.S. citizens.  As many as 27 people were killed, among them a U.S. international development worker.

In 2016, AQIM carried out an attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso that killed 28 people and injured 56 others.  Also in 2016, AQIM claimed responsibility for a strike on a popular tourist beach resort in Côte d’Ivoire that killed more than 16 people and wounded another 33.  In 2017, AQIM conducted a suicide attack that left more than 50 people dead in Gao, Mali.  In 2018, AQIM claimed responsibility for a vehicle suicide attack on an army patrol in Gao that killed 4 civilians and wounded 31 others, including 4 French soldiers.

In 2019, AQIM claimed responsibility for an attack on a UN camp in northern Mali, killing 10 Peacekeepers and wounding 25 others.  In 2020, AQIM engaged in clashes with Algerian security forces during sweeping operations in which AQIM primarily used IEDs and small arms.

AQIM did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  AQIM has an estimated 1,000 fighters operating in the Sahel, including Algeria, northern Mali, southwest Libya, and Niger.

Location/Area of Operation:  Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali, Niger, and Tunisia

Funding and External Aid:  AQIM members engage in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities to finance their operations.  AQIM also successfully fundraises globally and receives limited financial and logistical assistance from supporters residing in Western Europe.


Abu Sayyaf Group

Aka al Harakat al Islamiyya (the Islamic Movement)

Description:  The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  ASG split from the Moro National Liberation Front in the early 1990s and is one of the most violent terrorist groups in the Philippines.  The group claims to promote an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, and elements of the group have ties to ISIS’s regional affiliate, ISIS-Philippines.

Activities:  ASG has committed kidnappings for ransom, bombings, ambushes of security personnel, public beheadings, assassinations, and extortion.

Throughout 2015, ASG was responsible for multiple attacks, kidnappings, and the killing of hostages.  In 2016 and 2017 the group conducted kidnapping-for-ransom operations targeting Canadian, Filipino, German, and Norwegian citizens.  In 2017, ASG members killed nine persons and injured others in an attack on Basilan Island.  In 2018, ASG detonated a car bomb at a military checkpoint on Basilan Island, killing 10 people, including a Philippine soldier and pro-government militiamen.

In 2019, ASG militants attacked Philippine soldiers on Jolo, resulting in the deaths of two children.  That same year, ASG kidnapped two British nationals from a beach resort in the Zamboanga Peninsula region, but they were recovered on Jolo during the following month.  In August 2020, ASG killed more than a dozen persons and injured over 70 in twin suicide bomb attacks in Sulu province.

In 2021, Philippine authorities arrested several ASG members, including an ASG member involved in the abduction of two Canadians who were killed in 2016, an ASG bomb expert linked to the 2019 Jolo cathedral bombings, as well as an ASG member involved in a 2001 kidnapping on Basilan.

Strength:  ASG is estimated to have hundreds of members.

Location/Area of Operation:  The Philippines and Malaysia

Funding and External Aid:  ASG is funded primarily through its kidnapping-for-ransom operations and extortion.  The group may also receive funding from external sources, including remittances from overseas Filipino workers and Middle East-based sympathizers.  In the past, ASG also has received training and other assistance from regional terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiya.

Aum Shinrikyo

Aka A.I.C. Comprehensive Research Institute; A.I.C. Sogo Kenkyusho; Aleph; Aum Supreme Truth

Description:  Aum Shinrikyo (AUM) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  It was established in 1987 by leader Shoko Asahara and gained legal status in Japan as a religious entity in 1989.  The Japanese government revoked its recognition of AUM as a religious organization following the group’s deadly 1995 sarin attack in Tokyo.  Despite claims that the group has renounced violence and Asahara’s teachings, concerns remain regarding its continued adherence to the violence.  The group now consists of two factions, both of which have recruited new members, engaged in commercial enterprises, and acquired property.

Activities:  In 1995, AUM members released the chemical nerve agent sarin on several Tokyo subway trains simultaneously, killing 13 people and causing up to 6,000 othersto seek medical treatment.  Subsequent investigations by the Japanese government revealed that AUM was responsible for other chemical incidents in Japan in 1994, including a sarin attack on a residential neighborhood in Matsumoto that killed 7 persons and injured about 500 others.  Japanese police arrested Asahara in 1995; in 2004, authorities sentenced him to death for his role in the 1995 attacks.

In 2000, Russian authorities arrested a group of Russian AUM followers who planned to detonate bombs in Japan as part of an operation to free Asahara from prison.  In 2012 a Japan Airlines flight to the United States turned back after receiving a bomb threat demanding Asahara’s release.

In 2016, Montenegro expelled 58 people associated with AUM found holding a conference at a hotel in Danilovgrad.  One month later, Russian authorities carried out raids on 25 AUM properties and opened a criminal investigation into an AUM cell.  In 2017, Japanese police raided the offices of a “successor” group to AUM.  In 2018, AUM leader Shoko Asahara was executed.  AUM did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  AUM is estimated to have around 1,500 followers.

Location/Area of Operation:  Japan and Russia

Funding and External Aid:  AUM’s funding comes primarily from member contributions and group-run businesses.

Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army

Aka CPP/NPA; Communist Party of the Philippines; CPP; New People’s Army; NPA; NPP/CPP

Description:  The Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA) was designated as an FTO on August 9, 2002.  The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) — the New People’s Army (NPA) — is a Maoist group formed in 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the government through protracted guerrilla warfare.  NPA’s founder, Jose Maria Sison, reportedly directs CPP/NPA activity from the Netherlands, where he lives in self-imposed exile.  Luis Jalandoni, a fellow Central Committee member and director of the CPP’s overt political wing, the National Democratic Front, also lives in the Netherlands.  Although primarily a rural-based guerrilla group, the CPP/NPA has an active urban infrastructure to support its terrorist activities and, at times, has used city-based assassination squads.

Activities:  The CPP/NPA primarily targets Philippine security forces, government officials, local infrastructure, and businesses that refuse to pay extortion, or “revolutionary taxes.”  The CPP/NPA also has a history of attacking U.S. interests in the Philippines.  In 1987, for example, the group killed three U.S. soldiers in four separate attacks in Angeles.  In 1989 the CPP/NPA issued a press statement claiming responsibility for the ambush and murder of Col. James Nicholas Rowe, chief of the Ground Forces Division of the Joint U.S.-Military Advisory Group.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, several attempts were made to establish a cease-fire and peace deal between the CPP/NPA and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Peace efforts ended in 2017 after reported violations from both sides, including reports of the CPP/NPA’s continued recruitment in the Philippines and attacks against government forces and civilians.

Over the past several years, the CPP/NPA has continued to carry out killings, raids, kidnappings, acts of extortion, and other forms of violence primarily directed against Philippine security forces.  In 2018, CPP/NPA members used an antipersonnel mine to attack a military patrol in the city of Catarman.  The attack killed four soldiers and two civilians.  In 2019, CPP/NPA detonated bombs using an improvised land mine in a surprise early morning attack clash on Samar Island, killing six Philippine troops.

In January the CPP/NPA announced the revival of its urban hit squads to target officials whom it alleged had committed “crimes against the public.”

Strength:  The Philippine government estimates that the CPP/NPA has about 4,000 members.  The group also retains a significant amount of support from communities in rural areas of the Philippines.

Location/Area of Operation:  Philippines

Funding and External Aid:  The CPP/NPA raises funds through extortion and theft.


Aka ISIS in the Philippines; ISIL Philippines; ISIL in the Philippines; IS Philippines; ISP; Islamic State in the Philippines; Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in South-east Asia; Dawlatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik, DIWM; Dawlatul Islamiyyah Waliyatul Mashriq; IS East Asia Division; ISIS Branch in the Philippines; ISIS’ “Philippines province”

Description:  ISIS-Philippines (ISIS-P) was designated as an FTO on February 28, 2018.  In 2014, militants in the Philippines pledged allegiance to ISIS in support of ISIS’s efforts in the region under the command of now-deceased leader Isnilon Hapilon.  Some Abu Sayyaf Group factions have been reported to interact and coordinate with ISIS-P, including participating in attacks that are sometimes claimed by ISIS.

Activities: In 2016, ISIS-P claimed responsibility for an attack on Basilan Island, which killed one solider and injured another.  In 2017, ISIS-P participated in five months of fighting in Marawi that claimed more than 1,000 lives and forced more than 300,000 residents to flee the area.  In 2018, ISIS-P claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a military checkpoint in Basilan that killed at least 11 people.

In 2019, ISIS-P claimed responsibility for the Jolo cathedral bombing in Sulu, a complex suicide attack carried out by an Indonesian couple during mass, killing 23 people and wounding more than 100 others.

In 2021, ISIS-P claimed responsibility for several attacks carried out by ISIS-P, including a September ambush on Basilan Island that killed two Philippian soldiers and a November bomb blast on an electrical tower in Maguing, Lanao del Sur.

Strength:  ISIS-P is estimated to have a small cadre of fighters in the southern Philippines, but exact numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Philippines

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS-P receives some financial assistance from ISIS-core but relies mostly on criminal activities such as kidnappings for ransom and extortion.  It maintains training camps in remote areas under its control and acquires weapons through smuggling and captured or black market purchases of Philippine military arms.  It is estimated to have a few dozen foreign fighters (mostly Indonesians and some Malaysians) who tend to assume key responsibilities such as financial and communications/media facilitators, bomb makers, trainers, and attack planners/perpetrators.  ISIS-P receives some media support from ISIS-core.

Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid

Aka JAT; Jemmah Ansharut Tauhid; Jem’mah Ansharut Tauhid; Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid; Jama’ah Ansharut Tauhid; Laskar 99

Description:  Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT) was designated as an FTO on March 13, 2012.  Formed in 2008, the Indonesia-based group seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in Indonesia and has carried out numerous attacks on Indonesian government personnel, police, military, and civilians.  In 2011, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, the founder and leader of JAT, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in organizing a militant training camp in Aceh.  Ba’asyir is also the co-founder and former leader of Jemaah Islamiya (JI).  JAT maintains ties to JI and other terrorist groups in Southeast Asia.

Activities:  JAT has conducted multiple attacks targeting civilians and Indonesian officials, resulting in the deaths of numerous Indonesian police and innocent civilians.  In 2012, four police officers were killed and two wounded in an attack by suspected local JAT members in central Sulawesi.  Since Abu Bakar Ba’asyir’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS in 2014, many JAT members have joined Indonesia’s ISIS-affiliated groups, while others have joined al-Qa’ida-affiliated groups.  Although JAT did not claim responsibility for any attacks between 2016 and 2021, JAT members are believed to have been involved in ISIS operations in Southeast Asia.

Strength:  JAT is estimated to have several thousand supporters and members.  Internal disagreements over aligning with ISIS have likely reduced its membership.

Location/Area of Operation:  Indonesia

Funding and External Aid:  JAT raises funds through membership donations and legitimate business activities.  JAT also has conducted cyber hacking, robbed banks, and carried out other illicit activities to fund the purchase of assault weapons, ammunition, explosives, and bomb making materials.

Jemaah Islamiya

Aka Jemaa Islamiya; Jema’a Islamiyah; Jemaa Islamiyya; Jema’a Islamiyya; Jemaa

Islamiyyah; Jema’a Islamiyyah; Jemaah Islamiah; Jemaah Islamiyah; Jema’ah Islamiyah; Jemaah Islamiyyah; Jema’ah Islamiyyah; JI

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 23, 2002, Jemaah Islamiya (JI) is a Southeast Asia-based terrorist group co-founded by Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir.  The group seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region.  More than 400 JI operatives have been captured or killed since 2002.    In January 2021, Abu Bakar Bashir, the group’s former leader at the time of his arrest in 2002, was released from prison after serving more than two thirds of a 15-year sentence for helping establish a terrorist training camp.

Activities:  Significant JI attacks include the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people, among them 7 U.S. citizens; the 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta; the 2004 bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta; and the 2005 suicide bombing in Bali, which killed 26 people.

In 2009 a JI faction claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta that killed 7 persons and injured more than 50, including 7 U.S. citizens.  In 2015, 44 policemen and 3 civilians were killed during a raid targeting 2 JI members in Mamasapano on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

In 2019, Indonesian authorities arrested several JI members, including its emir Para Wijayanto.  Indonesian police said that between 2013 and 2018, under Wijayanto’s leadership, JI sent at least six groups to Syria for military training or to participate in the fighting.  In 2020, Indonesian authorities arrested a JI leader, Aris Sumarsono, who is suspected of being involved in the making of bombs used in the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta.

In December 2021, Indonesian authorities sentenced JI member Taufiq Bulaga to life in prison after finding him guilty for his role in making bombs for a 2005 Bali bombing.  JI did not claim responsibility for any attacks between 2016 and 2021.

Strength:  Estimates of JI membership vary from 500 to several thousand members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines

Funding and External Aid:  JI raises funds through membership donations, criminal actions, and business activities.  The group has received financial, ideological, and logistical support from Middle Eastern contacts and illegitimate charities and organizations.


Basque Fatherland and Liberty

Aka ETA; Askatasuna; Batasuna; Ekin; Euskal Herritarrok; Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna; Herri Batasuna; Jarrai-Haika-Segi; K.A.S.; XAKI; Epanastatiki Pirines; Popular Revolutionary Struggle

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) was founded in 1959 with the aim of establishing an independent homeland based on Marxist principles in the Spanish Basque provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa, and Viscaya; the autonomous region of Navarre; and the southwestern French territories of Labourd, Lower Navarre, and Soule.

Activities:  ETA primarily has conducted bombings and assassinations against Spanish government officials, businesspersons, politicians, judicial figures, and security and military forces; however, the group also has targeted journalists and major tourist areas.  ETA is responsible for killing more than 800 civilians and members of the armed forces and police, as well as injuring thousands, since it formally began its campaign of violence in 1968.

In 2006, ETA exploded a massive car bomb, destroying much of the covered parking garage at Madrid-Barajas International Airport.  The group marked its 50th anniversary in 2009 with a series of high-profile and deadly bombings, including an attack on a Civil Guard barracks that injured more than 60 people, including children.

ETA has not conducted any attacks since it announced a “definitive cessation of armed activity” in 2011.

In 2016, authorities seized ETA weapons, including a cache found in a forest north of Paris, and captured the top ETA leader.  In 2017, ETA reported that it had relinquished its last weapons caches.  In 2018, ETA released a letter announcing the dissolution of its organizational structures.  In a 2019 mass trial, a Spanish court accepted a plea deal for 47 ETA members to avoid prison sentences for membership in the group.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Spain and France

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Continuity Irish Republican Army

Aka CIRA; Continuity Army Council; Continuity IRA; Republican Sinn Fein

Description:  Designated as an FTO on July 13, 2004, the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) is a terrorist splinter group that became operational in 1986 as the clandestine armed wing of Republican Sinn Fein, following its split from Sinn Fein.  “Continuity” refers to the group’s belief that it is carrying on the original goal of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), to force the British out of Northern Ireland.  CIRA cooperates with the Real IRA (RIRA).

Activities:  CIRA has been active in Belfast and the border areas of Northern Ireland, where it has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, extortion operations, and robberies.  On occasion, it has provided advance warning to police of its attacks.  Targets have included the British military, Northern Ireland security forces, and Loyalist paramilitary groups.

In 2019, CIRA members conducted an attack on the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), setting off a bomb near the border of North Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  Also in 2019, CIRA claimed responsibility for a grenade attack in west Belfast on a PSNI vehicle.  In 2020, CIRA claimed responsibility for attaching an IED to a truck destined for an unknown location in England; CIRA had allegedly planned for the bomb to go off on the day the United Kingdom left the European Union.  In March 2021, CIRA claimed responsibility for an attack on a police station in Fermanagh County, Northern Ireland.

