Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States established a strong and sophisticated counterterrorism enterprise to reduce the threat of large-scale terrorist attacks on the homeland.  More than 20 years later, the terrorist threats we currently face are more ideologically and geographically diffuse.  At the same time, the United States is confronting a diverse and dynamic range of other national security challenges, including strategic competition, cybersecurity threats, and climate change.  To tackle evolving and emerging terrorist threats within the context of broader national security priorities, the United States inaugurated a new counterterrorism policy, shifting from a U.S.-led, military-centric approach to one that prioritizes diplomacy, partner capacity building, and prevention.  Striking a new balance between military and civilian counterterrorism efforts recognizes the need to deploy the full range of counterterrorism (CT) tools and ensures a more sustainable whole-of-government and whole-of-society CT approach with allies and partners around the world.

In 2022, under this new framework, the United States and its partners continued to succeed against terrorist organizations, 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 $440 million in stabilization pledges – including a U.S. pledge of $107 million – to support infrastructure and other critical projects in Iraq and northeastern Syria.  In November the United States and the United Kingdom co-hosted a donors’ conference with 14 governments, and with numerous UN and humanitarian organizations, to discuss steps to improve the security and humanitarian conditions at the al-Hol displaced persons camp in northeast Syria.  

The Department of State led Defeat-ISIS’s renewed focus on countering ISIS branches across Africa.  In 2022 the Coalition welcomed Benin as its 85th member and 13th member from sub-Saharan Africa.  In March, Defeat-ISIS’s Africa Focus Group (AFFG), established in 2021 to address the growing ISIS threat in sub-Saharan Africa, convened its first working-level meeting in Rome and met again in May on the margins of the Defeat-ISIS ministerial.  In October the AFFG co-chairs of Morocco, Niger, Italy, and the United States met in Niamey to identify programmatic gaps and deconflict existing partner efforts in the region.  The AFFG will continue to utilize existing coordination mechanisms and enhance African members’ counterterrorism capacities.

In May the Department of State, in partnership with the Department of Justice, launched the first-ever Counterterrorism Law Enforcement Forum (CTLEF) to improve information sharing and international coordination to counter racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE).  The CTLEF, which was co-hosted by the United States and the Government of Germany, brought more than 100 criminal justice practitioners, financial regulators, and security professionals from over 30 countries and multilateral organizations to Berlin.  The inaugural meeting increased the United States and our partners’ collective understanding of REMVE networks, groups, and individuals, including transnational links between and among REMVE actors.

Despite key counterterrorism successes, terrorist groups remained resilient and determined to attack.  ISIS maintained an enduring global enterprise, promoting a large-scale terrorism campaign across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  While the death of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in February marked an important milestone against the terrorist group, ISIS remained capable of conducting large-scale attacks.  In 2022, ISIS maintained a significant underground operational structure and conducted terrorist operations throughout Iraq and Syria.  An estimated 10,000 ISIS fighters, including 1,800 Iraqis and 2,000 ISIS fighters from outside Syria and Iraq, also remained in detention facilities controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces.  Additionally, 18,000 Syrians, 26,000 Iraqis, and roughly 10,000 third-country nationals from more than 60 countries remain in al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps in northeast Syria.  In West Africa, ISIS affiliates increasingly expanded across borders and coordinated asymmetric attacks, including a July prison break near the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.  ISIS expanded its recruitment and operations across key locales, growing its global network to approximately 20 branches and affiliates.

In 2022, al-Qa’ida and its affiliates remained resilient and determined, even following the death of leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in July.  Senior al-Qa’ida leaders continued to oversee a global network to target the United States and U.S. interests, particularly in Africa and the Middle East.  In East Africa, al-Shabaab (AS) sustained de facto control over significant portions of south-central Somalia.  AS also maintained its capability to conduct high-profile attacks in the region, including against U.S. citizens and infrastructure, and aspired to coordinate attacks against the U.S. homeland and Europe.  In West Africa, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) intensified attacks in the Sahel, increasingly threatening capital cities and U.S. embassies in the region, and expanded operations in the northern border regions of Coastal West Africa.

In Afghanistan, al-Qa’ida elements, ISIS, and regionally focused terrorist groups remained active in the country.  ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) continued to conduct terrorist attacks against Afghan civilians, particularly members of the Shia community, and the Taliban.  In 2022, ISIS-K conducted cross-border attacks in Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and maintained ambitions to attack the West.  Al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, particularly al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent, also remained intent — but lacked the capability — to directly attack the United States from Afghanistan.  While the Taliban committed to preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan to conduct attacks against the United States and its allies, its ability to prevent al-Qa’ida elements, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and ISIS-K from mounting external operations remained unclear.  The Taliban hosted and sheltered al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul before his death in a U.S. airstrike on July 30, 2022.

Iran continued to be the leading state sponsor of terrorism, facilitating a wide range of terrorist and other illicit activities around the world.  In 2022, Iran increasingly encouraged and plotted attacks against the United States, including against former U.S. officials, in retaliation for the death of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Qasem Soleimani.  In August an Iran-based IRGC member was charged with attempting to arrange the murder of a former U.S. National Security Advisor.  Regionally, Iran supported acts of terrorism in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen through proxies and partner groups such as Hizballah and al-Ashtar Brigades.  Globally, the IRGC-QF and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security remained Iran’s primary actors involved in supporting terrorist recruitment, financing, and plotting across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism constituted a growing, transnational threat to the United States and U.S. allies.  Violent white supremacists and anti-government, accelerationist, and like-minded individuals continued to promote violent extremist narratives, recruit new adherents, raise funds, and conduct terrorist activities in the United States and worldwide.  The October 12 shooting at an LGBTQI+ bar in Slovakia, which left two persons dead and one injured, demonstrated how individuals can be inspired by U.S.-based REMVE attacks and the broader REMVE movement.  The perpetrator posted an online so-called manifesto that pointed to previous REMVE attacks worldwide, including the recent U.S.-based attacks in Buffalo, New York, and El Paso, Texas, and the 2019 attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Poway, California.

As terrorist threats morphed and metastasized, the United States adapted its counterterrorism approach and marshalled international efforts to counter global terrorism.  The United States prioritized multilateral engagements to advance U.S. counterterrorism priorities, bolster partner capacity to implement international obligations and commitments, and promote greater burden sharing.  