Strength:  CIRA’s membership is small, with possibly fewer than 50 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland

Funding and External Aid:  CIRA supports its activities through criminal activities, including smuggling.

Real IRA

Aka RIRA; Real Irish Republican Army; 32 County Sovereignty Committee; 32 County Sovereignty Movement; Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association; Real Oglaigh Na Heireann

Description:  The Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) was designated as an FTO on May 16, 2001.  The group was formed in 1997 as the clandestine armed wing of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, a “political pressure group” dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and unifying Ireland.  The RIRA has historically sought to disrupt the Northern Ireland peace process and did not participate in the 2005 weapons decommissioning.  Despite internal rifts and calls by some jailed members (including the group’s founder Michael “Mickey” McKevitt) for a cease-fire and disbandment, the RIRA has pledged additional violence and continued to conduct attacks.  Many RIRA members are former Provisional Irish Republican Army members who left the organization after the group renewed its cease-fire in 1997.  These members brought extensive experience in terrorist tactics and bomb making to the group.

Activities:  Targets have included civilians (the most notorious example is the Omagh bombing in 1998), British security forces, and police officers in Northern Ireland.  The Independent Monitoring Commission, which oversees the peace process, assessed that RIRA likely was responsible for most of the attacks that occurred after the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was decommissioned in Northern Ireland.

In 2015, Irish police carried out 20 searches aimed at known dissident republicans across Ireland.  Six individuals with links to the RIRA and the Continuity Irish Republican Army were arrested after police discovered explosive devices.  In 2016 the RIRA bombed the van of an Irish prison officer in east Belfast; the officer died from complications following the attack.  Dublin police also linked the RIRA to a cache of explosives found in Dublin in 2016.  In 2017, RIRA gunmen fired at police officers in north Belfast, injuring one officer.

Strength:  The Irish government reports that the RIRA has roughly 100 active members.  The organization may receive limited support from IRA hardliners and sympathizers who are dissatisfied with the IRA’s cease-fire and with Sinn Fein’s involvement in the peace process.

Location/Area of Operation:  United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland

Funding and External Aid:  RIRA receives funds from money laundering, smuggling, and other criminal activities, is suspected of receiving funds from sympathizers in the United States, and has attempted to buy weapons from gun dealers in the United States and the Balkans.

Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front

Aka DHKP/C; Dev Sol; Dev Sol Armed Revolutionary Units; Dev Sol Silahli Devrimci Birlikleri; Dev Sol SDB; Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi; Devrimci Sol; Revolutionary Left

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) was formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol, or Dev Sol, a splinter faction of Dev Genc (Revolutionary Youth).  It was renamed in 1994 after factional infighting.  “Party” refers to the group’s political activities, and “Front” alludes to the group’s militant operations.  The group advocates a Marxist-Leninist ideology and opposes the United States, NATO, and the Turkish establishment.  It strives to establish a socialist state and to abolish Turkish prisons.

Activities:  Since the late 1980s the group primarily has targeted current and retired Turkish security and military officials.  In 1990 the group began conducting attacks against foreign interests, including U.S. military and diplomatic personnel and facilities.  The DHKP/C assassinated two U.S. military contractors, wounded a U.S. Air Force officer, and bombed more than 20 U.S. and NATO military, diplomatic, commercial, and cultural facilities.  In 2001 the DHKP/C began conducting its first suicide bombing attacks against Turkish police.  Since the end of 2001, DHKP/C has typically used IEDs against official Turkish and U.S. targets.

The DHKP/C was responsible for many high-profile attacks in 2012, including the suicide bombing of a police station in Istanbul.  In 2013 a DHKP/C operative exploded a suicide vest inside the employee entrance to Embassy Ankara, killing a Turkish guard and seriously wounding a Turkish journalist.  In 2013, three members of the group attacked the Ministry of Justice and the Ankara headquarters of the Turkish Justice and Development political party, using grenades and rocket launchers.

In 2015 the DHKP/C claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed one police officer and wounded another.  That year, Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz was taken hostage and died from multiple gunshot wounds inflicted by the DHKP/C after police attempted to rescue him.  Also that year, two women opened fire on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul; one woman was identified as a member of the DHKP/C.

In 2019, two individuals linked to the DHKP/C were arrested by Turkish security forces after they had entered the Turkish Parliament and taken a staff member hostage.

In 2020, Turkish security forces launched a nationwide operation across 12 provinces, arresting 93 individuals linked to the DHKP/C.  Although DHKP/C did not claim any attacks in 2021, Turkish security forces arrested dozens of individuals suspected of being linked to DHKP/C.

Strength:  The DHKP/C is estimated to have several dozen members inside Türkiye, with a support network throughout Europe.

Location/Area of Operation:  Türkiye and Europe

Funding and External Aid:  The DHKP/C finances its activities chiefly through donations and extortion.  The group raises funds primarily in Europe.

Revolutionary Struggle

AkaEpanastatikos Aghonas

Description:  Designated as an FTO on May 18, 2009, Revolutionary Struggle (RS) is a radical Marxist violent extremist group that has conducted attacks against both Greek and U.S. targets in Greece.  RS emerged in 2003 following the arrests of members of two other Greek Marxist groups:  17 November and the Revolutionary People’s Struggle.

Activities:  RS first gained notoriety when it claimed responsibility for 2003 bombings at the Athens Courthouse during the trials of 17 November members.  From 2004 to 2006, RS carried out IED attacks that included a 2004 attack outside a Citibank office in Athens.  RS claimed responsibility for the 2007 rocket-propelled grenade attack on Embassy Athens, which damaged the building, and the 2009 bombing of a Citibank branch in Athens.

The Greek government has made significant strides in curtailing the group’s terrorist activity.  In 2010, Greek police arrested six suspected RS members, including purported leader Nikos Maziotis, who later escaped.  In 2013, five RS members were convicted by an Athens appeals court, three of them receiving maximum prison sentences.  Maziotis and another accused RS conspirator, Paula Roupa, were convicted in absentia.  Before Maziotis’s recapture, RS conducted a bomb attack outside a Bank of Greece office in Athens in 2014; the blast caused extensive damage to surrounding structures but no casualties.

In 2016 a Greek court sentenced Maziotis to life in prison plus 129 years.  In 2017, Roupa was arrested by Greek police in Athens and later sentenced to life and 25 years’ imprisonment.  RS did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Greece

Funding and External Aid:  RS’s sources of funding are unknown, but the group most likely supports itself by means of criminal activities, including bank robbery.


Abdallah Azzam Brigades

Also known as (aka) Abdullah Azzam Brigades; Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Yusuf al-’Uyayri Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades; Marwan Hadid Brigades; Marwan Hadid Brigade

Description:  Designated as an FTO on May 30, 2012, the Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB) formally announced its establishment in a 2009 video statement claiming responsibility for a rocket attack against Israel earlier that year.  The Lebanon-based group’s full name is Ziyad al-Jarrah Battalions of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, named after Lebanese citizen Ziad al-Jarrah, one of the planners of and participants in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Activities:  After its initial formation, AAB relied primarily on rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.  It is responsible for numerous rockets fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon, often targeting population centers.

In 2013, AAB began targeting Hizballah for the organization’s involvement in the Syrian conflict and support for Syrian regime forces.  That year, AAB claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed 23 people and wounded more than 140.  In 2014, AAB claimed twin suicide bomb attacks against the Iranian cultural center in Beirut that killed four people.  Also, that year, AAB was blamed for a suicide bombing in the Beirut neighborhood of Tayyouneh that killed a security officer and wounded 25 people.

In 2015 the group released photos of a training camp for its “Marwan Hadid Brigade” camp in Syria, likely located in Homs province.  From 2016 through 2018, AAB continued its involvement in the Syrian conflict and was active in Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.  In 2017, AAB called for jihad by Muslims against the United States and Israel after the U.S. announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

AAB announced its dissolution in Syria in 2019 and did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Lebanon

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

al-Ashtar Brigades

Aka Saraya al-Ashtar; AAB

Description:  Al-Ashtar Brigades (AAB)was designated as an FTO on July 11, 2018.  AAB is an Iran-backed terrorist organization established in 2013 with the goal of violently overthrowing the ruling family in Bahrain.  In 2018, AAB formally adopted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps branding and reaffirmed its loyalty to Tehran to reflect its role in an Iranian network of state and nonstate actors that operates against the United States and its allies in the region.

Activities:  Since 2013, AAB has claimed responsibility for more than 20 terrorist attacks against police and security targets in Bahrain.  In 2014, AAB conducted a bomb attack that killed two police officers and an officer from the United Arab Emirates.  In 2017, AAB shot and killed another local Bahraini officer.  AAB also has promoted violent activity against the British, Saudi Arabian, and U.S. governments over social media.  In 2019, AAB released a video statement promising more attacks in Bahrain to mark the anniversary of Bahrain’s Arab Uprising-inspired political uprising.

AAB did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Bahrain, Iran, and Iraq

Funding and External Aid:  AAB receives funding and support from the Government of Iran.

al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

Aka al-Aqsa Martyrs Battalion

Description:  Designated as an FTO on March 27, 2002, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) is composed of small cells of Fatah-affiliated activists who emerged at the outset of the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000.  AAMB strives to expel the Israeli military and settlers from the West Bank and establish a Palestinian state loyal to Fatah.

Activities:  During the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, AAMB primarily carried out small-arms attacks against Israeli military personnel and settlers.  By 2002 the group was striking at Israeli civilians inside Israel and claimed responsibility for the first female suicide bombing in the country.  In 2010 and 2011 the group launched numerous rocket attacks on Israeli communities.  In 2012, AAMB claimed that it had fired more than 500 rockets and missiles into Israel during an Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza.  In 2015, AAMB declared open war against Israel and asked Iran to help fund its efforts in a televised broadcast.

AAMB has claimed responsibility for multiple rocket attacks on Israel from the West Bank, including 2 rockets launched in 2017, 6 rockets launched in 2018, and at least 36 rockets launched in 2021.

Strength:  AAMB is estimated to have a few hundred members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  Iran has provided AAMB with funds and guidance, primarily through Hizballah facilitators.

Ansar al-Islam

Aka Ansar al-Sunna; Ansar al-Sunna Army; Devotees of Islam; Followers of Islam in Kurdistan; Helpers of Islam; Jaish Ansar al-Sunna; Jund al-Islam; Kurdish Taliban; Kurdistan Supporters of Islam; Partisans of Islam; Soldiers of God; Soldiers of Islam; Supporters of Islam in Kurdistan

Description:  Ansar al-Islam (AAI) was designated as an FTO on March 22, 2004.  AAI was established in 2001 in the Iraqi Kurdistan region through the merger of two Kurdish terrorist factions that traced their roots to the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan.  AAI seeks to expel western interests from Iraq and establish an independent Iraqi state based on its interpretation of Sharia.

Activities:  From 2003 to 2011, AAI conducted attacks against a wide range of targets including Iraqi government and security forces, and U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces.  The group also carried out numerous kidnappings, murders, and assassinations of Iraqi citizens and politicians.  In 2012, AAI claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Sons of Martyrs School in Damascus, which was occupied by Syrian security forces and pro-government militias; seven persons were wounded in the attack.

During 2014, part of AAI issued a statement pledging allegiance to ISIS, although later reports suggest that a faction of AAI opposed joining ISIS.  In 2019, AAI claimed its first attack in Iraq in five years, placing two IEDs in Iraq’s Diyala province.  AAI did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria

Funding and External Aid:  AAI receives assistance from a loose network of associates in Europe and the Middle East.

Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi

Aka Ansar al-Sharia in Libya; Ansar al-Shariah Brigade; Ansar al-Shari’a Brigade; Katibat  Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi; Ansar al-Shariah-Benghazi; Al-Raya Establishment for Media Production; Ansar al-Sharia; Soldiers of the Sharia; Ansar al-Shariah; Supporters of Islamic Law

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014, Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi (AAS-B) was created after the 2011 fall of the Qadhafi regime in Libya.  The group has been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets as well as the assassination and attempted assassination of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya.

Activities:  Members of AAS-B were involved in the 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya.  Four U.S. citizens were killed in the attack:  Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

Throughout 2016, AAS-B continued its fight against the “Libyan National Army” in Benghazi, resulting in the deaths of numerous Libyan security personnel and civilians.  Additionally, AAS-B controlled several terrorist training camps in Libya and trained members of other terrorist organizations operating in Iraq, Mali, and Syria.

In 2017, AAS-B announced its formal dissolution owing to suffering heavy losses, including the group’s senior leadership and defections to ISIS in Libya.  AAS-B did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Benghazi, Libya

Funding and External Aid:  AAS-B obtained funds from al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb as well as through charities, donations, and criminal activities.

Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah

Aka Supporters of Islamic Law; Ansar al-Sharia in Derna; Ansar al-Sharia in Libya; Ansar al-Sharia; Ansar al-Sharia Brigade in Darnah

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014, Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah (AAS-D) was created after the 2011 fall of the Qadhafi regime in Libya.  The group has been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets as well as the assassination and attempted assassination of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya.

Activities:  Members of AAS-D were involved in the 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya.  Four U.S. citizens were killed in the attack:  Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

Throughout 2013 and 2014, AAS-D was believed to have cooperated with Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi in multiple attacks and suicide bombings targeting Libyan security forces in that city.  In 2016, AAS-D continued fighting in and around Darnah.  Additionally, AAS-D maintained several terrorist training camps in Darnah and Jebel Akhdar, Libya, and trained members of other terrorist organizations operating in Iraq and Syria.

In 2018, there were unconfirmed reports that AAS-D was involved in clashes with the Libyan National Army.  AAS-D did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Darnah, Libya

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia

Aka Al-Qayrawan Media Foundation; Supporters of Islamic Law; Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia; Ansar al-Shari’ah; Ansar al-Shari’ah in Tunisia; Ansar al-Sharia

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014, Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T) was founded in 2011 by Seif Allah Ben Hassine.  AAS-T has been implicated in attacks against Tunisian security forces, assassinations of Tunisian political figures, and attempted suicide bombings of popular tourist locations.  AAS-T has also recruited Tunisians to fight in Syria.

Activities:  AAS-T was involved in the 2012 attack against Embassy Tunis and the American school in Tunis, which threatened the safety of more than 100 U.S. Embassy employees.  In 2013, AAS-T members were implicated in the assassination of Tunisian politicians Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.

Since 2016, Tunisian authorities have continued to confront and arrest AAS-T members.  AAS-T did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown

Location/Area of Operation:  Libya and Tunisia

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Army of Islam

Aka Jaysh al-Islam; Jaish al-Islam

Description:  Designated as an FTO on May 19, 2011, the Army of Islam (AOI), founded in late 2005, is a Gaza-based terrorist organization responsible for numerous terrorist acts against the Israeli and Egyptian governments and British, New Zealander, and U.S. citizens.  The group, led by Mumtaz Dughmush, subscribes to a violent Salafist ideology.

Note:  AOI is a separate and distinct group from the Syria-based Jaysh al-Islam, which is not a designated FTO.

Activities:  AOI is responsible for the 2006 and 2007 kidnappings of civilians, including a U.S. journalist.  AOI also carried out the 2009 attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis, Egypt, and planned the 2011 attack on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria that killed 25 persons and wounded 100.  In 2012, AOI announced that it had launched rocket attacks on Israel in a joint operation with the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem.  In 2013 an Israeli official reported that AOI leader Dughmush was running training camps in Gaza.