In 2022 the Department of State provided more than $16 million in FY 2021 foreign assistance funding to support an array of United Nations counterterrorism capacity building efforts implemented by members of the UN’s Global Counterterrorism Compact.  To maintain international momentum on the use of battlefield evidence to investigate and prosecute terrorism cases, the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) — supported through U.S. funding in 2022 — trained more than 450 criminal justice practitioners on critical issues such as REMVE, battlefield evidence, counterterrorism prosecutions, mutual legal assistance, and juvenile justice.  In September, our Counterterrorism (CT) Bureau partnered with the IIJ to convene a dialogue regarding battlefield evidence from Afghanistan.  The event brought together 50 military, law enforcement, and criminal justice practitioners and policy-makers from the United States, the European Union, and select countries to discuss practical steps for successfully sharing and using battlefield evidence to enhance broader security and support criminal justice proceedings and international accountability efforts.

The Department of State co-led the U.S. delegation to the first in-person meeting of the Heads of Delegation G-7 Roma-Lyon Group on Counterterrorism and Transnational Crime since 2019.  The group’s dialogue focused on addressing issues such as REMVE and the situation in Afghanistan, and emerging threats such as voluntary foreign fighters, the use of unmanned aerial systems for terrorist purposes, and the trafficking of small arms and light weapons in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.  The United States also leveraged other multilateral organizations, such as NATO, INTERPOL, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of American States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Council of Europe, and Hedayah to advance these issues.

Additionally, the United States continued to bolster partner capabilities to detect, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist networks.  The CT Bureau and the Terrorist Screening Center continued to explore new and expanded information sharing arrangements under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6) with foreign partners that allow the United States and these HSPD-6 partners to exchange terrorist screening information to identify known and suspected terrorists.  These efforts also improve compliance with UN Security Council resolution 2396, which includes international obligations for countries to screen for and collect information to prevent terrorist travel and strengthen border security.  As of the end of 2022, the Department of State’s comprehensive border system, PISCES, was deployed in 23 countries, providing real-time border security for partners across the globe.  In 2022, the CT Bureau completed 21 visits to foreign partners to conduct system updates, reduced the support backlog resulting from COVID-19 travel restrictions, and continued to reconstitute the PISCES program at ports of entry in Yemen.  Two new countries — Colombia and Eswatini — signed a Memorandum of Intent in 2022 to establish PISCES programs in their countries.

Another major effort in 2022 was facilitating the repatriation, rehabilitation, reintegration, and, where appropriate, prosecution of ISIS foreign terrorist fighters and family members.  To ensure that ISIS fighters and family members captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces (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 2022 the United States has repatriated a total of 39 U.S. citizens from Syria and Iraq.  In 2022 the CT Coordinator also served as the Defeat-ISIS Detainee Coordinator and established the al-Hol Working Group to coordinate the United States’ effort to address the security and humanitarian crisis in al-Hol displaced persons camp and detention facilities in northeast Syria.  Additionally, in 2022, more than 3,000 fighters and family members were repatriated to 14 different countries of origin — more than 2020 and 2021 combined.  The CT Bureau worked closely with the SDF and partner governments, as well as with the U.S. Departments of Justice and Defense and the intelligence community, on these engagements.

The United States continued to promote a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to prevent and counter violent extremism (CVE) by engaging with governments, local religious leaders, and tech companies.  In October the Global Community Engagement Resilience Fund (GCERF) launched its replenishment campaign.  Through this campaign, GCERF raised more than $75 million to provide alternatives for millions of people directly at risk of radicalization and recruitment to violence, and to build a safety net among 10 million other people in their communities.  Since its inception, GCERF has expanded its work to more than 20 countries and has raised more than $160 million from 18 government partners.  With CT Bureau funding support, GCERF will look to expand programming to countries in Central Asia, Mozambique, and Coastal West Africa with a concentration on rehabilitation and reintegration, digital literacy programming, and countering terrorist radicalization.

The Strong Cities Network (SCN) grew to more than 160 cities around the world, with 10 new members in 2022.  These included the Slovak cities of Bratislava and Žilina in April, which became the first SCN members from Central and Eastern Europe.  In November the network also launched a Western Balkans Regional Hub, which aims to engage more municipalities in the region on CVE efforts within their respective communities.

Finally, the United States continued to support the Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online (CCTA), an international partnership involving governments, private sector technology companies, and civil society organizations to address terrorism and violent extremist content online.  In October, CT Bureau supported U.S. participation in the 2022 CCTA Leaders’ Summit, closely coordinating with the White House and interagency partners to engage with governments, tech companies, and civil society in the forum’s workstreams to better ensure that online platforms are not exploited for terrorist or violent extremist purposes, while respecting our commitments to human rights such as freedom of expression and an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable internet.

This constitutes a brief overview of the United States’ ongoing work to protect our people and our allies from the threat of terrorism.  The Country Reports on Terrorism 2022 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.

See Appendix B.

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 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom for more information:

https://www.state.gov/reports/2022-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/

and

https://www.state.gov/international-religious-freedom-reports/#report2022

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:  

https://www.state.gov/2022-international-narcotics-control-strategy-report/

 

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
Republic of Togo Africa
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
INTERPOL Global
NATO Western Hemisphere Europe
The European Union Europe

 

Africa

Overview

Terrorist groups primarily aligned with al-Qa’ida and ISIS conducted attacks against civilian infrastructure and civilians, including humanitarian workers and government personnel, as well as against security forces.  These attacks resulted in deaths, injuries, abductions, and the capture and destruction of property across Sub-Saharan Africa during 2022.  Terrorists routinely manipulated intercommunal disputes by supporting longstanding claims against other groups to gain support for terrorist operations.  These actors continued to attack military outposts; attack civil servants and politicians; attack churches, mosques, and schools; and kidnap or attack foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers.  African countries, as well as regional and multinational organizations, sustained counterterrorism efforts against terrorist groups with varying degrees of success throughout 2022.

In East Africa, Somalia and its partners increased pressure on al-Qa’ida-affiliate al-Shabaab in central Somalia, although the group retained the ability to mobilize substantial financial resources and launch sophisticated and often coordinated attacks on civilians, government personnel and facilities, and security forces, including Somali and African Union peace support 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 the Congo.  In the Lake Chad region, ISIS-West Africa and (to a lesser extent) Boko Haram 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, and expanded into Coastal West Africa, primarily into Benin, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire.  These groups included al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb, the al-Qa’ida-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), and ISIS-Sahel — formerly known as ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) before rebranding in 2022.  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 such as 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 continued to undertake efforts to develop and expand regional cooperation mechanisms, but these efforts often were stymied by political and security instability.

Countries:

Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Chad
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Djibouti
Ethiopia
Kenya
Mali
Mauritania
Mozambique
Niger
Nigeria
Senegal
Somalia
South Africa
Sudan
Tanzania
Uganda


East Asia and the Pacific

Overview

The threat to governments in East Asia and the Pacific from U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations and terrorists inspired by ISIS remained diminished in 2022, despite the easing of COVID-19-related travel restrictions in the region.  Counterterrorism (CT) pressure from regional security forces on the leadership structure of several ISIS-affiliated terrorist organizations in the Philippines and Indonesia during the previous year, and sustained pressure from Philippine and Indonesian law enforcement and security forces in 2022, continued to have significant effects on the organizations’ abilities to conduct attacks in those countries.

Most terrorist incidents perpetrated by ISIS-affiliated terrorist organizations in 2022 involved attacks against military or police targets.  Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia reported repatriating some foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) or their families in 2022.  Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (or REMVE) continues to be a key concern for Australia and New Zealand.

Authorities in East Asia and the Pacific continued efforts to investigate and prosecute terrorism cases, increase regional cooperation and information sharing, and address critical border and aviation security gaps.  Authorities in the region additionally increased efforts in 2022 to counter the financing of terrorism through domestic efforts and participation in multilateral fora such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).  In 2021, Singapore officially opened the Counterterrorism Information Facility, a Singapore-led initiative for Southeast Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States to increase information sharing among one another and between military and law enforcement agencies.

Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the People’s Republic of China (the PRC), and New Zealand are members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).  Regional multilateral organizations, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Regional Forum, continued to share best practices on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism.

The PRC continued to use counterterrorism as a pretext to repress members of religious and ethnic minority groups, particularly Muslim Uyghurs, and continued efforts to internationalize repressive domestic counterterrorism tactics through regional cooperation and efforts to institutionalize its approach within the UN system.

Countries:

Australia
China (Hong Kong and Macau)
Indonesia
Malaysia
Philippines
Singapore
Thailand


Europe

Overview

U.S. and European partner counterterrorism (CT) strategies continued to align in 2022, as the United States increased its CT emphasis on diplomacy, multilateral cooperation, and building partners’ capacity.  The Biden Administration made repatriation of foreign ISIS fighters and associated family members remaining in northeast Syria following the territorial defeat of ISIS a priority, and European partners worked in partnership with the United States to repatriate their nationals from detention centers and al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps.  ISIS remained an ideological influence, despite its lack of any physical territory, and continued seeking to project power by recruiting from European countries and inspiring attacks against European targets and public spaces.

U.S. policy, programs, and relations with European states and the European Union were strengthened by the outbreak of a major war on the European continent.  Central, Eastern, and Southern European countries continued to be the target of state-sponsored Russian disinformation and propaganda, seeking to co-opt racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist (REMVE) movements to undermine current and candidate members of NATO and the EU.

Foreign terrorist groups in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans sought to 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.  Türkiye, given its geographic location, remained a transit point for foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) departing neighboring countries.  Most terrorist incidents in Europe 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 United Kingdom.  Europe continued to face ongoing terrorist threats and concerns, including from U.S.-designated terrorist groups, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (REMVEs), and Islamist terrorism.  Many European governments expressed concern about the growing threat posed by REMVE actors since they actively work to engage, recruit, and radicalize to violence online.

The United States supported partners across Europe in their efforts to build counterterrorism capacity through technical assistance, trainings, and mentorship.

The key areas of counterterrorism assistance were:

  • Strengthening aviation and border security
  • Countering terrorist financing
  • Increasing information and intelligence sharing
  • Preventing the spread of violent extremism in communities
  • Understanding the collection of battlefield evidence
  • Increasing capacity of local law enforcement and rule-of-law practitioners to conduct terrorism and terrorist financing investigations, prosecutions, and appropriate sentencing

In 2022, both the United States and European countries grappled with the threat of lone actors attacking public spaces and citizens and European partners undertook additional efforts to further develop and expand regional cooperation mechanisms to detect and interdict terrorist travel and other terrorism-related activities.

Countries:

Albania
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Denmark
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Italy
Kosovo
The Netherlands
North Macedonia
Norway
Russia
Serbia
Spain
Sweden
Türkiye
United Kingdom


The Middle East and North Africa

Overview

Throughout 2022, terrorist groups continued to operate and maintain safe havens in the Middle East and North Africa.  ISIS and its entities, al-Qa’ida and affiliated groups, and Iran-backed groups continued to pose the greatest terrorist threats to the region.  These groups especially looked to operate and benefit from under governed areas or regions affected by conflict, such as within Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.  However, ISIS and al-Qa’ida suffered significant leadership losses during the reporting period, including the deaths of al-Qa’ida emir Ayman al-Zawahiri and ISIS emirs Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi and Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.

Iran continued its extensive support for terrorism in 2022.  Iran used the U.S.-designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its proxies and partners to destabilize the region and advance its influence abroad.  Through the IRGC-QF, Iran provided funding, training, weapons, and equipment to several U.S.-designated terrorist groups in the region.  Iran-backed militias continued sporadic attacks on bases hosting U.S. and other Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.  Senior al-Qa’ida members continued to reside in Iran.  Outside the region, Iran plotted attacks against dissidents and other perceived enemies of the regime based abroad.

In Iraq, there was a significant decrease in terrorist attacks in 2022, compared with the previous two years, because of the increasing effectiveness of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in combating terrorism.  There has been significant progress in reducing ISIS’s ability to recapture physical territory and ability to operate.  Despite this progress, ISIS remained active and continued to claim responsibility for attacks in Syria, Iraq, and regionally, while also presenting an ongoing threat to U.S. interests abroad and domestically.

Across northeast Syria, approximately 10,000 ISIS fighters are held in detention facilities.  An estimated 55,000 displaced persons — including 10,000 non-Syrian, non-Iraqi third country nationals, most of them children and many of them family members of ISIS fighters — remain in al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps.  The United States continues to increase advocacy and support for countries of origin to repatriate their nationals and to rehabilitate, reintegrate, and (as appropriate) prosecute them.  In 2022, more than 3,000 foreign nationals, including large numbers of Iraqis, were repatriated from northeast Syria, surpassing total repatriations from 2020 and 2021 combined.  During 2022, Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS partners and international organizations including the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), and Hedayah offered legal and practical assistance in ensuring safe and successful reintegration of returnees into society, once appropriate.  The 85-member U.S.-led Defeat-ISIS Coalition continued comprehensive efforts to prevent a resurgence of ISIS, stabilizing liberated areas and denying ISIS-aligned groups access to territory, to movement of persons and goods, and to financial gain.

Al-Qa’ida and affiliates remained a threat to U.S. allies and partners in the Middle East and North Africa.  Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has a continued presence in central Yemen — most notably in al-Bayda, Abyan, and Shabwah governorates — and has carried out attacks on Yemeni officials and Southern Transitional Council (STC) representatives as well as kidnappings of UN workers transiting through central Yemen to Aden.  Though al-Qa’ida continued to suffer losses of territory, membership, and access to financial resources, al-Qa’ida remained a resilient adversary.