In 2015, AOI reportedly released a statement pledging allegiance to ISIS.  In a short post attributed to the group, AOI declared itself an inseparable part of ISIS-Sinai Province.  Since then, AOI has continued to express support for ISIS.  In 2017 the group released a video meant to encourage ISIS fighters defending Mosul.  In 2019, AOI shared another video praising ISIS that included training information for individuals to conduct suicide attacks.  In 2020, AOI published more than two dozen images of fighters conducting military training.  AOI did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt, Gaza, and Israel

Funding and External Aid:  AOI receives much of its funding from a variety of criminal activities in Gaza.

Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq

Aka: AAH; Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq min Al-Iraq; Asaib al Haq; Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haqq; League of the Righteous; Khazali Network; Khazali Special Group; Qazali Network; the People of the Cave; Khazali Special Groups Network; Al-Tayar al-Risali; the Missionary Current

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 10, 2020, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq  (AAH) — led by Qays and Laith al-Khazali — is an Iran-backed, militant organization.  AAH remains ideologically aligned with Iran and loyal to its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  The group seeks to promote Iran’s political and religious influence in Iraq, maintain Shia control over Iraq, and expel any remaining western military forces from the country.

Activities:  AAH has claimed responsibility for more than 6,000 attacks against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces since its creation in 2006.  The group has carried out highly sophisticated operations, including mortar attacks on an American base, the downing of a British helicopter, and an attack on the Karbala Provincial Headquarters that resulted in the capture and murder of five U.S. soldiers.

In 2019, two 107-mm rockets were fired at the Taji military training complex, where U.S. personnel provide divisional training.  Iraqi security forces arrested two individuals assessed to be members of AAH in connection with the attack.

Also in 2019, AAH members opened fire on a group of protestors trying to set fire to the group’s office in the city of Nasiriya, killing at least six.  In February 2021, AAH launched a major rocket attack on the U.S. base in Erbil, in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, followed by additional rocket attacks on Balad Air Base.

Strength:  AAH membership is estimated at 10,000.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq, Syria

Funding and External Aid: AAH receives funding, logistical support, training, and weapons from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Hizballah.  AAH also receives funding through illicit activities such as kidnapping for ransom, smuggling, and “taxing”/extortion of economic activities in areas where the group is dominant.

Asbat al-Ansar

Aka AAA; Band of Helpers; Band of Partisans; League of Partisans; League of the Followers; God’s Partisans; Gathering of Supporters; Partisan’s League; Esbat al-Ansar; Isbat al-Ansar; Osbat al-Ansar; Usbat al-Ansar; Usbat ul-Ansar

Description:  Designated as an FTO on March 27, 2002, Asbat al-Ansar (AAA) is a Lebanon-based Sunni terrorist group composed primarily of Palestinians that first emerged in the early 1990s.  Linked to al-Qa’ida and other Sunni terrorist groups, AAA aims to thwart perceived anti-Islamic and pro-western influences in the country.  AAA’s base is largely confined to Lebanon’s refugee camps.

Activities:  Throughout the mid-1990s, AAA assassinated Lebanese religious leaders and bombed nightclubs, theaters, and liquor stores.  The group also plotted against foreign diplomatic targets.  Between 2005 and 2011, AAA members traveled to Iraq to fight Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces.  AAA has been reluctant to involve itself in operations in Lebanon, in part because of concerns of losing its safe haven in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp.  The group remained active in Lebanon but did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  AAA membership is estimated in the low hundreds.

Location/Area of Operation:  AAA’s primary base of operations is the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

Funding and External Aid:  AAA likely receives money through international Sunni violent extremist networks.

Gama’a al-Islamiyya

Aka al-Gama’at; Egyptian al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya; GI; Islamic Gama’at; IG; Islamic Group

Description:  Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Formed in the 1970s, IG was once Egypt’s largest terrorist group.  The group’s external wing, composed mainly of exiled members residing in several countries, maintained that its primary goal was to replace the Egyptian government with an Islamist state.  IG’s spiritual leader Omar Abd al-Rahman, or the “blind Sheikh,” served a life sentence in a U.S. prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and died in prison in 2017.

Activities:  During the 1990s, IG conducted armed attacks against Egyptian security, other government officials, and Coptic Christians.  IG claimed responsibility for the 1995 attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The group also launched attacks on tourists in Egypt, most notably the 1997 Luxor attack.  In 1999, part of the group publicly renounced violence.  IG is not known to have committed a terrorist attack in recent years; the group did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.


Aka the Islamic Resistance Movement; Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya; Izz al-Din al Qassam Battalions; Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades; Izz al-Din al-Qassam Forces; Students of Ayyash; Student of the Engineer; Yahya Ayyash Units

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, Hamas was established in 1987 at the onset of the first Palestinian uprising, or First Intifada, as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The armed element, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has conducted anti-Israeli attacks, including suicide bombings against civilian targets inside Israel.  Hamas also manages a broad, mostly Gaza-based, network of Dawa or ministry activities that include charities, schools, clinics, youth camps, fundraising, and political activities.  After winning Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006, Hamas gained control of significant Palestinian Authority (PA) ministries in Gaza, including the Ministry of Interior.  In 2007, Hamas expelled the PA and Fatah from Gaza in a violent takeover.  In 2017 the group selected a new leader, Ismail Haniyeh, who is based in Gaza.  Hamas remained in de facto control in Gaza in 2021.

Activities:  Before 2005, Hamas conducted numerous anti-Israeli attacks, including suicide bombings, rocket launches, IED attacks, and shootings.  U.S. citizens have died and been injured in the group’s attacks.  In 2007, after Hamas took control of Gaza from the PA and Fatah, the Gaza borders were closed, and Hamas increased its use of tunnels to smuggle weapons into Gaza through the Sinai and maritime routes.  Hamas fought a 23-day war with Israel beginning in 2008 and concluding in 2009.

During 2012, Hamas fought another war with Israel during which it claims to have launched more than 1,400 rockets into Israel.  Despite the Egypt-mediated cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that year, operatives from Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad coordinated and carried out a bus bombing in Tel Aviv later that year that wounded 29 people.

On July 8, 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza with the intent of preventing rocket fire into Israel; the rocket fire from Gaza had increased following earlier Israeli military operations that targeted Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, including 16-year-old U.S.-Israeli citizen Naftali Fraenkel.  In 2016 a Hamas member carried out a suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem, killing 20 people.

Hamas was responsible for numerous rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli territory in 2018, 2019, and 2020.  In 2020 the Israeli military accused Hamas of being responsible for launching incendiary devices tied to balloons into Israel, causing more than 400 blazes in southern Israel.

In May 2021, Hamas fought an 11-day war with Israel in which it and other militant groups launched more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli cities.  In June the Israeli military accused Hamas of launching incendiary balloons that sparked 20 fires in fields across southern Israel.

Strength:  Hamas comprises several thousand Gaza-based operatives.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon

Funding and External Aid:  Hamas has received funding, weapons, and training from Iran and raises funds in Persian Gulf countries.  The group receives donations from some Palestinians and other expatriates as well as from its own charity organizations.

Harakat Sawa’d Misr

Aka HASM; Harakah Sawa’id Misr; Harikat Souaid Misr; HASM Movement; Hassam Movement; Arms of Egypt Movement; Movement of Egypt’s Arms; Movement of Egypt’s Forearms; Hassm; Hamms; Hassam; Hasam

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 14, 2021, Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM) was formed in Egypt in 2015.  With the goal of overthrowing the Egyptian government, HASM attacks Egyptian security officials and other government-affiliated targets.


In 2016, HASM claimed responsibility for an attack against police officers in Tameeya, Egypt, that killed two policemen and injured another.  Later that year, HASM also claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination of Egypt’s former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, as well as for an attack on a police checkpoint in Giza, killing six police personnel.

In 2017 the organization claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Egyptian security forces, including the assassination of Egyptian National Security Agency officer Ibrahim Azzazy, as well as for an attack on Burma’s embassy in Cairo.

In 2019, HASM claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack targeting security forces in Giza, killing or wounding 10 soldiers.  Later that year, HASM was held responsible for a car bombing on a government health institute in Cairo, killing at least 20 people and injuring dozens.  The Egyptian government blamed HASM, though the group denied responsibility.  HASM did not claim responsibility for any terrorist attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.


Aka Party of God; Islamic Jihad; Islamic Jihad Organization; Revolutionary Justice Organization; Organization of the Oppressed on Earth; Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine; Organization of Right Against Wrong; Ansar Allah; Followers of the Prophet Muhammed; Lebanese Hizballah; Lebanese Hezbollah; LH; Foreign Relations Department; FRD; External Security Organization; ESO; Foreign Action Unit; Hizballah ESO: Hizballah International; Special Operations Branch; External Services Organization; External Security Organization of Hezbollah

Description:  Hizballah was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Formed in 1982 following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Lebanon-based radical Shia group takes its ideological inspiration from the Iranian Revolution and the teachings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.  The group generally follows the religious guidance of the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.  Hizballah is closely allied with Iran, and the two often work together on shared initiatives, although Hizballah also occasionally acts independently.  Hizballah shares a close relationship with the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad and, like Iran, provides assistance — including fighters — to Syrian regime forces in the Syrian conflict.

Activities:  Hizballah is responsible for multiple large-scale terrorist attacks, including the 1983 suicide truck bombings of Embassy Beirut and the U.S. Marine barracks; the 1984 attack on the U.S. Embassy Beirut annex; and the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, during which U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem was murdered.  Hizballah was also implicated, along with Iran, in the 1992 attacks on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires.  Hizballah assisted Iraqi Shia militant and terrorist groups in Iraq, and in 2007 attacked the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center, killing five American soldiers.

In 2012, Hizballah was responsible for an attack on a passenger bus carrying 42 Israeli tourists at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria.  The explosion killed 5 Israelis and 1 Bulgarian and injured 32 others.  In 2013, Hizballah publicly admitted to playing a significant role in the ongoing conflict in Syria, rallying support for the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.  Hizballah’s support for Syria’s Assad regime continued into 2021.

In 2017, two Hizballah operatives were arrested in the United States.  One operative arrested in Michigan had identified the availability of explosives precursors in Panama in 2011 and surveilled U.S. and Israeli targets in Panama as well as the Panama Canal during 2011-12.  Another operative arrested in New York had surveilled U.S. military and law enforcement facilities from 2003 to 2017.

In 2018, Brazil arrested a Hizballah financier and extradited him to Paraguay for prosecution in 2020.  In 2019, Hizballah launched attacks directly on the Israeli military, firing antitank missiles targeting an army base and vehicles near the border.

In 2020, Hizballah fighters allegedly fired toward an Israel Defense Forces position in the Israeli town of Menara.  In 2020, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed the terrorist group had doubled the size of its Precision Guided Missiles arsenal.  Also in 2020, judges at the Netherlands-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon found Hizballah member Salim Ayyash guilty for his central role in the bomb attack in Beirut in 2005 that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.

In August 2021, Hizballah claimed responsibility for firing a barrage of rockets over Israel’s northern frontier near the Lebanese border.

Strength:  Hizballah has tens of thousands of supporters and members worldwide.

Location/Area of Operation:  Lebanon and Syria

Funding and External Aid:  Iran continues to provide Hizballah with most of its funding, training, weapons, and explosives, as well as political, diplomatic, monetary, and organizational aid.  Iran’s annual financial backing to Hizballah — which has been estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars annually— accounts for the overwhelming majority of the group’s annual budget.  The Assad regime in Syria has provided training, weapons, and diplomatic and political support.  Hizballah also receives funding in the form of private donations from some Lebanese Shia diaspora communities worldwide, including profits from legal and illegal businesses.  These include smuggling contraband goods, passport falsification, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and credit card, immigration, and bank fraud.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Aka IRGC; the Iranian Revolutionary Guards; IRG; the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution; AGIR; Pasdarn-e Enghelab-e Islami; Sepah-e Pasdaran Enghelab Islami; Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Eslami; Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami; Pasdaran-e Inqilab; Revolutionary Guards; Revolutionary Guard; Sepah; Pasdaran; Sepah Pasdaran; Islamic Revolutionary Corps; Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps; Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps; Islamic Revolutionary Guards; Iran’s Revolutionary Guards; Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution.

Description:  Designated as an FTO on April 15, 2019, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), part of Iran’s military, has played a central role in Iran’s use of terrorism as a key tool of Iranian statecraft since its inception.  The IRGC has been directly involved in terrorist plotting; its support for terrorism is foundational and institutional, and it has killed U.S. citizens.

The IRGC was founded in 1979 and since then has gained a substantial role in executing Iran’s foreign policy and wields control over vast segments of the economy.  The organization’s ties to nonstate armed groups in the region, such as Hizballah in Lebanon, help Iran compensate for its relatively weak conventional military forces.  Answering directly to the supreme leader, the IRGC is also influential in domestic politics, and many senior officials have passed through its ranks.

The organization is composed of five primary branches: the IRGC Ground Forces, the IRGC Air Force, IRGC Navy, the Basij, and the IRGC-QF.

Activities:  The IRGC — most prominently through its Qods Force (QF) — directs and carries out a global terrorist campaign.  The IRGC in 2011 plotted a brazen attack against the Saudi ambassador to the United States on American soil.  In 2012, IRGC-QF operatives were arrested in Türkiye and Kenya for plotting attacks.

An IRGC operative was convicted in 2017 of espionage for a foreign intelligence service; he had been surveilling a German-Israeli group.  In 2018, Germany uncovered 10 IRGC operatives involved in a terrorist plot in Germany.  In 2018 a U.S. federal court found Iran and the IRGC liable for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 U.S. citizens.  The QF is active in Syria in support of the Assad regime.

The IRGC is Iran’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorist groups abroad.  The IRGC continues to provide financial and other material support, training, technology transfer, advanced conventional weapons, guidance, or direction to a broad range of terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Kata’ib Hizballah, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat al-Nujaba in Iraq, al-Ashtar Brigades and Saraya al-Mukhtar in Bahrain, and other terrorist groups in Syria and around the Persian Gulf.  Iran also provides up to $100 million annually in combined support to Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

Strength:  The IRGC has upward of 125,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iran, Iraq, Syria, Europe, and the Gulf

Funding and External Aid:  The IRGC continues to engage in large-scale illicit financing schemes and money laundering to fund its malign activities.  In 2017 the IRGC engineered a plot to produce counterfeit currency by deceiving European suppliers to procure advanced printing machinery and other necessary materials.  It then printed counterfeit Yemeni bank notes, which were used to support its destabilizing activities in Yemen.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Aka al-Qa’ida in Iraq; al-Qa’ida Group of Jihad in Iraq; al-Qa’ida Group of Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida in Mesopotamia; al-Qa’ida in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida of Jihad in Iraq; al-Qa’ida of Jihad Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Qa’ida of the Jihad in the Land of the Two Rivers; al-Tawhid; Jam’at al-Tawhid Wa’al-Jihad; Tanzeem Qa’idat al Jihad/Bilad al Raafidaini; Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn; the Monotheism and Jihad Group; the Organization Base of Jihad/Country of the Two Rivers; the Organization Base of Jihad/Mesopotamia; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base in Iraq; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base in the Land of the Two Rivers; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base of Operations in Iraq; the Organization of al-Jihad’s Base of Operations in the Land of the Two Rivers; the Organization of Jihad’s Base in the Country of the Two Rivers; al-Zarqawi Network; Islamic State of Iraq; Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; ad-Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al-’Iraq wa-sh-Sham; Daesh; Dawla al Islamiya; Al-Furqan Establishment for Media Production; Islamic State; ISIL; ISIS; Amaq News Agency; Al Hayat Media Center; Al-Hayat Media Center; Al Hayat

Description:  Al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) was designated as an FTO on December 17, 2004.  In the 1990s, Jordanian militant Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi organized a terrorist group called al-Tawhid wal-Jihad to oppose the presence of U.S. and western military forces in the Middle East as well as the West’s support for, and the existence of, Israel.  In late 2004, Zarqawi joined al-Qa’ida (AQ) and pledged allegiance to Usama bin Laden.  At that time, his group became known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI).  Zarqawi led the group in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom to fight against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces until his death in 2006.