In North Africa, terrorist groups continued to be degraded and destroyed, with only small numbers of ISIS-aligned and al-Qa’ida-affiliated terrorists remaining in areas of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Sinai province of Egypt, and Tunisia.  In parts of the neighboring Sahel region, ISIS and al-Qa’ida affiliates enjoyed greater freedom of movement and access to territory.

Countries:

Algeria
Bahrain
Egypt
Iraq
Israel, West Bank, and Gaza
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Libya
Morocco
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Tunisia
United Arab Emirates
Yemen


South and Central Asia

Overview

In 2022, South and Central Asia saw continued terrorist activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, continued insurgent attacks against security forces and 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, al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), appeared to keep a low profile, presumably in accordance with Taliban directives.

The United States has not yet decided to recognize the Taliban or any other entity as the government of Afghanistan.  The Taliban hosted and sheltered al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul before his death in a U.S. airstrike on July 30.  The Taliban repeatedly stated they would uphold their commitment to prevent any group or individual from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.  The Taliban fought ISIS-K, which they viewed as their primary threat, but continued to harbor other terrorist groups.

Afghanistan’s neighbors remained deeply concerned about regional security and potential terrorist threats emanating from the country.  In 2022, terrorist groups, including ISIS-K, launched attacks from Afghanistan against Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.  ISIS-K also conducted attacks against Afghan civilians, often attacking members of vulnerable religious and ethnic minority populations.  ISIS-K claimed responsibility for attacks on the Russian embassy in September, the Pakistani embassy in December, and a hotel frequented by People’s Republic of China (PRC) nationals, also in December.

ISIS-K, elements of al-Qa’ida including AQIS, and terrorist groups targeting Pakistan — such as Tehrik -e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — continued to use Afghan territory near the Pakistan border as a safe haven.

Central Asian states remained on guard against violent extremist elements from Afghanistan crossing their borders or committing cross-border rocket attacks, as well as the potential threat posed by returning citizens who traveled to Iraq or Syria to fight with terrorist groups.

In Tajikistan, U.S. assistance largely focused on building capacity to secure the 843-mile border with Afghanistan through technical assistance and equipment.  Additional U.S. assistance is expected to continue to support improved border security in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2023.  Countries in the region also receive security assistance from Russia, the PRC, and others. Tajikistan cooperates with international organizations such as the EU, the OSCE, and the UN on combating terrorism.  Tajikistan hosted a UN High-Level Counterterrorism Conference in October, which focused on international border security and management cooperation.

Tajikistani law enforcement authorities began implementing a new Law on Combating Terrorism, which was enacted in December 2021 and established the legal and organizational basis for CT operations in Tajikistan.  Uzbekistan drafted a 2022-2025 action plan on the reintegration of returnees while also adopting a law on infrastructure security.  Government officials report they are developing Uzbekistan’s first national action plan on the implementation of UNSCR1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

Turkmen authorities maintain close surveillance on the country’s population and its borders, particularly its 462-mile border with Afghanistan.  Turkmenistan actively cooperates with international organizations and participates in the C5+1 diplomatic platform (the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, plus the United States) to prevent violent extremism and counter international terrorism, but it did not host any CT-related events in 2022.

The United States bolstered regional security cooperation in Central Asia through the C5+1 diplomatic platform with programs that develop the region’s ability to secure its borders and increase information sharing.  These programs included a C5+1 Border Security training program in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which will deliver several courses in 2023 ranging from border management to low-light environment operations.

Further on the multilateral front, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan are members of the GCTF.  At the GCTF – as well as at the UN – India has been extensively involved in discussions regarding countering the use of unmanned aircraft systems and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.  The United States continued to build on its strategic partnership with India, including through the annual Counterterrorism Joint Working Group and the Quad counterterrorism tabletop exercise alongside Australia and Japan.  The U.S. and Indian governments collaborated on improving border security and information sharing capabilities as well as aviation security measures, including those on data collection consistent with UNSCR 2309.

Countries:

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
India
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyz Republic
Maldives
Pakistan
Sri Lanka
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan


Western Hemisphere

Overview

Terrorism remained a security concern for some countries in various parts of the Western Hemisphere in 2022.  Transnational terrorist organizations have a limited presence, with small pockets of supporters in the region.  National or locally oriented groups — such as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army, ELN), Segunda Marquetalia, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) in Colombia and Venezuela, and Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in Peru — remained the region’s most significant terrorist threats.  Corruption, weak governmental institutions, insufficient interagency cooperation, weak or nonexistent legislation, and limited resources remained obstacles to improving security in 2022.  Nevertheless, governments in the hemisphere made significant progress in CT 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 key locations.  Hizballah supporters seek to generate funding through licit and illicit activity and then transfer it to the group’s headquarters to enable Hizballah to advance its broader agenda.  In recent years, Hizballah supporters and members have been identified in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and the United States.

Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela all continued to experience terrorist activity.  Segunda Marquetalia, FARC-EP, and the ELN continued to commit acts of terror throughout Colombia and Venezuela, 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.  The OAS’s Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) held its Consultation of States Parties to the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism for the first time, hosted by Peru with the United States as co-host.  Members endorsed recommendations of states for the 20-year-old Convention.  They also examined how the terrorism threat has evolved and what must still be undertaken to strengthen the region against it.  Several countries in the region have joined the Chile-founded OAS-CICTE 24/7 InterAmerican Network on Counterterrorism (subsequently funded by both Chile and the United States), which seeks to strengthen cooperation among member states to prevent and address terrorist threats in the Western Hemisphere.

Countries:

Argentina
Brazil
Canada
Colombia
Mexico
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Trinidad and Tobago
Venezuela


This report provides a snapshot of events during 2022 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 that a) 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 2) 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 that 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

CUBA

On January 12, 2021, the Department of State designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  The Secretary determined that the Cuban government repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists.

Cuba was previously designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982 because of its long history of providing advice, safe haven, communications, training, and financial support to guerrilla groups and individual terrorists.

Cuba’s designation was rescinded in 2015 after a thorough review found that the country met the statutory criteria for rescission.  In 2021 the Secretary of State determined that Cuba had repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism in the six years since its designation had been rescinded.  Citing peace negotiation protocols, Cuba refused Colombia’s request to extradite 10 ELN leaders living in Havana after that group claimed responsibility for the 2019 bombing of a Bogotá police academy that killed 22 people and injured 87 others.

The Cuban government did not formally respond to the extradition requests for ELN leaders Victor Orlando Cubides (aka “Pablo Tejada”) and Ramírez Pineda (aka “Pablo Beltrán”) filed by Colombia.

In November, pursuant to an order from Colombian President Petro, the Attorney General announced that arrest warrants would be suspended against 17 ELN commanders, including those whose extradition Colombia had previously requested.

Cuba also continues to harbor several U.S. fugitives from justice wanted on charges related to political violence, many of whom have resided in Cuba for decades.

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

On November 20, 2017, the Secretary of State designated the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.  The Secretary determined that the DPRK government repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, as the DPRK was implicated in assassinations on foreign soil.

The DPRK was previously designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1988 primarily because of its involvement in the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air passenger flight.  The DPRK’s designation was rescinded in 2008 after a thorough review found the DPRK met the statutory criteria for rescission.  In 2017 the Secretary of State determined the DPRK had repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism in the nine years since its designation had been rescinded.  The DPRK also has failed to take action to address historical support for acts of international terrorism.  Four Japanese Red Army members wanted by the Japanese government for participating in a 1970 Japan Airlines hijacking continue to shelter in the DPRK.  The Japanese government also continues to seek a full accounting of the fate of numerous Japanese nationals believed to have been abducted by DPRK state entities in the 1970s and 1980s; only five such abductees have been repatriated since 2002.

IRAN

Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its support for terrorist activity in 2022, including support for Hizballah, U.S.-designated Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank and Gaza, and various terrorist and militant groups in Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East.  Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to provide support to terrorist organizations, provide cover for associated covert operations, and create instability in the region.  Iran has acknowledged the involvement of the IRGC-QF in the Iraq and Syria conflicts, and the IRGC-QF is Iran’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorist activity abroad.  In 2019 the Secretary of State designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including IRGC-QF, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.  Iran also used regional militant and proxy groups to provide deniability, in an attempt to shield it from accountability for its destabilizing policies.

In Iraq, Iran supported various Iran-aligned militia groups in 2022, including the U.S.-designated terrorist groups Kata’ib Hizballah, Harakat al-Nujaba, and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, with sophisticated weapons — including increasingly accurate and lethal unmanned aerial systems (UAS) — support, funding, and training.  These groups conducted multiple rocket and UAS attacks on U.S. and coalition facilities across Iraq, as well as attacks in Syria from Iraq in 2022.  These included multiple attacks on U.S. and coalition forces at Ain al-Assad Airbase in January and May.  Additionally, Iran-aligned militia groups conducted an explosive UAS attack on Erbil in June, which injured three civilians, and two drone attacks on Turkish bases in Iraq in July.  Pro-Iranian militias also fired rockets at the Turkish consulate in Mosul in July.

Iran also bolstered terrorist groups operating in Syria, including Hizballah, which has provided significant support to the Assad regime.  Iran views the Assad regime as a crucial ally.  It considers Iraq and Syria vital routes through which it can supply weapons to Hizballah, Iran’s primary terrorist proxy group.  Iranian forces have directly backed militia operations in Syria with artillery, rockets, drones, and armored vehicles.  Through financial or residency enticements, Iran has facilitated and coerced primarily Shia fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan to participate in the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown in Syria.  These Iran-aligned forces conducted multiple attacks on U.S. forces in Syria.

Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has supplied Hizballah in Lebanon with thousands of rockets, missiles, and small arms in violation of UNSCR 1701.  Israeli security officials and politicians expressed concerns that Iran was supplying Hizballah with advanced weapons systems and technologies, as well as assisting the group in creating infrastructure that would permit it to produce its own rockets and missiles, thereby threatening Israel from Lebanon and Syria.  Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Hizballah and trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran.  Hizballah fighters have been used extensively in Syria to support the Assad regime.

In 2022, Iran continued providing weapons systems and other support to Hamas and other U.S.-designated Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.  These groups were behind numerous deadly attacks originating in Gaza and the West Bank.

In Bahrain, Iran has continued to provide weapons, support, and training to local Shia militant groups, including the al-Ashtar Brigades and Saraya al-Mukhtar, both U.S.-designated terrorist groups.

In Yemen, Iran has provided a wide range of weapons, training, advanced equipment such as UAS, and other support to Houthi militants, who engaged in attacks against regional targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  On at least five occasions in 2022, the U.S. Navy and partner forces interdicted vessels suspected of traveling from Iran to Yemen, with cargoes that included more than 300 tons of missile fuel component and fertilizer that could be used by Houthi militants to make missiles and explosives, as well as ammunition, small arms, and equipment.

In 2022, Iranian forces continued a pattern of attacks on commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman, including a November 16 drone attack on the Pacific Zircon, a Liberian-flagged, Israeli-affiliated tanker carrying oil.

Iran pursued or supported terrorist attacks against Israeli targets in 2022, including thwarted plots to attack Israeli tourists in Türkiye in May and to murder an Israeli citizen in Georgia in November.  These plots were being implemented by current and former members of the IRGC-QF.

Senior al-Qa’ida members continued to reside in Iran, where the authorities still refuse to identify publicly members they know to be living in the country.  Iran has allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran since at least 2009, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria, among other locales.

As in past years, the Iranian government continued supporting terrorist plots or associated activities targeting dissidents and other perceived enemies of the regime.  A British intelligence agency publicly reported uncovering at least 10 potential threats emanating from Iran’s government to kidnap or kill individuals in the United Kingdom in 2022.  In recent years, Albania, Belgium, and the Netherlands have all either arrested or expelled Iranian government officials implicated in various terrorist plots in their respective territories.  Denmark similarly recalled its ambassador from Tehran after learning of an Iran-backed plot to kill an Iranian dissident in its country.  The Albanian government became a victim of cyberattacks emanating from Iran in July and September, likely in response to Albania providing shelter to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq — an Iranian dissident group that advocates overthrowing the government in Iran.  In 2022 the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had disrupted an IRGC-QF-led plot to assassinate former National Security Advisor John Bolton and arrested a suspected Iranian operative accused of planning the assassination.

SYRIA

Designated in 1979 as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, Syria continued its political and military support to various terrorist groups.  The regime continued to provide weapons and political support to Hizballah and continued to allow Iran to rearm and finance the terrorist organization.  The Assad regime’s relationship with Hizballah and Iran remained strong in 2022 as the regime continued to rely heavily on external actors to fight opponents and secure areas.  The U.S.-designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps remains present and active in the country with Assad’s permission.  Assad remained a staunch defender of Iran’s policies, while Iran exhibited equally energetic support for the Syrian regime.  Syrian regime speeches and press releases often included statements supporting terrorist groups, particularly Hizballah, and vice versa.