That year, AQI publicly renamed itself the Islamic State in Iraq.  In 2013, it adopted the moniker of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to express its regional ambitions as it expanded operations to include the Syrian conflict.  ISIS was led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who declared an Islamic caliphate in 2014, but he was killed in 2019.  In 2017 the U.S. military fighting with local Syrian allies announced the liberation of Raqqa, the self-declared capital of ISIS’s so-called caliphate.  Also in 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  In 2018 the Syrian Democratic Forces, with support from the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, began a final push to oust ISIS fighters from the lower Middle Euphrates River Valley in Syria.  The year 2019 marked the full territorial defeat of ISIS’s so-called caliphate; however, ISIS in Syria remains a serious threat.  The group benefits from instability, demonstrates intent to cause attacks abroad, and continues to inspire terrorist attacks around the world.

Activities:  ISIS has conducted numerous high-profile attacks, including IED attacks against U.S. military personnel and Iraqi infrastructure, videotaped beheadings of U.S. citizens, suicide bombings against both military and civilian targets, and rocket attacks.  ISIS perpetrated these attacks using foreign, Iraqi, and Syrian operatives.  In 2014, ISIS was responsible for most of the 12,000 Iraqi civilian deaths that year.  ISIS was heavily involved in the fighting in Syria and had participated in numerous kidnappings of civilians, including aid workers and journalists.  In 2015 and 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks in Iraq and Syria.  In 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility for a car bombing at a popular shopping center in Baghdad that killed nearly 300 people, making it the single deadliest bombing in Iraq’s capital city since 2003.

Since at least 2015, the group has integrated local children and children of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) into its forces and used them as executioners and suicide attackers.  ISIS has systematically prepared child soldiers in Iraq and Syria using its education and religious infrastructure as part of its training and recruitment of members.  Further, since 2015, ISIS has abducted, raped, and abused thousands of women and children, some as young as 8 years old.  Women and children were sold and enslaved, distributed to ISIS fighters as spoils of war, forced into marriage and domestic servitude, or subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

ISIS also directs, enables, and inspires individuals to conduct attacks on behalf of the group around the world, including in the United States and Europe.  In 2015, ISIS carried out a series of coordinated attacks in Paris, including at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall, killing about 130 people and injuring more than 350 others; 23-year-old U.S. citizen Nohemi Gonzalez was among the dead.  In 2016, ISIS directed two simultaneous attacks in Brussels, Belgium — one at the Zaventem Airport and the other at a metro station.  The attacks killed 32 people, including 4 U.S. citizens, and injured more than 250 people.  In 2016 a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS killed 49 individuals and injured 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Also in 2016, ISIS claimed an attack in which a terrorist driving a cargo truck attacked a crowd in Nice, France, during Bastille Day celebrations, resulting in 86 deaths, including 3 U.S. citizens.  Also in 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility for a truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured 48 others.

In 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge when a man drove his car into pedestrians and stabbed others, killing five people.  In 2017 a man who claimed to be a member of ISIS drove a truck into a crowded shopping center in Stockholm, killing five and injuring many more.  Also in 2017, ISIS claimed a suicide bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people outside of a live concert.

In 2018, ISIS attacked the city of Suweida and nearby towns and villages in southwestern Syria, conducting multiple suicide bombings and simultaneous raids in a brutal offensive, killing more than 200 people.

In 2019, ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a restaurant in Manbij, Syria, that killed 19 persons, including 4 Americans.  On Easter Sunday 2019, more than 250 people were killed in Sri Lanka when ISIS-inspired terrorists carried out coordinated suicide bombings at multiple churches and hotels.  Later that year, ISIS claimed responsibility for killing a U.S. service member while he was participating in a combat operation in Ninewa province, Iraq.  Also, that year, ISIS claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack near the London Bridge in which a man killed two persons and injured three others.

In January 2021, ISIS claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in a busy market in Tayaran Square in Baghdad that killed at least 32 people and wounded at least 110 more.  In July, ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in a busy market in a predominantly Shia neighborhood in east Baghdad, Iraq that killed 30 people and wounded at least 50 others.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights concluded that throughout 2021, ISIS also launched more than 342 terrorist attacks in Syria.

Strength:  Estimates suggest ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria number between 11,000 and 18,000, including several thousand FTFs.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria, with branches and networks around the world

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS received most of its funding from a variety of criminal activities in Iraq and Syria.  Criminal activities included extortion of civilian economies, smuggling oil, and robberies.  The organization also maintains stockpiles of as much as hundreds of millions of dollars scattered across Iraq and Syria it looted during its occupation of those countries in 2013 to 2019.  ISIS continues to rely on trusted courier networks and money services businesses to move its financial resources within and outside of Iraq and Syria.  The territorial defeat of ISIS that eliminated its control of territory in Syria in 2019 reduced ISIS’s ability to generate, hold, and transfer its financial assets.  Despite this, ISIS continues to generate revenue from criminal activities through its many clandestine networks in Iraq and Syria and provides significant financial support and guidance to its network of global branches and affiliates.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya 

Aka Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya; Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya; Wilayat Barqa; Wilayat Fezzan; Wilayat Tripolitania; Wilayat Tarablus; Wilayat al-Tarabulus

Description:  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya (ISIL-Libya) was designated as an FTO on May 20, 2016.  In 2014, then-ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dispatched a group of ISIS operatives from Syria to Libya to establish a branch of the terrorist group.  In 2014, several hundred operatives set up a base in Darnah.  The following month, Baghdadi formally established the branch after announcing he had accepted oaths of allegiance from fighters in Libya.

Activities:  Since becoming established, ISIL-Libya has carried out multiple attacks throughout Libya and threatened to expand ISIS’s presence into other countries in Africa.

In 2015, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli that killed eight persons, including a U.S. contractor.  In 2015, ISIL-Libya released a propaganda video showing the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who had been kidnapped from Sirte, Libya, in two separate incidents in 2014 and 2015.

In 2018, ISIL-Libya was responsible for an attack on Libya’s electoral commission headquarters in Tripoli that killed 14 people; a suicide attack on Libya’s National Oil Company headquarters that left 2 dead and 10 others wounded; an attack on a town in central Libya that resulted in 5 killed and 10 others kidnapped; and an attack on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that killed 3 persons.  In 2019, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on the Libyan National Army (LNA).

In 2020, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for three attacks on LNA forces at an LNA checkpoint in southern Libya and a separate VBIED attack targeting an LNA checkpoint in Taraghin.

In June, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a police checkpoint in the southern city of Sabhā, Libya, that killed at least two LNA personnel.  Later that month, ISIL-Libya claimed responsibility for activating an IED against an LNA patrol near the city of Fuqaha that killed two persons.

Strength:  ISIL-Libya is estimated to have 100 to 200 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Libya

Funding and External Aid:  ISIL-Libya’s funding comes from a variety of sources, including criminal activity, such as smuggling and extortion, and external funding.  The group also receives support from ISIS.

Islamic State-Sinai Province

Aka Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis; Ansar Jerusalem; Supporters of Jerusalem; Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes; Ansar Beit al-Maqdis; Islamic State-Sinai Province; Islamic State in the Sinai; Jamaat Ansar Beit al-Maqdis fi Sinaa; Sinai Province; Supporters of the Holy Place; the State of Sinai; Wilayat Sinai

Description:  Originally designated as an FTO on April 9, 2014, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM, as it was known then) rose to prominence in 2011 following the uprisings in Egypt.  In 2014, ABM officially declared allegiance to ISIS.  In 2015 the Department of State amended ABM’s designation to add the aliases ISIL Sinai Province and Islamic State-Sinai Province (ISIS-SP), among others.

Activities:  Before pledging allegiance to ISIS, ABM claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Israeli and Egyptian interests from 2012 through 2014, including attacks on Israeli economic and military assets, as well as attacks on the Egyptian military and tourist sectors.  From 2015 through 2020, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the bombing of a Russian passenger plane, the abduction and killing of a Croatian citizen, rockets launched at Israeli cities, attacks on Egyptian Christians, and numerous attacks against Egyptian military and security personnel.   In 2020, ISIS-SP increased its attacks against Sinai tribal members, including the killing of a 75-year-old tribal elder who was strapped to a pole with explosives detonated next to him and a suicide bombing that targeted a tribal family gathering, killing at least three persons.

In 2021, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Egyptian security forces and civilians.  In February, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for activating an IED against an Egyptian Army patrol south of the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, killing three Egyptian soldiers.  In April, ISIL-SP claimed responsibility for the execution of a Coptic Christian and two tribesmen they accused of collaborating with the Egyptian Army.  In December, ISIS-SP claimed responsibility for an IED attack that targeted a pro-government militia vehicle.

Strength:  ISIS-SP is estimated to have between 800 and 1,200 fighters in the Sinai Peninsula and affiliated cells in the Nile valley.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS-SP receives funding from external actors, including ISIS-core, and from smuggling.

Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi 

Aka Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order; Armed Men of the Naqshabandi Order; Naqshbandi Army; Naqshabandi Army; Men of the Army of al-Naqshbandia Way; Jaysh Rajal al-Tariqah al-Naqshbandia; JRTN; JRN; AMNO

Description:  Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) was designated as an FTO on September 30, 2015.  The group first announced insurgency operations against international forces in Iraq in 2006 in response to the execution of Saddam Hussein.  Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former vice president of Saddam Hussein’s Revolutionary Council, leads the group, which consists of former Baath Party officials, military personnel, and Sunni nationalists.  JRTN aims to overthrow the Government of Iraq, install a new Baathist regime, and end external influence in Baghdad.

Activities:  Between its founding in 2006 and the 2011 withdrawal of Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces from Iraq, JRTN claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on U.S. bases and forces.  JRTN also is known to have used VBIEDs against Iraqi government security forces.

In 2014, elements of JRTN joined military forces with ISIS in opposition to the Iraqi government.  JRTN played a major role in the capture of Mosul from Iraqi security forces in 2014.  However, fissures between ISIS and JRTN quickly emerged after ISIS’s advance in Baiji and Tikrit.  Although some elements of JRTN splintered off, most of the organization was subsumed by ISIS.  JRTN did not claim responsibility for any attacks between 2016 and 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq

Funding and External Aid:  JRTN has received funding from former regime members, major tribal figures in Iraq, and from Persian Gulf-based financiers of terrorism.

Kahane Chai

Aka American Friends of the United Yeshiva; American Friends of Yeshivat Rav Meir; Committee for the Safety of the Roads; Dikuy Bogdim; DOV; Forefront of the Idea; Friends of the Jewish Idea Yeshiva; Jewish Legion; Judea Police; Judean Congress; Kach; Kahane; Kahane Lives; Kahane Tzadak;;; Kfar Tapuah Fund; Koach; Meir’s Youth; New Kach Movement;; No’ar Meir; Repression of Traitors; State of Judea; Sword of David; the Committee Against Racism and Discrimination (CARD); the Hatikva Jewish Identity Center; the International Kahane Movement; the Jewish Idea Yeshiva; the Judean Legion; the Judean Voice; the Qomemiyut Movement; the Rabbi Meir David Kahane Memorial Fund; the Voice of Judea; the Way of the Torah; the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea; Yeshivat Harav Meir

Description:  Kahane Chai (KC) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Radical Israeli American Rabbi Meir Kahane founded Kach — the precursor to KC — with the aim of restoring Greater Israel (Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza) and expelling the Arabs who live there.  Its offshoot, Kahane Chai (translation: “Kahane Lives”), was founded by Meir Kahane’s son Binyamin, following his father’s 1990 assassination.  In 1994 the Israeli government banned both Kach and Kahane Chai, declaring them terrorist organizations.  The Cabinet’s decision was based on evidence, submitted by Israeli security services and police, that implicated the two groups in a series of unsolved murders of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  The banning followed the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinians in Hebron by a Kach activist.

Activities:  KC has harassed and threatened Arabs, especially Palestinians, and Israeli government officials and vowed revenge for the 2000 death of Binyamin Kahane and his wife.  The group is suspected of involvement in numerous low-level attacks dating to the start of the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.  KC was last linked to an attack in 2005, when one of its members killed four persons on a bus in Shfaram, Israel.

Strength:  KC’s core membership has been estimated to be fewer than 100.

Location/Area of Operation:  Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Funding and External Aid:  KC has received support from sympathizers in the United States and Europe.

Kata’ib Hizballah

Aka Hizballah Brigades; Hizballah Brigades in Iraq; Hizballah Brigades-Iraq; Kata’ib Hezbollah; Khata’ib Hezbollah; Khata’ib Hizballah; Khattab Hezballah; Hizballah Brigades-Iraq of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq; Islamic Resistance in Iraq; Kata’ib Hizballah Fi al-Iraq; Katibat Abu Fathel al-A’abas; Katibat Zayd Ebin Ali; Katibut Karbalah

Description:  Formed in 2006 as an anti-western Shia group, Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) was designated as an FTO on July 2, 2009.  Before the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, the group conducted attacks against U.S., Iraqi, and Defeat-ISIS Coalition targets in Iraq and threatened the lives of Iraqi politicians and civilians supporting the legitimate political process in Iraq.  KH is notable for its extensive use of media operations and propaganda, such as filming and releasing videos of attacks.  KH has ideological ties to and receives support from Iran.

Activities:  KH has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks since 2007, including IED attacks, rocket-propelled grenade attacks, and sniper operations.  In 2007, KH gained notoriety for its attacks against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces in Iraq.  In 2011, five U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad when KH assailants fired multiple rockets at a U.S. military base, Camp Victory.

In 2019, KH members stormed the Bahraini Embassy in Baghdad in protest of Bahrain’s hosting the United States’ Israel-Palestine conference.  In 2019, KH was reportedly involved in sniper operations against Iraqi protestors.  Later that year, KH was blamed for a rocket attack on K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk that killed one U.S. citizen.  A few days later, members of KH broke into the U.S. Embassy compound and participated in a violent attack against the facility, setting fires inside, which destroyed security checkpoints and reception rooms.

In 2020, KH reportedly launched rockets at Camp Taji, an American-controlled military base near Baghdad, killing 2 Americans and 1 British soldier, and wounding 14 others.

In 2021, KH remained active in Iraq and Syria and continued to conduct rocket and drone attacks against U.S. military forces and U.S. facilities.  KH is believed to be responsible for a March rocket attack on Ain al-Asad Air Base, an Iraqi air base that hosts U.S. soldiers.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria

Funding and External Aid:  KH depends heavily on support from Iran.

Kurdistan Workers’ Party

Aka the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress; the Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan; KADEK; Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan; the People’s Defense Force; Halu Mesru Savunma Kuvveti; Kurdistan People’s Congress; People’s Congress of Kurdistan; KONGRA-GEL

Description:  Founded by Abdullah Ocalan in 1978 as a Marxist-Leninist separatist organization, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The group, composed primarily of Turkish Kurds, launched a campaign of violence in 1984.  The PKK’s original goal was to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Türkiye.