Over the past two decades, the Assad regime’s permissive attitude toward AQ and other terrorist groups’ FTF facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict fed the growth of AQ, ISIS, and affiliated terrorist networks inside Syria.  The Syrian regime’s years of awareness and encouragement of terrorists’ transit to Iraq to fight U.S. forces before 2012 is well documented.  The Assad regime released thousands of violent extremists from its prisons in 2011 and 2012, fueling a rise in terrorism within the country, in an attempt to justify its repression of the Syrian people and fracture international support for the opposition.  Those very networks were among the terrorist elements that brutalized the Syrian and Iraqi populations in recent years.  Throughout the Syrian conflict, terrorist groups in Syria have often cited the regime’s egregious human rights abuses and violations to justify their activities and recruit members.  The Assad regime has frequently used CT laws and special CT courts to detain and imprison protesters, human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, and others on the pretext of fighting terrorism.  Additionally, Iran-aligned militia groups from Iraq, some of which are U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, continued to travel to Syria to fight on behalf of Iran and the Assad regime.  Affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party also operated on Syrian soil and represent Türkiye’s primary counterterrorism concern in Syria.  ISIS cells remained active in parts of Syria and launched attacks on civilians and U.S. partner forces.  In 2019 and 2022, U.S. forces completed operations that resulted in the death of successive ISIS leaders Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.  ISIS members in Syria continued to plot or inspire external terrorist operations.

As part of a broader strategy used throughout the past decade, the regime continued to portray Syria itself as a victim of terrorism, characterizing all internal armed opposition members as “terrorists.”

The use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials and expertise remained a credible terrorist threat in 2022, and the United States continues to work proactively to disrupt and deny ISIS and other non state actors’ CBRN capabilities.

The international community has established numerous international partnerships to counter the CBRN threat from terrorists and other non state 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 prevent terrorist access to CBRN 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 G-7-led 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 weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  To date, the GP has expanded its membership to 31 (30 countries and the European Union), sustaining a vital forum for members to assess the threat landscape, share best practices, exchange information on national priorities for CBRN programmatic efforts worldwide, and coordinate assistance for these efforts.  In 2022 the United States also helped lead related efforts in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) by hosting a tabletop exercise on countering biological terrorism threats and co-chairing the ARF’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Intersessional Meetings with Sri Lanka and Thailand.

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 and provides training, technical advice and assistance, peer reviews, and other advisory services.

Through the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, 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, Justice, Energy, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture.

In 2022, WMDT undertook multiple capacity building assistance projects and activities with priority foreign partners across the full spectrum of WMD prevention, detection, response, and prosecution.  WMDT conducted several bilateral and regionally focused training workshops on WMD threat assessment and prosecution, cyber-enabled investigations, behavioral threat assessment, and clandestine lab investigations in East Asia and the Pacific (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines), North Africa (Algeria, Morocco), and Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Senegal, South Africa).  In addition, WMDT supported the development and execution of practical tabletop exercises focused on identifying gaps in national or regional CBRN preparedness and response capabilities, the applicability of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and other international legal frameworks and cooperation mechanisms.

The 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 2022, GTR’s chemical, biological, and nuclear security programs engaged with hundreds of foreign partners through virtual training to strengthen capacities to detect and counter WMD terrorism threats.  In Iraq, GTR strengthened physical security at chemical sites previously targeted by ISIS, and worked with partners across Iraq to strengthen chemical transportation security, chemical supply chains, and chemical security curricula.

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 networks, such as railroads and urban transit systems.  Further, GTR 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.  It also engaged with government, industry, and academic representatives from Indonesia, Morocco, Somalia, Yemen, and other countries to promote the adoption of security measures to prevent individuals or non state actors from acquiring weaponizable biological 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) – and prevent them from 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 the Americas 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 Department of State’s CT Bureau and the interagency to engage with key partners on aviation security programming.  Finally, in 2021, 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, Jordanian, 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) launched new projects to address critical gaps in existing U.S. government nonproliferation threat reduction programs, as determined through a deliberative interagency process.  Specifically, during 2022, NDF provided capacity building assistance to:  enhance the interoperability of Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government CBRN units in responding to chemical and biological weapons (CBW) threats in the aviation security sector; to bolster cross-sector coordination and law enforcement information sharing to combat rudimentary, low-technology CBW threats in Libya and Southeast Asia; and to mitigate CBW proliferation and terrorism threats in Central Asia stemming from the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.  In addition, NDF sponsored a three-year chemical weapons threat reduction initiative in partnership with the Counterterrorism Agency of Indonesia as part of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction matchmaking process.  Lastly, in collaboration with EXBS, NDF is supporting the expansion of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) Program Global Shield through 2025.  With NDF’s support, the WCO will:

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

The U.S. government continues to work internally and externally 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 non state actors.  U.S. efforts also include ensuring appropriate funding for the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team, which is responsible for identifying those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, regardless of whether the perpetrators are state or non state 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.  For example, the Forensic Science Center of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California is 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 chains, including against malicious non state 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.

 

Terrorist safe havens described in this report include ungoverned, under-governed, and ill-governed physical areas where terrorists can 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 whose government is subject to a determination under section 4605(j)(1)(A) of Title 50 [deemed under Section 1768(c)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) FY 2019 to refer to section 1754(c) of the NDAA FY 2019 as of August 13, 2018]; section 2371(a) of Title 22; or section 2780(d) of Title 22.  (For information regarding Cuba, the DPRK, Iran, and Syria, see Chapter 2, State Sponsors of Terrorism.)

Terrorist Safe Havens

Africa

Sahel:  Rough terrain, expansive territory, historically weak government presence, and longstanding grievances create conditions for terrorist groups such as al-Qa’ida affiliate Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin and ISIS affiliate ISIS-Sahel (formerly known as ISIS in the Greater Sahara) to recruit fighters and conduct asymmetric attacks against civilians and government personnel.  These terrorist groups have freedom of movement throughout large swaths of Mali and Burkina Faso as well as in portions of Niger adjacent to the two countries.  The areas where terrorist groups can operate freely continue to grow and over the last year have extended to border regions with Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo.  However, no government in the Sahel is known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Mozambique:  Areas of northern Mozambique remain largely under-governed and susceptible to asymmetric attacks against civilians and government personnel by ISIS-Mozambique (ISIS-M).  While the Mozambican government faces significant capacity challenges in countering terrorism, its willingness to mobilize security forces and engage in security cooperation with international partners means that ISIS-M is not able to operate unchallenged.  The Mozambican government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Somalia:  Rough terrain, historical grievances, and under-governed spaces create conditions for AQ affiliate al-Shabaab and ISIS affiliate ISIS-Somalia to conduct asymmetric attacks against civilians and government personnel across the country, despite the Somalian federal government’s campaign to dislodge al-Shabaab from the central portion of the country.  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 under-governed spaces continue to make the country vulnerable to transit of FTFs, as well as weapons and other illicit goods.  Although Sudan has in general endeavored to tighten its border control measures, continued illicit and unmonitored movement across the borders is likely rampant.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

The Lake Chad Region:  In the portions of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria surrounding Lake Chad, remote terrain, historical grievances, and under-governed spaces create conditions for Boko Haram and ISIS affiliate ISIS-West Africa to conduct asymmetric attacks against civilians and government personnel.  No government in the Lake Chad Region is known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Southeast Asia

The Southern Philippines:  The Philippines continued to dedicate significant resources to closely track terrorist groups that operate primarily, but not exclusively, in the southern part of the country.  Although the Philippines remained a destination for FTFs from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, and Europe, the Philippines 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 CT cooperation with the United States, enhancing military and law enforcement efforts to address the full spectrum of terrorist threats.

The Philippine government, with U.S. and international assistance, continued to make progress in increasing interagency cooperation to identify, investigate, and prosecute terrorist activities in 2002.  However, 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 Littoral

Malaysia:  The government continued efforts to deny terrorists use of the Sulu and Celebes Seas region as a safe haven by working with Indonesia and the Philippines to prevent the movement of foreign terrorists through the region.  Malaysian authorities reported that cooperation with the Philippine government led to the arrest and deportation of a suspected terrorist in 2022.  Officials told reporters that possible terrorist transit through sea routes and porous borders remained a concern in Malaysia.  The Eastern Sabah Security Command, a multiagency Malaysian government entity that provides additional security along the country’s eastern maritime and terrestrial border with the Philippines and Indonesia in the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea, respectively, enforced a dusk-to-dawn curfew at sea and conducted maritime patrols to safeguard against kidnappings and cross-border threats by criminal groups and the Abu Sayyaf Group.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Indonesia:  The Government of Indonesia conducted monitoring and surveillance of suspected terrorist cells in its territory, including in the Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral region.  However, the Indonesian government also acknowledged that a lack of naval resources and law enforcement capacity hindered its ability to monitor potential terrorist activity in maritime and remote parts of Indonesia, including the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

The Middle East and North Africa

Iraq:  In 2022 a significant portion of northwestern, southeastern, and mountainous northern Iraq remained under-governed and served as potential safe havens for terrorist training, organization, and operations.  The Iraqi government is cognizant of this challenge and continues to carry out CT operations and cooperate with U.S. CT efforts to gain better control over these areas.  Iraqi authorities, largely members of the Iraqi Security Forces (comprising the army and national police as well as locally recruited police) conducted 269 raids, arrested 139 suspected terrorists, and destroyed an estimated 141 terrorist hideouts.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Lebanon:  Lebanon remained a safe haven for terrorist groups in Hizballah-dominated areas.  Hizballah used these areas for terrorist recruitment, training, fundraising, and financing.  The government did not take meaningful actions to disarm the group, even though Hizballah’s continued weapons buildup is in open defiance of UNSCR 1701.

Other terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, continued to operate with limited government control inside Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps.  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 2022 the Lebanese Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces, and other Lebanese authorities partnered with U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent WMD proliferation and trafficking.

Libya:  The Government of Libya does not provide safe haven to terrorist organizations to carry out terrorist activities from Libyan territory; however, it continues to require assistance in ensuring that its territory is not used for terrorist activities, particularly along its southern border.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

 

Yemen:  The Republic of Yemen government (ROYG) does not provide safe haven to terrorist organizations, but the security vacuum created by ongoing conflict in the country has afforded AQ in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS-Yemen room to operate, primarily in central Yemen.  This instability, coupled with the ROYG’s degraded capabilities, means Yemen will continue to require U.S. and international assistance to combat terrorism effectively.  The ROYG was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

South Asia

Afghanistan:  Terrorist groups – including ISIS-K, AQ, and TTP – continued to be present in Afghanistan.  The Taliban continued to harbor terrorist groups despite repeatedly stating they would not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan to threaten the security of other countries.  It was unclear whether the Taliban had either the will or the capability to eliminate terrorist safe havens or to control the flow of FTFs in or through Afghanistan.  The Taliban and the Haqqani Network remained U.S.-designated terrorist groups in 2022.  The Taliban was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through Afghanistan.

Pakistan:  Several UN- and U.S.-designated terrorist groups that focus on attacks outside the country continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2022, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed.  Pakistan took some steps in 2022 to counter terror financing and to restrain some India-focused militant groups, but authorities did not take sufficient action to dismantle them.  LeT leader Sajid Mir was convicted on terrorist financing charges in June and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  Major terrorist groups that concentrated on conducting attacks within Pakistan included TTP, the Balochistan Liberation Army, and ISIS-K.  TTP and other designated terrorist groups continue to conduct attacks against Pakistani military and civilian targets.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

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 ELN, FARC-EP, and Segunda Marquetalia — to operate with impunity.  Ongoing challenges related to the implementation of the 2016 peace accord between the Colombian government and the bulk of the FARC, as well as continued security vacuums, created opportunities for terrorist activity and attacks on civilians, security forces, and infrastructure in 2022.  The Petro administration initiated peace talks with the ELN and plans to expand the effort with other terrorist and criminal groups.  The government was not known to support or facilitate the proliferation or trafficking of WMD in or through its territory.

Venezuela:  The majority of Venezuelan territory is ungoverned or ill-governed.  Historically, these conditions and a somewhat permissive environment from the Maduro regime have allowed terrorist groups — particularly ELN, FARC-EP, and Segunda Marquetalia, all of Colombian origin — to operate.  Colombian authorities contend that members of the three groups are present in Venezuela in significant numbers.  The Maduro regime agreed to serve as a guarantor and to host talks between the Petro administration and the ELN in 2022.  The regime 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 National Defense Authorization Act, 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 2022 the Department of State continued implementing the Administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which includes an emphasis on transnational racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE), through targeted engagements, relevant programming, and (where possible) designations of foreign REMVE individuals and entities.