Activities:  In the early 1990s, the PKK moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to engage in urban terrorism.  Anatolia became the scene of significant violence, with some estimates suggesting at least 40,000 casualties.  The PKK foreswore violence from 1999 until 2004, when its hardline militant wing took control and renounced the self-imposed cease-fire.  In 2009 the Turkish government and the PKK resumed peace negotiations, but talks broke down after the PKK carried out an attack in 2011 that killed 13 Turkish soldiers.  Between 2012 and midyear 2015, the Turkish government and the PKK resumed peace negotiations, but the negotiations ultimately broke down — owing partly to domestic political pressures and the conflict in Syria.

In 2016 the group claimed a VBIED strike against Şırnak Province police headquarters, which killed 11 people and wounded more than 70 others.  In 2017, Turkish officials blamed the PKK for a car bomb and shooting outside of a courthouse that killed two persons and an attack on a military convoy that killed more than 20 soldiers.

In 2018, numerous attacks by the PKK were reported against Türkiye’s security forces, including an attack claimed by the PKK against a Turkish Army base, which resulted in dozens of causalities.  Also in 2018, a roadside bomb struck a bus carrying workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, killing 7 persons and wounding 13 in Diyarbakir Province’s Kulp district.  The government blamed the PKK for the attack.

In 2019 the PKK was accused of assassinating a senior Turkish diplomat in Erbil, Iraq.  Later that year, the PKK attacked a Turkish military vehicle in Hakkâri province, killing two soldiers and wounding another.

In 2020 a PKK-claimed rocket attack on the Gürbulak Customs Gate with Iran killed two Turkish Customs officials.  That same year a PKK affiliate claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on a natural gas pipeline near the Turkish-Iranian border, taking the pipeline offline for months and PKK militants fired rockets at a Turkish military base in northern Iraq, killing two soldiers and wounding another.

In February the PKK was accused of killing 13 Turkish hostages in Iraq.

Strength:  The PKK is estimated to consist of 4,000 to 5,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Türkiye

Funding and External Aid:  The PKK receives financial support from the large Kurdish diaspora in Europe.

Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem

Aka MSC; Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem; Mujahideen Shura Council; Shura al-Mujahedin Fi Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis; Majlis Shura al-Mujahidin; Majlis Shura alMujahideen; Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin

Description:  The Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) was designated as an FTO on August 19, 2014.  The MSC is a consolidation of several Salafi terrorist groups based in Gaza that have claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Israel since the group’s founding in 2012.

Activities:  In 2013, MSC claimed responsibility for a rocket attack targeting the Israeli city of Eilat.  Previously, MSC claimed responsibility for the 2013 attack in which Gaza-based militants fired at least five rockets at Sderot, Israel, and the 2013 attack in which two rockets were fired at Eilat.  MSC did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  MSC is estimated to have several hundred fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

al-Nusrah Front

Aka Jabhat al-Nusrah; Jabhet al-Nusrah; the Victory Front; al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant; al-Nusrah Front in Lebanon; Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham min Mujahedi al-Sham fi Sahat al-Jihad; Support Front for the People of the Levant; Jabhat Fath al-Sham; Jabhat Fath al Sham; Jabhat Fatah al-Sham; Jabhat Fateh al-Sham; Front for the Conquest of Syria; the Front for Liberation of al Sham; Front for the Conquest of Syria/the Levant; Front for the Liberation of the Levant; Conquest of the Levant Front; Fatah al-Sham Front; Fateh al-Sham Front; Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham; Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham; Hayat Tahrir al-Sham; HTS; Assembly for the Liberation of Syria; Assembly for Liberation of the Levant; Liberation of al-Sham Commission; Liberation of the Levant Organization; Tahrir al-Sham; Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at

Description:  Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) was designated as an FTO on May 15, 2014, and is al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.  It is led by Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani.  The group was formed in 2011 when then-al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) — now ISIS — then-leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent al-Jawlani to Syria to organize terrorist cells.  In 2013 the group split from AQI and became an independent entity.  ANF’s stated goal is to oust Syria’s Assad regime and replace it with a Sunni Islamic state.  The group is concentrated in and controls a portion of territory in northwest Syria, where it is active as an opposition force and exerts varying degrees of influence over local governance and external plotting.

In 2017, ANF joined with four smaller Syrian factions and created Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as a vehicle to advance its position in the Syrian insurgency and further its own goals as al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.

Activities:  ANF has been active in operations against other factions in the Syrian conflict.  In 2016 the group carried out attacks in Aleppo and other parts of Syria controlled by the Syrian Army, killing both military officials and civilians.

Since 2017, ANF has continued to operate through HTS in pursuit of its objectives. In 2017 the group carried out multiple suicide bombings in Damascus, including suicide attacks using VBIEDs.  ANF took control of significant portions of Idlib from 2017 to 2019, exerting severe military pressure over other local groups such as Ahrar al-Sham and Nur ad-Din al-Zinki as it fought against the regime and continued plotting against U.S. and allied interests.

In 2019 the group suffered heavy casualties, estimated in the hundreds, from engagement with Russian-backed Syrian government forces.  Also that year, ANF bombed the Syrian town of Kafr Takharim, using heavy weaponry, and killing at least five persons.  In 2020 an ANF member threw a grenade and opened fire into a group of civilians in Idlib city, Syria, killing two persons and injuring others.

In 2021, ANF remained an active terrorist group in northwest Syria’s Idlib province.

Strength:  ANF has between 5,000 and 10,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Syria

Funding and External Aid:  ANF receives funding from a variety of sources, including kidnapping-for-ransom payments, taxes and fees on border crossings it controls, and donations from external Persian Gulf-based donors.  The group also generates revenue by collecting fees from commercial traffic entering and exiting Idlib.

Palestine Islamic Jihad

Aka PIJ; PIJ-Shaqaqi Faction; PIJ-Shallah Faction; Islamic Jihad of Palestine; Islamic Jihad in Palestine; Abu Ghunaym Squad of the Hizballah Bayt al-Maqdis; Al-Quds Squads; Al-Quds Brigades; Saraya al-Quds; Al-Awdah Brigades

Description:  Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Formed by militant Palestinians in Gaza during the 1970s, PIJ is committed to the destruction of Israel and to the creation of an Islamic state in historic Palestine, including present-day Israel.

Activities:  PIJ has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets.  Throughout 2014, PIJ operatives carried out attacks on Israeli buses in Tel Aviv.  That year, PIJ carried out a wave of rocket attacks into Israeli territory; up to 60 rockets may have reached Israel.

In 2015, Israeli forces blamed PIJ for firing a rocket that landed in Gan Yazne, a region close to the Gaza border.  Also that year, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed PIJ operatives in Syria fired four rockets at the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee.

Throughout 2016, PIJ continued to strike Israel, primarily through light arms fire directed at IDF patrols.  That year, Israeli authorities arrested PIJ operative Mahmoud Yusuf Hasin Abu Taha upon his entry into Israel from Gaza, interrupting a PIJ plot to abduct and kill an IDF soldier and carry out a mass-casualty attack on a reception hall in Beersheba.  PIJ claimed responsibility for launching rockets into Israel throughout 2018 and 2020.

In 2021, PIJ continued its attacks against Israeli civilians and military targets.  In May, PIJ joined Palestinian militants in launching more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel.  During this period, PIJ claimed responsibility for launching rockets, mortar shells, and rocket-propelled grenades against Israel.  In December, PIJ claimed responsibility for a shooting attack near Homesh at an Israeli vehicle that killed one person and wounded two others.

Strength: Estimates of PIJ’s membership range from about 1,000 to several thousand.

Location/Area of Operation:  Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  PIJ receives financial assistance and training primarily from Iran.  PIJ has partnered with Iran- and Syria-sponsored Hizballah to carry out joint operations.

Palestine Liberation Front — Abu Abbas Faction

Aka PLF; PLF-Abu Abbas; Palestine Liberation Front

Description:  The Palestinian Liberation Front-Abu Abbas Faction (PLF) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  In the late 1970s the PLF splintered from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.  It later split into pro-Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), pro-Syrian, and pro-Libyan factions.  The pro-PLO faction was led by Muhammad Zaydan (aka Abu Abbas) and was based in Baghdad before Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Activities:  The PLF was responsible for the 1985 attack on the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer.  Throughout the 1990s the PLF was suspected of supporting terrorism against Israel by other Palestinian groups.  In 2004, Abu Abbas died of natural causes while in U.S. custody in Iraq.  After not claiming an attack for 16 years, the PLF claimed responsibility for the 2008 assault against an Israeli military bus in Huwarah, Israel, and the shooting of an Israeli settler.  In 2010 the PLF claimed responsibility for an IED attack against an IDF patrol, which caused minor injuries to a soldier; another IED was discovered during a search of the area.  The PLF has not claimed responsibility for any attacks since 2016 but continues to maintain a strong presence in many refugee camps in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Aka PFLP; Halhul Gang; Halhul Squad; Palestinian Popular Resistance Forces; PPRF; Red Eagle Gang; Red Eagle Group; Red Eagles; Martyr Abu-Ali Mustafa Battalion

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash after splitting from the Arab Nationalist Movement.  The group earned a reputation for committing large-scale international attacks in the 1960s and 1970s, including airline hijackings that killed more than 20 U.S. citizens.

Activities:  The PFLP increased its operational activity during the Second Palestinian Intifada.  During that time the group assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001, carried out at least two suicide operations, and launched multiple joint operations with other Palestinian terrorist groups.

In 2014, two Palestinians reportedly affiliated with the PFLP entered a Jerusalem synagogue and attacked Israelis with guns, knives, and axes, killing 5 persons — including three U.S. citizens — and injuring 12.  A month later the PFLP claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks along the Lebanese-Israel border.

In 2017, three Palestinian militants launched an attack near East Jerusalem’s Old City, stabbing and killing an Israeli border security agent.  Two of the militants were PFLP members, although ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.  In 2019, IDF and Israeli Border Patrol forces arrested four PFLP members allegedly responsible for remotely detonating an IED in the West Bank, killing an Israeli teenager and seriously wounding two others.

In 2020, Israeli security forces in the West Bank arrested approximately 50 members of a PFLP cell believed to be behind a string of deadly attacks in the area and seized a large number of weapons and bomb making materials.

In April the PFLP’s Ali Mustapha Brigade claimed responsibility for firing 36 rockets at Israel.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of support are unknown.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command


Description:  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The PFLP-GC split from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1968, claiming it wanted to concentrate more on resistance and less on politics.  Ahmad Jibril, a former captain in the Syrian Army, led the PFLP-GC until his death in 2021 and was succeeded by Talal Naji.  The PFLP-GC has close ties to both Syria and Iran.

Activities:  The PFLP-GC carried out dozens of attacks in Europe and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s.  The organization was known for conducting cross-border attacks into Israel using unusual means, such as hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders.  Since the early 1990s the group has focused primarily on supporting Hizballah’s attacks against Israel, training members of other Palestinian terrorist groups, and smuggling weapons.  More recently the PFLP-GC has been implicated by Lebanese security officials in several rocket attacks against Israel.  In 2009 the group was responsible for wounding two civilians in an armed attack in Nahariyya, Israel.

In 2012 the PFLP-GC claimed responsibility for a bus bombing in Tel Aviv that injured 29 people, although 4 Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hamas operatives later were arrested for the attack.  In 2015 the PFLP-GC reportedly began fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria, while also receiving logistical and military aid from Hizballah and Iran.  Separately that year, the PFLP-GC took responsibility for rocket fire aimed at Israeli territory.  In that attack, at least three rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel and landed near Shlomi, a small town near the Lebanese frontier with Israel.

Although the PFLP-GC did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021, the group remained active in Syria.

Strength:  The PFLP-GC has several hundred members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza

Funding and External Aid:  The PFLP-GC receives safe haven and logistical and military support from Syria as well as financial support from Iran.


Aka al-Qa’eda; al Qaida, al Qaeda, Islamic Army; Islamic Salvation Foundation; the Base; the Group for the Preservation of the Holy Sites; the Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places; the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders; Usama Bin Laden Network; Usama Bin Laden Organization; al-Jihad; the Jihad Group; Egyptian al-Jihad; Egyptian Islamic Jihad; New Jihad; International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusades; Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Sites

Description:  Al-Qa’ida (AQ) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1999.  Established in 1988 the group helped finance, recruit, transport, and train fighters for the Afghan resistance against the former Soviet Union.  AQ strives to eliminate western influence from the Muslim world, topple “apostate” governments of Muslim countries, and establish a pan-Islamic caliphate governed by its own interpretation of Sharia that would ultimately be at the center of a new international order.  These goals remain essentially unchanged since the group’s 1996 public declaration of war against the United States.  AQ leaders issued a statement in 1998 under the banner of “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders,” saying it was the duty of all Muslims to kill U.S. citizens — civilian and military — and their allies everywhere.  AQ merged with al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) in 2001.  While numerous AQ leaders have been killed in recent years, including Usama bin Laden in 2011, AQ’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, remains at large.

Activities:  AQ conducted three bombings targeting U.S. troops in Aden, Yemen, in 1992 and claimed responsibility for shooting down U.S. helicopters and killing U.S. soldiers in Somalia in 1993.  AQ also carried out the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing up to 300 people and injuring more than 5,000.  In 2000, AQ conducted a suicide attack on the USS Cole in the port of Aden with an explosive-laden boat, killing 17 U.S. Navy sailors and injuring 39 others.

On September 11, 2001, 19 AQ members hijacked and crashed four U.S. commercial jets — two into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and the last into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Nearly 3,000 civilians, police, and first responders were killed.  The dead included U.S. and foreign citizens from at least 77 countries.

In a 2011 video, al-Zawahiri claimed AQ was behind the kidnapping of U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein in Pakistan.  Weinstein was held captive until his death in 2015.

In 2015, five senior AQ leaders were released from Iranian custody in exchange for an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen.  Of the five, Saif al Adel and Abu Mohammed al Masri are wanted for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

In 2016, al-Zawahiri publicly released two audio messages and one seven-page statement, condemning the Government of Saudi Arabia and its role in the Syrian conflict, encouraging AQ activity in Southeast Asia — especially Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines — and acknowledging support for its affiliate in Syria, al-Nusrah Front.

In 2017 a U.S. citizen was convicted in New York of charges related to abetting AQ’s 2009 attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan using two truck bombs.  The following month, al-Zawahiri released a video calling for jihadists around the world to conduct attacks against the United States.  Al-Zawahiri released multiple recordings and videos in 2018 in which he continued to call for jihad against the United States after the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In 2019 a man from Cleveland, Ohio, was arrested for allegedly making plans for an AQ-inspired bomb attack on the city’s downtown Independence Day parade.  Also in 2019, Zawahiri called for extremists in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to attack Indian forces and appealed to Muslims to attack U.S., European, Israeli, and Russian military targets in a video recording.

While AQ did not claim responsibility for any attacks, it remained active in 2021.

Strength:  In South Asia, AQ’s core has been seriously degraded.  The death or arrest of dozens of mid- and senior-level AQ operatives, including Usama bin Laden, has disrupted communication, financial support, facilitation nodes, and several terrorist plots.  AQ leaders oversee a network of affiliated groups.  Among them are al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Nusrah Front, al-Shabaab, al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and other terrorist groups, including the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad Union, Lashkar i Jhangvi, Harakat ul-Mujahideen, and Jemaah Islamiya.  Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Haqqani Network also have ties to AQ.  In addition, supporters and associates worldwide who are motivated by the group’s ideology may operate without direction from AQ central leadership.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and North Africa

Funding and External Aid:  AQ primarily depends on donations from likeminded supporters, and from individuals who believe that their money is supporting a humanitarian cause.  Some funds are diverted from Islamic charitable organizations.

al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula

Aka al-Qa’ida in the South Arabian Peninsula; al-Qa’ida in Yemen; al-Qa’ida of Jihad Organization in the Arabian Peninsula; al-Qa’ida Organization in the Arabian Peninsula; Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Jazirat al-Arab; AQAP; AQY; Ansar al-Shari’a; Ansar al-Sharia; Ansar al-Shariah, Ansar al Shariah, Partisans of Islamic Law, Sons of Abyan; Sons of Hadramawt; Sons of Hadramawt Committee; Civil Council of Hadramawt; and National Hadramawt Council

Description:  Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was designated as an FTO on January 19, 2010.  In 2009 the now-deceased leader of al-Qa’ida in Yemen, Nasir al-Wahishi, publicly announced that Yemeni and Saudi al-Qa’ida (AQ) operatives were working together under the banner of AQAP.  The announcement signaled the rebirth of an AQ franchise that previously carried out attacks in Saudi Arabia.  AQAP’s stated goals include establishing a caliphate and implementing Sharia in the Arabian Peninsula and the wider Middle East.

Activities:  AQAP has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against both local and foreign targets since its inception in 2009.  These include a 2009 attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan.  In 2010, AQAP claimed responsibility for a foiled plot to send explosive-laden packages to the United States on cargo planes.  In 2015, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people.  One of the brothers, who had traveled to Yemen in 2011 and met with now-deceased Anwar al-Aulaqi, claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of AQAP.

In 2017 a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in a raid against AQAP leaders in Yemen.  That same year, AQAP attacked a Yemeni Army camp, killing at least two soldiers.  In 2019, AQAP gunmen killed 19 soldiers in an attack on an army base in southern Yemen.  In 2020, AQAP released a video claiming “full responsibility” for Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani’s 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that killed three persons and injured eight others.

In 2021, AQAP claimed responsibility for several attacks throughout the year, including a March attack on a security forces checkpoint in Abyan province that killed eight soldiers and four civilians and a June kidnapping of six Yemen government security personnel.

Strength:  AQAP fighters are estimated to be in the low thousands.

Location/Area of Operation:  Yemen

Funding and External Aid:  AQAP’s funding has historically come from theft, robberies, oil and gas revenue, kidnap-for-ransom operations, and donations from likeminded supporters.


Haqqani Network


Description:  Designated as an FTO on September 19, 2012, the Haqqani Network (HQN) was formed in the late 1980s, around the time of the then-Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.  HQN’s founder Jalaluddin Haqqani established a relationship with Usama bin Laden in the mid-1980s and joined the Taliban in 1995.  After the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, Haqqani retreated to Pakistan where, under the leadership of his son Sirajuddin, HQN continued to direct and conduct terrorist activity in Afghanistan.  In 2015, Sirajuddin Haqqani was appointed deputy leader of the Taliban.  Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, Sirajuddin Haqqani was appointed as the Taliban’s so-called Minister of the Interior.

Activities:  Before the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition forces in 2021, HQN planned and carried out numerous significant kidnappings and attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Ghani administration officials, and civilian targets.  In 2011, HQN wounded 77 U.S. soldiers in a truck bombing in Maidan Wardak province and conducted a 19-hour attack on Embassy Kabul and International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul, killing 16 Afghans.  In 2012 an HQN suicide bomb attack against Forward Operating Base Salerno killed 2 U.S. soldiers and wounded more than 100 others.

In 2016, HQN was blamed for an attack in Kabul against a government security agency tasked with providing protection to senior government officials, killing 64 people and injuring more than 300.  In 2017, Afghan officials blamed HQN for a truck bomb that exploded in Kabul, killing more than 150 people.  Later that year, an American woman and her family were recovered after five years of HQN captivity.

HQN was believed to be responsible for a 2018 ambulance bombing in Kabul that killed more than 100 people.  Afghan officials blamed HQN for a 2018 attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that killed 22 persons, including Americans.  In 2019, HQN released two hostages, including a U.S. citizen, who had been kidnapped at gunpoint in 2016.

In 2020 the Ghani administration identified HQN as responsible for an attack on a military court in Paktika province killing at least five, as well as for a bombing in Kabul that killed three civilians.

Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August, several HQN leaders were appointed to positions in the so-called “interim government” announced by the Taliban.  In addition to Sirajuddin Haqqani’s role as the Taliban’s interior minister, Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani was appointed as the so-called Minister of Refugees.  In 2021, HQN did not claim responsibility for any terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.  Some HQN members probably have positions in the so-called Ministries of Interior and Defense.

Strength:  HQN is estimated to have between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  HQN is funded primarily from taxes on local commerce, extortion, smuggling, and other illicit activities and illicit business ventures.  In addition to the funding it receives as part of the broader Afghan Taliban, the group has received some funds from donors in Pakistan and the Persian Gulf region.

Harakat-ul Jihad-i-Islami

Aka HUJI; Movement of Islamic Holy War; Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami; Harkat-al-Jihad-ul Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad-e-Islami

Description:  Designated as an FTO on August 6, 2010, Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was formed in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight against the former Soviet Union.  Following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, the group redirected its efforts toward India.  HUJI seeks the annexation of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir into Pakistan and has supplied fighters to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

HUJI historically focused its activities on the Afghanistan-Pakistan front and was composed of Pakistani terrorists and veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war.  The group experienced internal splits, and a portion of the group has aligned with al-Qa’ida.

Activities:  HUJI claimed responsibility for the 2011 bombing of the New Delhi High Court, which left at least 11 persons dead and an estimated 76 wounded.  The group sent an email to the press stating that the bomb was intended to force India to repeal a death sentence of a HUJI member.  HUJI did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh

Aka HUJI-B; Harakat ul Jihad e Islami Bangladesh; Harkatul Jihad al Islam; Harkatul Jihad; Harakat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat ul Jihad al Islami; Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami; Harakat ul Jihad Islami Bangladesh; Islami Dawat-e-Kafela; IDEK

Description:  Designated as an FTO on March 5, 2008, Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) was formed in 1992 by a group of former Bangladeshi Afghan veterans seeking to establish Islamist rule in Bangladesh.  In 2005, Bangladeshi authorities banned the group.  HUJI-B leaders signed the 1998 Fatwa sponsored by Usama bin Laden that declared U.S. civilians legitimate targets.  HUJI-B has connections to al-Qa’ida and Pakistani terrorist groups advocating similar objectives, including HUJI and Lashkar e-Tayyiba.

Activities:  In 2008, three HUJI-B members, including HUJI-B leader Mufti Abdul Hannan, were convicted for the 2004 grenade attack that wounded the British high commissioner in Sylhet, Bangladesh.  In 2011, Bangladeshi authorities formally charged multiple suspects, including Hannan, with the killing of former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria in a 2005 grenade attack.  In 2013, Bangladeshi police arrested a group of terrorists, including HUJI-B members, who were preparing attacks on public gatherings and prominent individuals.

In 2017, Bangladeshi authorities executed HUJI-B leader Hannan and two associates for the 2004 grenade attack.  In 2019, Dhaka police arrested three HUJI-B operatives reportedly attempting to revive the group’s operations.  In 2020 and 2021, Bangladeshi courts continued to sentence members of HUJI-B to death for their involvement in HUJI-B attacks.

Strength:  HUJI-B leaders claim that up to 400 of its members are Afghan war veterans; its total membership is unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Bangladesh and India

Funding and External Aid:  HUJI-B funding comes from a variety of sources.  Several international NGOs may have funneled money to HUJI-B.

Harakat ul-Mujahideen

Aka HUM; Harakat ul-Ansar; HUA; Jamiat ul-Ansar; JUA; al-Faran; al-Hadid; al-Hadith; Harakat ul-Mujahidin; Ansar ul Ummah

Description:  Designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) seeks the annexation of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir into Pakistan.  In 2005, HUM’s long-time leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil stepped down and was replaced by Dr. Badr Munir.  HUM operated terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan until Defeat-ISIS Coalition air strikes destroyed them in 2001.  In 2003, HUM began using the name Jamiat ul-Ansar; Pakistan banned the group in 2003.

Activities:  HUM has conducted numerous operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as in India’s northeastern states.  In 1999, HUM hijacked an Indian airliner, which led to the release of Masood Azhar, an important leader who later founded Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).  India also released Ahmed Omar Sheikh as a result of the hijacking.  Sheikh was later convicted of the 2002 abduction and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.  HUM has conducted attacks targeting Indian interests including the late 2015 strikes in Handwor and Poonch, which resulted in the deaths of five Indian Army personnel.  HUM did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  After 2000 a significant portion of HUM’s membership defected to JeM, and only a small number of cadres are reported to still be active.

Location/Area of Operation:  HUM conducts operations primarily in Afghanistan and in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  It operates from Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir and in other cities in Pakistan.

Funding and External Aid:  HUM collects donations from wealthy donors in Pakistan.

Hizbul Mujahadeen

Aka HM; Hizb-ul-Mujahideen

Description:  Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was designated as an FTO on August 17, 2017.  The group was formed in 1989 and is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  HM is led by Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin, and officially supports the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian control and its accession to Pakistan, although some cadres are pro-independence.  The group concentrates its attacks on Indian security forces and politicians in Jammu and Kashmir and has conducted operations jointly with other Kashmiri militants.  HM is made up primarily of ethnic Kashmiris.

Activities:  HM has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.  In 2018, HM reportedly killed four police officers in Shopian district in Kashmir.  Also in 2018, HM claimed responsibility for abducting and killing three police officials in Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2019, Indian officials accused HM of being behind a grenade attack on a Jammu bus stand that killed a teenager and injured 32 other people.  That same year, two Indian soldiers were killed and six others injured when an alleged HM militant attacked their patrol with a VBIED.  HM was also suspected by police of having killed five Bengali laborers and a truck driver in 2019.  In 2020, three HM militants opened fire on Indian soldiers during a search operation in Jammu and Kashmir, killing one soldier.

In July a top HUM commander was killed in a gunfight with police after opening fire on security personnel accompanying him during a search operation at his hideout in Jammu and Kashmir.  In August, another two HUM members were killed after opening fire on security forces during a search operation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  The Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of support are unknown, but HM is suspected to receive some funding from sources in Pakistan as well as from local fundraising.

Indian Mujahedeen

Aka Indian Mujahedeen; Indian Mujahidin; Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISF-IM)

Description:  The Indian Mujahedeen (IM) was designated as an FTO on September 19, 2011.  The India-based terrorist group has been responsible for dozens of bomb attacks throughout India since 2005 and caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians.  IM maintains ties to other terrorist entities, including ISIS, Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Harakat ul-Jihad Islami.  IM’s stated goal is to carry out terrorist actions against Indians for their alleged oppression of Muslims.

Activities:  IM is known for carrying out multiple coordinated bombings in crowded areas to maximize terror and casualties.  In 2008, IM was responsible for 16 synchronized bomb blasts in crowded urban centers, including an attack in Delhi that killed 30 people and an attack at a local hospital in Ahmedabad that killed 38.  In 2010, IM bombed a popular German bakery frequented by tourists in Pune, India; 17 people were killed, and more than 60 people were injured in the attack.

In 2015 the arrest of three IM militants linked the group to the 2014 low-intensity blast near a restaurant in Bangalore that killed one woman and injured three other people.  The arrest also uncovered that the group planned to carry out attacks on India’s Republic Day and had provided explosives for attacks in other parts of the country.

In 2016, IM was increasingly linked to ISIS.  That year, six IM operatives were identified in an ISIS propaganda video threatening attacks on India.  A month later, it was reported that an IM cell linked to ISIS was plotting attacks on multiple targets in Hyderabad and had purchased chemicals to make high-grade explosives for the planned operations.  In 2017, Indian law enforcement uncovered the plans of an IM militant in custody to conduct attacks in India, including targeted killings and bombing a temple in Gaya.  IM did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  India

Funding and External Aid:  IM is suspected of obtaining funding and support from other terrorist organizations, as well as from sources in Pakistan and the Middle East.

Islamic Jihad Union

Aka Islamic Jihad Group; Islomiy Jihod Ittihodi; al-Djihad al-Islami; Dzhamaat Modzhakhedov; Islamic Jihad Group of Uzbekistan; Jamiat al-Jihad al-Islami; Jamiyat; the Jamaat Mojahedin; the Kazakh Jama’at; the Libyan Society

Description:  The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) was designated as an FTO on June 17, 2005.  The group splintered from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the early 2000s.  Najmiddin Jalolov founded the organization as the Islamic Jihad Group in 2002, but the group was renamed Islamic Jihad Union in 2005.  Although IJU remains committed to overthrowing the Government of Uzbekistan, today it is active primarily in Afghanistan and, more recently, in Syria, where many of its members relocated from Afghanistan.

Activities:  IJU remains a threat to Central Asia.  IJU claimed responsibility for attacks in 2004 in Uzbekistan, which targeted police at several roadway checkpoints and at a popular bazaar, killing approximately 47 people, including 33 IJU members, some of whom were suicide bombers.  In 2004 the group carried out near-simultaneous suicide bombings of the Uzbek prosecutor general’s office and the U.S. and Israeli Embassies in Tashkent.

In 2007, German authorities detained three IJU operatives, including two German converts, disrupting the group’s plans to attack targets in Germany — including Ramstein Airbase, where the primary targets would have been U.S. diplomats, soldiers, and civilians.  In 2013, two IJU videos showed attacks against a U.S. military base in Afghanistan and an IJU sniper shooting an Afghan soldier. In 2015, IJU participated in the five-month-long Taliban siege of Kunduz city.  At least 13 police officers were killed in the attacks, and hundreds of civilians also were killed.

In 2017, IJU released a video showing its militants using assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades to fight Afghan troops in late 2016.  IJU released a second video in 2018 showing a joint raid with the Taliban in northern Afghanistan.  In 2019 the United Nations confirmed that IJU was operating inside Syria under control of al-Nusra Front.  IJU did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  IJU consists of 100 to 200 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Syria, Türkiye, Uzbekistan, and Europe

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan


Description:  Designated as an FTO on September 25, 2000, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) seeks to overthrow the Uzbek government and establish an Islamic state.  For most of the past decade, however, the group has recruited members from other Central Asian states and Europe.  Despite its stated objective to set up an Islamic state in Uzbekistan, the group operates primarily along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and in northern Afghanistan, where it previously fought against international forces.  Several IMU members are also suspected of having traveled to Syria to fight with terrorist groups.

The IMU has had a decade-long relationship with al-Qa’ida (AQ), the Taliban, and Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan.  Top IMU leaders integrated themselves into the Taliban’s shadow government in Afghanistan’s northern provinces when the Taliban battled the Afghan government.

In 2015, IMU leader Usman Ghazi publicly announced the group’s shift of allegiance to ISIS.  Numerous IMU members, including possibly Ghazi himself, were subsequently reported to have been killed as a result of hostilities between ISIS and the IMU’s former Taliban allies.

Activities:  In 2014, IMU claimed responsibility for an attack on Karachi’s international airport that resulted in the deaths of at least 39 people.

Throughout 2015 the IMU actively threatened the Afghan government, primarily in the northern part of the country.  In 2015 the group released a video showing IMU members beheading an individual they claimed to be an Afghan soldier and threatened to behead Hazaras (a historically persecuted ethnic group in Afghanistan) whom they were holding hostage, in supposed retaliation for the Afghan security forces’ capture of several female IMU members.  In 2016, Uzbek refugee Fazliddin Kurbanov  was sentenced by a U.S. federal court to 25 years in prison for planning a bomb attack in Idaho.  Kurbanov had been in online contact with members of IMU, seeking advice on how to make explosives and discussing attacking U.S. military bases.

In 2016 a faction of the IMU announced its continued commitment to the Taliban and AQ, marking a split with its leader Ghazi and the rest of the group, which announced its loyalty to ISIS in 2015 and has since cooperated with Islamic State’s Khorasan Province.  IMU did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  The IMU consists of up to 700 people.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Türkiye, and Central Asia

Funding and External Aid:  The IMU receives support from a large Uzbek diaspora, terrorist organizations, and donors from Europe, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.


Aka Caliphate in Bangladesh; Caliphate’s Soldiers in Bangladesh; Soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh; Khalifa’s Soldiers in Bengal; Islamic State Bangladesh; Islamic State in Bangladesh; ISB; ISISB; Abu Jandal al-Bangali; Neo-JMB; New JMB; Neo-Jammat-ul Mujahadeen-Bangladesh

Description:  ISIS-Bangladesh was designated as an FTO on February 28, 2018.  Created in 2014, ISIS-Bangladesh has described itself as ISIS’s official branch in Bangladesh and was born out of ISIS’s desire to expand its campaign to the Indian subcontinent.  Coinciding with the announcement of the caliphate in Iraq and Syria, a group of Bangladeshi nationals pledged allegiance to ISIS and vowed to organize Bengali Muslims under the leadership of then-ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Activities:  In 2015, gunmen belonging to ISIS-Bangladesh shot and killed an Italian aid worker in Dhaka.  In 2015, ISIS-Bangladesh claimed responsibility for injuring 10 people during a Christmas Day suicide attack at a mosque packed with Ahmadi Muslims.  In 2016 the group claimed responsibility for an assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka that killed 22 people, including an American.  In 2017, ISIS-Bangladesh claimed responsibility for twin explosions that targeted a crowd in Sylhet, Bangladesh, killing six persons.

In 2019, ISIS-Bangladesh claimed responsibility for two explosions in Dhaka that injured four police officers and two civilians.  Also in 2019, ISIS-Bangladesh claimed responsibility for a small bomb thrown at a Bangladeshi minister in Dhaka, which injured two police officers.  Also during that year, the group claimed responsibility for an explosion outside the Awami League office in Khulna.

In 2020, ISIS-Bangladesh claimed responsibility for an IED blast near a police box in Chattogram and a bomb attack at a Hindu temple in the Naogaon district.  That same year, ISIS-Bangladesh claimed responsibility for an attack on a police station in Dhaka that injured five persons, four of them police officers.

ISIS Bangladesh did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  ISIS-Bangladesh has several hundred armed supporters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Bangladesh

Funding and External Aid:  Although ISIS-Bangladesh’s sources of funding are largely unknown, the group does receive some support from ISIS.

Islamic State’s Khorasan Province

Aka The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham–Khorasan Province; the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria–Khorasan; Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in Khorasan Province; Islamic State Khurasan; ISIS-K; IS-Khorasan; ISIS Wilayat Khorasan; ISIL’s South Asia Branch; South Asian Chapter of ISIL; ISIL Khorasan

Description:  Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) was designated as an FTO on January 14, 2016.  The group is based in Afghanistan, conducts operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.  ISIS-K’s senior leadership pledged allegiance to then-ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which was accepted in 2015.  The group has carried out suicide bombings, small arms attacks, and kidnappings in Afghanistan against civilians.  ISIS-K has also claimed responsibility for attacks on civilians and government officials in Pakistan.

Activities: In 2019, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for an attack at the Ministry of Communications in Kabul, killing seven persons; a suicide bombing at a wedding hall in a Shiite minority neighborhood in Kabul, killing 80 people and injuring 154 others; and a bombing of a mosque in Nangarhar province killed at least 70 people.  Also in 2019, ISIS-K suffered a series of major defeats and lost much of its territory in Nangarhar in the face of attacks by both the Defeat-ISIS Coalition and Taliban forces.

In 2020, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for an attack on a Sikh house of worship in Kabul that killed 25 worshipers and wounded 8 others.  After that attack, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security arrested the then-leader of ISIS-K, Abdullah Orakzai, and two other high-ranking commanders.  Also in 2020, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for an attack on a prison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, that killed at least 29 people and injured more than 50 others and a suicide bombing outside an education center in Kabul that killed at least 18 people and injured at least 57 others.

In 2021, ISIS-K attacks increased following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.  In August, ISIS-K conducted a suicide bombing against the Kabul airport as the United States and other governments conducted a large-scale evacuation of their citizens and vulnerable Afghans from the country.  At least 185 people were killed in the attack, including 13 U.S. service members supporting evacuation operations; at least another 150 people, including 18 U.S. service members, were wounded.

ISIS-K claimed responsibility for a June car bombing in Kabul that killed seven persons and wounded six others, as well as for a July rocket attack near the presidential palace ahead of a speech.  Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for multiple IED attacks in Jalalabad in September that killed at least 35 Taliban members and 3 civilians; an October suicide bombing of a mosque in Kunduz that killed at least 50 civilians and injured 143 others; an October suicide bombing of a mosque in Kandahar that killed at least 47 civilians and injured at least 70 more; and a November attack against a military hospital in Kabul that killed at least 20 people and injured dozens more.

Strength:  ISIS-K is estimated to have between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS-K receives some funding from ISIS-core.  Additional funds come from illicit criminal commerce, taxes, and extortion on the local population and businesses.


Aka Army of Mohammed; Mohammed’s Army; Tehrik ul-Furqaan; Khuddam-ul-Islam; Khudamul Islam; Kuddam e Islami; Jaish-i-Mohammed

Description:  Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) was designated as an FTO on December 26, 2001.  JeM was founded in 2000 by former senior Harakat ul-Mujahideen leader Masood Azhar.  The group aims to annex the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and expel international forces from Afghanistan.  JeM has openly declared war against the United States.

Activities:  JeM continues to operate openly in parts of Pakistan, conducting fatal attacks in the region, despite the country’s 2002 ban on its activities.  The group has claimed responsibility for several suicide car bombings in the Jammu and Kashmir, including a 2001 suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly building in Srinagar that killed more than 30 people.  The Indian government publicly implicated JeM, along with Lashkar e-Tayyiba, in the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament that killed 9 persons and injured 18 others.

In 2002, Pakistani authorities arrested and convicted a JeM member for the abduction and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.  In 2003, Pakistan implicated JeM members in two assassination attempts against then-President Pervez Musharraf.

In 2018, JeM claimed responsibility for killing nine Indian officers at the Sunjuwan military station.  Also in 2018, several JeM militants stormed a police outpost in Jammu and Kashmir, killing four police officers and injuring another.  In 2019, JeM claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 40 personnel from India’s Central Reserve Police Force in the city of Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

In December, JeM claimed responsibility for an attack allegedly conducted by an affiliate on a bus carrying police officers with small arms fire, killing 3 and injuring 11.

Strength:  JeM has several hundred armed supporters.

Location/Area of Operation:  India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  To avoid asset seizures by the Pakistani government, since 2007 JeM has withdrawn funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses, such as commodity trading, real estate, and the production of consumer goods.  JeM also collects funds through donation requests, sometimes using charitable causes to solicit donations.

Jaysh al-Adl

Aka People’s Resistance Movement of Iran (PMRI); Jonbesh-i Moqavemat-i-Mardom-i Iran; Popular Resistance Movement of Iran; Soldiers of God; Fedayeen-e-Islam; Former Jundallah of Iran; Jundallah; Jundullah; Jondullah; Jundollah; Jondollah; Jondallah; Army of God (God’s Army); Baloch Peoples Resistance Movement (BPRM); Jeysh al-Adl; Army of Justice; Jaish ul-Adl; Jaish al-Adl; Jaish Aladl; Jeish al-Adl

Description:  Jaysh al-Adl was designated as an FTO on November 4, 2010, under the name Jundallah.  Since its inception in 2003, Jaysh al-Adl has engaged in numerous attacks, killing and maiming scores of Iranian civilians and government officials.  The group’s stated goals are to secure recognition of Baloch cultural, economic, and political rights from the Government of Iran and to spread awareness of the plight of the Baloch people.  The group adopted the name Jaysh al-Adl in 2012 and has since claimed responsibility for attacks under that name.

Activities:  Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for a 2009 suicide bomb attack in Sistan and Balochistan Province that killed more than 40 people and was reportedly the deadliest terrorist attack in Iran since the 1980s.  In a statement on its website, Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for the 2010 suicide bomb attack inside the Iman Hussein Mosque in Chabahar, which killed an estimated 35 to 40 civilians and wounded 60 to 100 others.  Also in 2010, Jaysh al-Adl attacked the Grand Mosque in Zahedan, killing about 30 people and injuring an estimated 300.  In 2018, Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for abducting 12 Iranian security personnel on the border with Pakistan.  In 2019, Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 27 Iranian government officials.

In 2020, Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for planting two roadside bombs on the course of an Iranian military convoy; one of the bombs detonated, injuring one person.  In 2021, Jaysh al-Adl negotiated the release of four of its fighters from Iran in exchange for the release of two kidnapped Iranian soldiers.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of support are unknown.

Lashkar e-Tayyiba

Aka al Mansooreen; Al Mansoorian; Army of the Pure; Army of the Pure and Righteous; Army of the Righteous; Lashkar e-Toiba; Lashkar-i-Taiba; Paasban-e-Ahle-Hadis; Paasban-e-Kashmir; Paasban-i-Ahle-Hadith; Pasban-e-Ahle-Hadith; Pasban-e-Kashmir; Jamaat-ud-Dawa; JUD; Jama’at al-Dawa; Jamaat ud-Daawa; Jamaat ul-Dawah; Jamaat-ul-Dawa; Jama’at-i-Dawat; Jamaiat-ud-Dawa; Jama’at-ud-Da’awah; Jama’at-ud-Da’awa; Jamaati-ud-Dawa; Idara Khidmate-Khalq; Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation; FiF; Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation; FalaheInsaniyat; Falah-i-Insaniyat; Falah Insania; Welfare of Humanity; Humanitarian Welfare Foundation; Human Welfare Foundation; Al-Anfal Trust; Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool; TehrikeTahafuz Qibla Awwal; Al-Muhammadia Students; Al-Muhammadia Students Pakistan; AMS; Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir; Kashmir Freedom Movement; Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir; Tehreek-e-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir; TAJK; Movement for Freedom of Kashmir; Tehrik-i-Azadi-i Kashmir; Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Jammu and Kashmir; Milli Muslim League; Milli Muslim League Pakistan; MML

Description:  Designated as an FTO on December 26, 2001, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) is an anti-India-focused terrorist group.  LeT was formed in the late 1980s as the terrorist wing of Markaz ud Dawa ul-Irshad, a Pakistan-based extremist organization and charity originally formed to oppose the Soviet presence in Afghanistan.  The organization is led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed.  Shortly after LeT’s FTO designation, Saeed changed the group’s name to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and launched humanitarian projects to circumvent sanctions.  LeT disseminates its message through JUD’s media outlets.

Elements of LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) have combined with other groups such as Hizbul Mujahideen to mount anti-India attacks.  The Pakistani government banned LeT in 2002 and arrested Hafiz Saeed temporarily, following the 2008 Mumbai attack.  In 2017, Pakistan placed Saeed under house arrest; however, he was released 10 months later after a Lahore High Court judicial body rejected a government request to renew his detention.  In 2019, Pakistani police again arrested Saeed and charged him with financing terrorism.  In 2020, Saeed was found guilty on charges of terrorism financing and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Activities:  LeT has conducted operations, including several high-profile attacks, against Indian troops and civilian targets since 1993.  The group also has attacked Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces in Afghanistan.  LeT uses assault rifles, machine guns, mortars, explosives, and rocket-propelled grenades.

LeT was responsible for the 2008 attacks in Mumbai against luxury hotels, a Jewish center, a train station, and a popular café that killed 166 people — including 6 U.S. citizens — and injured more than 300.  India has charged 38 people in the case; most are at large, however, and thought to be in Pakistan.

In 2010, Pakistani-American businessman David Headley pled guilty in a U.S. court to charges related to his role in the 2008 LeT attacks in Mumbai and to charges related to a separate plot to bomb the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.  Headley testified in the trials of other LeT supporters in 2011 and 2015.

During a three-month period in 2016, LeT was suspected of engaging in at least three firefights with Indian security forces in Kupwara district, in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, injuring two Indian personnel.  Also in 2016, LeT was suspected of conducting an ambush on an Indian security force convoy in Pulwama district, in Jammu and Kashmir, killing 8 persons and injuring 20.  Some media reports alleged the group’s involvement in an attack that year on an Indian Army camp in Uri, in Jammu and Kashmir, which killed 20 soldiers.

In 2017, LeT conducted an attack in Jammu and Kashmir that left six police officers dead.  The following month, LeT militants attacked a bus of pilgrims returning from the Amarnath Yatra shrine, killing seven persons.  In 2018, LeT claimed responsibility for a suicide attack against an Indian Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district that killed three soldiers.

In January, Pakistani authorities convicted LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi on terrorism financing charges and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.  Lakhvi is alleged to have orchestrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks.  LeT did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  LeT collects donations in Pakistan and the Persian Gulf states as well as from other donors in the Middle East and Europe — particularly the United Kingdom, where it is a designated terrorist organization as Lashkar e Tayyaba.  In 2019, LeT and its front organizations continued to operate and fundraise in Pakistan.

Lashkar i Jhangvi

Aka Army of Jhangvi; Lashkar e Jhangvi; Lashkar-i-Jhangvi

Description:  Designated as an FTO on January 30, 2003, Lashkar I Jhangvi (LJ) is the terrorist offshoot of the Sunni Deobandi sectarian group Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan.  LJ carries out anti-Shia and other sectarian attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The Government of Pakistan banned the group in 2001 as part of an effort to rein in sectarian violence, causing many LJ members to seek refuge in Afghanistan with the Taliban, with whom the group had existing ties.  After the collapse of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, LJ members became active in aiding other terrorists and have since provided them with safe houses, false identities, and protection in Pakistani cities.  LJ works closely with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan.  LJ chief Asif Chotu was killed along with three other LJ militants in a police operation in Pakistan in 2017.

In 2018, LJ’s Balochistan chief, Salman Badini, and two other LJ militants were killed during a police raid in Quetta, Pakistan.

Activities:  LJ specializes in armed attacks and bombings and has admitted to numerous killings of Shia religious and community leaders in Pakistan.  In 1999 the group attempted to assassinate then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab province.

In 2014, more than 24 people were killed and 40 others wounded in a bus bombing by an LJ attack targeting Shia pilgrims.  LJ claimed responsibility for the 2015 suicide bombing that targeted a market in the predominantly Shia town of Parachinar, Pakistan, that killed at least 23 people and wounded 50.  In 2016, two individuals suspected of belonging to LJ were arrested by police in Pakistan for their alleged involvement in 25 cases of targeted killings, including the murder of Pakistani singer Amjad Sabri, as well as army and police personnel.  In 2019, LJ claimed responsibility for bombing a market in Quetta that killed 20 people and injured 48 others.  The attack reportedly targeted the local minority Shia Muslim Hazara community.

In August, three LJ members were allegedly involved in a bomb attack on the Shia minority community in Pakistan’s Punjab province that killed at least 3 persons and wounded 50 others.

Strength:  LJ’s membership is assessed to be in the low hundreds.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  LJ’s funding comes from wealthy donors in Pakistan and the Middle East, particularly Persian Gulf states.  The group engages in criminal activity, including extortion, to fund its activities.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

Aka LTTE; Ellalan Force; Tamil Tigers

Description:  Founded in 1976 and designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is a Tamil secessionist group in Sri Lanka.  Despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan government in 2009, the LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support has persisted.

Activities:  Although largely inactive since 2009, the LTTE was responsible for an integrated insurgent strategy that targeted key installations and senior Sri Lankan leaders.  In early 2009, Sri Lankan forces recaptured the LTTE’s key strongholds, including its capital of Kilinochchi.  In 2009, government forces defeated the last LTTE fighting forces, killed members of its leadership including leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, and declared military victory.

There have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka attributed to the LTTE since 2009, but 13 LTTE supporters, several of whom had allegedly planned attacks against U.S. and Israeli diplomatic facilities in India, were arrested in Malaysia in 2014.  Additional members were arrested in Malaysia and India in 2015, one of whom was accused of exhorting other Sri Lankans to fund and revive the LTTE.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia

Funding and External Aid:  The LTTE’s financial network of support continued after the group’s military defeat in 2009.  The LTTE has employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for its activities.

al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent

Aka al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent; Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent

Description:  Al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) was designated as an FTO on July 1, 2016.  Established in 2014, AQIS focuses on terrorist activity in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.  In 2019, Asim Umar, the former head of AQIS, was killed in a joint U.S.-Afghan military operation.  Its current leader is Usama Mahmood.

Activities:  In 2014, AQIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a naval dockyard in Karachi, Pakistan, in which militants attempted a hijacking of a Pakistani Navy frigate to attack nearby U.S. warships.  AQIS also claimed attacks against human rights activists and secular writers in Bangladesh, including U.S. citizen Avijit Roy, U.S. Embassy local employee Xulhaz Mannan, and Bangladeshi nationals Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, Ahmed Rajib Haideer, and A.K.M. Shafiul Islam.  In 2017, AQAP called on AQIS to launch more attacks on Burmese authorities because of Burma’s policies toward Rohingya Muslims.

In 2020, India’s National Investigation Agency arrested 10 alleged al Qa’ida-affiliated operatives from Kerala and West Bengal.

In July, India’s National Investigation Agency arrested five alleged AQIS operatives in Lucknow on charges of conspiring to conduct a terrorist attack in Uttar Pradesh.

Strength:  AQIS is estimated to have between 200 and 400 members.

Location/Area of Operations:  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  AQIS likely receives funding from al-Qa’ida senior leadership and engages in general criminal activity, kidnapping, and extortion.

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan

Aka Pakistani Taliban; Tehreek-e-Taliban; Tehrik-e-Taliban; Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan; TTP

Description:  Designated as an FTO on September 1, 2010, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a Pakistan- and Afghanistan-based terrorist organization formed in 2007 to oppose Pakistani military efforts in the former tribal areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and other areas of the country.

TTP aims to push the Government of Pakistan out of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and establish Sharia by waging a terrorist campaign against the Pakistani military and state.  The organization uses the tribal belt along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to train and deploy its operatives, and the group has ties to al-Qa’ida (AQ).  TTP draws ideological guidance from AQ, while elements of AQ rely in part on TTP for safe haven in the Pashtun areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistani border.  This arrangement has given TTP access to both AQ’s global terrorist network and its members’ operational expertise.

Activities:  TTP has carried out and claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against Pakistani and U.S. interests, including a 2009 suicide attack on a U.S. military base in Khost, Afghanistan, which killed seven U.S. citizens, and a 2010 suicide bombing against the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan, which killed six Pakistani citizens.  TTP is suspected of involvement in the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.  The group directed and facilitated Faisal Shahzad’s failed attempt to detonate an explosive device in New York City’s Times Square in 2010.

Between 2011 and 2018, TTP continued to carry out attacks against the Government of Pakistan and Pakistani civilian targets, as well as against U.S. targets in Pakistan.  These attacks killed and wounded hundreds of civilians and Pakistani government and law enforcement officials.  In 2014, TTP carried out two consecutive attacks against Karachi’s international airport and a siege on a primary school in Peshawar that killed 145 people, 132 of whom were children.  In 2016 the group claimed responsibility for killing the deputy superintendent of the police counterterrorism department and injuring his son in an attack on their vehicle in Peshawar.

In 2018, TTP claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed more than 11 Pakistani security personnel in Swat, Pakistan.  TTP also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that year that targeted a checkpoint on the outskirts of Lahore, resulting in the deaths of four police officers and two civilians.  In 2019, TTP claimed responsibility for killing four members of a peace committee who were working with the Pakistani government in its efforts against the Afghan Taliban.

TTP conducted numerous attacks in 2020, most of which targeted Pakistani security forces.  TTP’s rate of attacks increased after it announced a merger with splinter groups Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Hizbul Ahrar that year.

In April, TTP claimed responsibility for an attack of the Serena Hotel in Quetta, Pakistan, killing five.  TTP claimed responsibility for an increased number of attacks in the months following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, claiming 32 attacks in August and 37 attacks in September.

Strength:  TTP is estimated to have between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid:  TTP likely raises most of its funds through kidnapping-for-ransom payments, extortion, and other criminal activity.


National Liberation Army

Aka ELN; Ejército de Liberación Nacional

Description:  The National Liberation Army (ELN) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The ELN is a Colombian Marxist-Leninist group formed in 1964.  It remains focused on attacking the security services and economic infrastructure — in particular oil and gas pipelines and electricity pylons — and on extorting foreign and local companies.  The ELN commits crimes and acts of terror throughout Colombia, including violence against civilian populations there and in Venezuela.

Activities:  The ELN continued to target Colombia’s infrastructure, particularly oil pipelines.  It also launched mortar attacks on police stations and the military; placed explosive devices near roads; and engaged in sniper attacks, roadblocks, and ambushes.  Additionally, the ELN continued to kidnap civilians and members of Colombia’s security services.

Throughout 2017 the Government of Colombia and the ELN conducted peace talks but did not ultimately reach an agreement.  Peace talks were intermittent throughout 2018 after being suspended early in the year following a series of ELN bombings that killed several police officers and injured dozens more.  The government ended talks following a 2019 VBIED attack by the ELN on the General Santander National Police Academy.  The attack was the deadliest Bogotá had experienced in years, killing 22 police cadets and injuring 87 more.  Colombian officials also attributed numerous oil pipeline bombings to the ELN in 2019.

In 2020, the ELN called for an “armed strike” across the country; authorities reported that ELN executed 23 attacks, killing one soldier and injuring seven police officers.

The ELN continued to commit attacks throughout Colombia in 2021, including multiple attacks against oil infrastructure.

Strength:  ELN consists of about 2,300 armed combatants.

Location/Area of Operation:  Colombia and Venezuela

Funding and External Aid:  The ELN draws its funding from the illicit narcotics trade, extortion of oil and gas companies and landowners, and illegal mining in Colombia and Venezuela.  Additional funds are derived from kidnapping-for-ransom payments.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP)

Aka FARC-EP; Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo;  FARC dissidents FARC-EP; Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia dissidents FARC-EP; FARC-D FARC-EP; Grupo Armado Organizado Residual FARC-EP; GAO-R FARC-EP; Residual Organized Armed Group FARC-EP

Description:  FARC-EP was designated as an FTO on December 1, 2021.  Using the moniker of the former FARC and led by Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias Iván Mordisco, and Miguel Santanilla Botache, alias Gentil Duarte, FARC-EP is responsible for the vast majority of the armed attacks attributed to FARC dissident elements since 2019.

Activities:  FARC-EP has been responsible for the killing of political candidates and former FARC members, and the kidnapping of a political operative.  In March, FARC-EP claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack at the mayor’s office in Corinto, Colombia, which injured 43 people, among them several public officials; and for a June attack against a Colombian Army base, which wounded 44 people, including 2 U.S. military advisers.  In late June, FARC-EP shot at a helicopter carrying Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Strength:  FARC-EP is estimated to have 2,700 to 3,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Colombia and Venezuela

Funding and External Aid:  FARC-EP is funded primarily by involvement in illicit activity, including extortion, international drug trade, and illegal mining.

Segunda Marquetalia

Aka New Marquetalia; Second Marquetalia; La Nueva Marquetalia; FARC dissidents Segunda Marquetalia; Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Dissidents Segunda Marquetalia; FARC-D Segunda Marquetalia; Grupo Armado Organizado Residual Segunda Marquetalia; GAO-R Segunda Marquetalia; Residual Organized Armed Group Segunda Marquetalia; Armed Organized Residual Group Segunda Marquetalia

Description:  Segunda Marquetalia was designated as an FTO on December 1, 2021.  In 2019, former FARC commanders, including Luciano Marín Arango, alias Iván Márquez, created Segunda Marquetalia after abandoning the 2016 Peace Accord.

Activities:  Segunda Marquetalia has been responsible for the killings of former FARC members and community leaders.  Segunda Marquetalia has also engaged in mass destruction, assassination, and hostage-taking, including the kidnapping and holding for ransom of government employees and the attempted killings of political leaders.  In 2020 the Colombian police foiled an attempt by Segunda Marquetalia to assassinate former FARC commander and current president of the Comunes political party, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry, alias Timochenko.

Strength:  Segunda Marquetalia is estimated to have 750 to 1,500 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Colombia and Venezuela

Funding and External Aid:  Segunda Marquetalia is funded primarily by involvement in illicit activity, including extortion, international drug trade, and illegal mining.

Shining Path

Aka SL; Sendero Luminoso;Ejército Guerrillero Popular; EGP; Ejército Popular de Liberación; EPL; Partido Comunista del Perú (Communist Party of Peru); PCP; Partido Comunista del Perú  en el Sendero Luminoso de José Carlos Mariategui (Communist Party of Peru on the Shining Path of José Carlos Mariategui); Socorro Popular del Perú; SPP, Communist Party of Peru on the Shining Path of José Carlos Mariategui, Communist Party of Peru, People’s Aid of Peru, People’s Guerrilla Army; People’s Liberation Army

Description:  The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso or SL) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The Peru-based terrorist organization was formed in the late 1960s by former university professor Abimael Guzmán, whose teachings created the foundation of SL’s militant Maoist doctrine.  In the 1980s, SL was one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the Western Hemisphere.  In 1992 the Peruvian government captured Guzmán, along with key accomplices, and sentenced them to life in prison.

In September, Guzmán died in a maximum-security prison in Peru.  SL is now led by brothers Victor and Jorge Quispe Palomino and Tarcela Loya Vilchez.  Under their direction, the group aims to overthrow the Peruvian government and names the United States as a principal enemy.

Activities:  In 2016 the group attacked a six-vehicle military caravan transporting election materials ahead of the country’s election; eight soldiers and two civilian contractors were killed by SL members armed with long-range rifles and grenades.  In separate incidents in 2017, SL killed several policemen in an area where the group controls territory and facilitates drug trafficking.

In 2018, six soldiers were wounded by SL sharpshooters at the Nueva Libertad Army base in the region of Junín.  That same month, a group of SL members killed five soldiers and wounded another in an attack on the Nueva Libertad army base, and attacked a police vehicle using a roadside bomb, killing four policemen.  In 2019, suspected SL members conducted an attack on the Peruvian Army, killing three soldiers.

In 2020, Peruvian troops and SL members fought in the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers.

Peruvian authorities continued to arrest numerous suspected members of SL in 2021.  SL did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2021.

Strength:  Estimates of SL’s strength vary, but experts assess SL to number between 250 and 300 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Peru

Funding and External Aid:  SL is primarily funded by the illicit narcotics trade.

Country Reports on Terrorism 2022 is submitted in compliance with Section 140 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 2656f or the “Act”), which requires the Department of State to provide Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act.  Statutory excerpts relating to the terms used in this report and a discussion of the interpretation and application of those terms in this report are included below.

Excerpts and Summary of Key Statutory Terms.

Section 140 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 2656f(a)) states as follows:

(a) … The Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, by April 30 of each year, a full and complete report providing –

(1) (A) detailed assessments with respect to each foreign country –

(i) in which acts of international terrorism occurred which were, in the opinion of the Secretary, of major significance;

(ii) about which the Congress was notified during the preceding five years pursuant to section 4605(j) of Title 50 [deemed under Section 1768(c)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA FY19) to refer to section 1754(c) of the NDAA FY19 as of August 13, 2018]; and

(iii) which the Secretary determines should be the subject of such report; and

(B) detailed assessments with respect to each foreign country whose territory is being used as a sanctuary for terrorist organizations;

(2) all relevant information about the activities during the preceding year of any terrorist group, and any umbrella group under which such terrorist group falls, known to be responsible for the kidnapping or death of an American citizen during the preceding five years, any terrorist group known to have obtained or developed, or to have attempted to obtain or develop, weapons of mass destruction, any terrorist group known to be financed by countries about which Congress was notified during the preceding year pursuant to section 4605(j) of Title 50, any group designated by the Secretary as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189), and any other known international terrorist group which the Secretary determines should be the subject of such report;

(3) with respect to each foreign country from which the United States Government has sought cooperation during the previous five years in the investigation or prosecution of an act of international terrorism against United States citizens or interests, information on –

(A) the extent to which the government of the foreign country is cooperating with the United States Government in apprehending, convicting, and punishing the individual or individuals responsible for the act; and

(B) the extent to which the government of the foreign country is cooperating in preventing further acts of terrorism against United States citizens in the foreign country; and

(4) with respect to each foreign country from which the United States Government has sought cooperation during the previous five years in the prevention of an act of international terrorism against such citizens or interests, the information described in paragraph (3)(B).

Section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the United States Code defines certain key terms used in Section 2656f(a) as follows:

(1) The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country;

(2) The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; and

(3) The term “terrorist group” means any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism.

Interpretation and Application of Key Terms.  For purposes of this report, the terms “international terrorism,” “terrorism,” and “terrorist group” have the definitions assigned to them in 22 U.S.C. 2656f(d) (see above).  The term “non-combatant,” which is referred to but not defined in 22 U.S.C. 2656f(d)(2), is interpreted to mean, in addition to civilians, military personnel (whether or not armed or on duty) who are not deployed in a war zone or a war-like setting.

Notably, 22 U.S.C. 2656f(d) is one of many U.S. statutes and international legal instruments that concern terrorism and acts of violence, many of which use definitions for terrorism and related terms that are different from those used in this report.  The interpretation and application of defined and related terms concerning terrorism in this report are therefore specific to the statutory and other requirements of the report, and not intended to express the views of the U.S. government on how these terms should be interpreted or applied for any other purpose.  Accordingly, there is not necessarily any correlation between the interpretation of terms such as “non-combatant” for purposes of this report and the meanings ascribed to similar terms pursuant to the law of war (which encapsulates the obligations of states and individuals with respect to their activities in situations of armed conflict).

Statistical Information.  Pursuant to 22 U.S.C. § 2656f(b), this report should contain “to the extent practicable, complete statistical information on the number of individuals, including United States citizens and dual nationals, killed, injured, or kidnapped by each terrorist group during the preceding calendar year.”  This is satisfied through the inclusion of a Statistical Annex to the report that sets out statistical information provided by Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG).  The Statistical Annex includes a discussion of the methodology employed by DSG in compiling the relevant data.  This report does not contain statistical information specifically concerning combatants.  The focus of the terrorism report, as is clear from the definition of terrorism, is on violence against non-combatant targets.

Contextual Reporting.  Adverse mention in this report of individual members of any political, social, ethnic, religious, or national population is not meant to imply that all members of that population are terrorists.  Indeed, terrorists rarely represent anything other than a tiny fraction of such larger populations.  It is terrorist groups — and their actions — that are the focus of this report.

Further, terrorist acts are part of a larger phenomenon of violence inspired by a cause, and at times the line between the two can become difficult to draw.  This report includes some discretionary information in an effort to relate terrorist events to the larger context in which they occur, and to give a feel for the conflicts that spawn violence.

Thus, this report will discuss terrorist acts as well as other violent incidents that are not necessarily “international terrorism” and therefore are not subject to the statutory reporting requirement.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future