  • In June the Department of State designated Anton Thulin as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) for his continued pursuit of terrorist training, even after serving a prison sentence for his role in a 2017 terrorist attack in Sweden – thus demonstrating that he continued to pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.  In 2016, Thulin traveled to St. Petersburg and received paramilitary training from the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), including in bomb making.  In 2017 a Swedish court convicted Thulin and sentenced him to 22 months in prison in connection with the detection of a powerful homemade bomb near a refugee residential center in Gothenburg, Sweden.  After serving his sentence, Thulin sought to receive additional paramilitary training in Poland, before being expelled by Polish authorities who cited Thulin’s “serious, real, and current threat to security and public order.”
  • Concurrently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Stanislav Shevchuk and Alexander Zhuchovsky as SDGTs.  Shevchuk was designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of the RIM, directly or indirectly; Zhuchovsky was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for goods or services to or in support of the same group.  RIM, which the Department of State designated as an SDGT in 2020, is an ultranationalist, white-supremacist group based in Russia that provides paramilitary-style training to white supremacists and neo-Nazis; it plays a prominent role in attempting to rally Europeans and Americans into a common front against perceived enemies.

In September the White House convened the United We Stand Summit, designed to counter the effects of hate-fueled violence on democracy and our public safety.

Known WIT attacks in 2022 included the following:

  • Slovakia:  In October, 19-year-old Juraj Krajčík was suspected of having shot dead two members of Slovakia’s LGBTQI+ community and injured a third outside an LGBTQI+ community bar in Bratislava.  The suspect, whom the police later found dead, had posted an anti-LGBTQI+ and antisemitic message on Twitter warning about the attacks he would shortly carry out.
  • United Kingdom:  In October, 66-year-old Andrew Leak was suspected of firebombing an immigration center in Dover, injuring two persons before taking his own life shortly afterward.  According to British authorities, the suspect likely was driven by some form of hate-filled grievance and had previously espoused violent, anti-immigrant sentiments on social media.
  • France:  In December, a 69-year-old man identified by French media as William K. was arrested for shooting and killing three Kurds in Paris.  According to French authorities, the suspect admitted to having a pathological hatred of foreigners and had always wanted to kill migrants or foreigners.

Foreign partners designated, proscribed, banned, or otherwise restricted the activities of the below groups in 2022.  It should be noted that statutory criteria and domestic legal authorization to take such actions differ greatly among countries.  For example, other governments may rely solely on speech as the basis of the designation, proscription, or banning actions, which raises freedom-of-expression concerns and is not permissible in the United States due to First Amendment protections.

  • The Base (designated by New Zealand) is a neo-Nazi organization founded in 2018.  According to New Zealand authorities, the group’s ideological objectives include bringing about a “race war” in the United States, the mass execution of people of color in a coordinated event labeled “the Day of the Rope,” halting the “great replacement,” and the creation of “white ethno-states” where people of color are either absent or lack democratic rights.  New Zealand authorities note that members of The Base plotted to carry out attacks at a 2020 rally in Virginia; the group also organized training camps in weaponry and military tactics throughout North America.  Australia, Canada, and the UK designated The Base in 2021.
  • National Socialist Order (NSO) (designated by Australia), formerly known as the Atomwaffen Division (AWD), was founded in the United States in 2013.  Australian authorities note that the group advocates the use of violence to initiate a “race war” to accelerate the collapse of western society and establish a “white ethno-state.”  According to Australian authorities, AWD claimed it had disbanded following pressure from U.S. law enforcement agencies.  In 2020 the NSO announced itself online as AWD’s “successor.”  Australian authorities assess that NSO is a direct continuation of AWD, and the group’s current leadership have declared an intent to pursue the same objectives.  Canada and the UK designated NSO in 2021.
  • Proud Boys (designated by New Zealand) is a neofascist organization that was formed in 2016 and engages in political violence.  According to New Zealand authorities, in contrast to other U.S. violent extremist groups, the Proud Boys do not have a single ideological framework or reference point.  Instead, they deploy a mosaic of overlapping ideological components intended to obscure the group’s fascism and thereby increase their appeal to a broader audience of American men.  Despite this rhetorical and optical smokescreen put up by group leadership, many members are open about their adherence to white nationalism, racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia.  New Zealand authorities note that the group consists of individually autonomous chapters located in the United States, Canada, and Israel.  The group upholds violence against opponents as an acceptable solution to solving political disputes and lionizes members who successfully harm ideological opponents.  New Zealand authorities note that on January 6, 2021, Proud Boys members coordinated attacks on security and law enforcement protecting the U.S. Capitol and led non-Proud Boys members into positions where they could threaten, and potentially harm or kill, U.S. elected representatives.  Canada designated the Proud Boys in 2021.
  • Zouaves Paris (banned by France) was dissolved by Council of Ministers decree.  According to French authorities, Zouaves Paris, which appeared in 2017, is a violent ultranationalist group that propagates openly racist discourse and structures its mode of operation around violent actions.  French authorities note that the group was born from the gathering of former members of the Union Défense Group, the Bastion Social, and Génération Identitaire, the latter two of which having also been administratively dissolved.  In December 2021, Zouaves Paris claimed responsibility for violence committed against antiracist activists at a political rally.

Countering Terrorism on the Economic Front

In 2022 the Department of State designated one new group as an SDGT under the Department’s authorities in Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.  In addition, 10 individuals were designated as SDGTs.  The Department also reviewed and maintained the foreign terrorist organization designations of five 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.

2022 E.O. 13224 Designations

On March 7 the Department of State designated KTJ.  Affiliated with al-Qa’ida, KTJ operates primarily in Idlib province, Syria, alongside Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, and cooperates with other designated terrorist groups such as Katibat al-Imam al-Bukhari and the Islamic Jihad Group.  KTJ has also conducted external attacks, including the St. Petersburg metro attack in 2017, killing 14 passengers and injuring 50 others, as well as a suicide car bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2016.

On June 15 the Department of State designated Anton Thulin.  In 2016, Thulin received paramilitary training from the RIM, including in bomb making.  In 2017 a Swedish court convicted Thulin and sentenced him to 22 months in prison in connection with the detection of a powerful homemade bomb near a refugee residential center in Gothenburg.  After serving his sentence, Thulin sought to receive additional paramilitary training in Poland before Polish authorities expelled him, citing his “serious, real, and current threat to security and public order.”

On October 17 the Department of State designated five al-Shabaab leaders:  Mohamed Mire, Yasir Jiis, Yusuf Ahmed Hajji Nurow, Mustaf ’Ato, and Mohamoud Abdi Aden.  Mire is responsible for the group’s strategic decisionmaking and leads the group’s interior wing.  Jiis is the commander of the armed wing, Jabha, which conducts attack operations.  Nurow is the chief of the intelligence wing, Amniyat, which plays a key role in executing suicide attacks and assassinations.  ’Ato is a senior Amniyat official responsible for coordinating and conducting al-Shabaab attacks in Somalia and Kenya.  Aden was part of the cell that planned the DusitD2 Hotel attack in 2019.

On November 30 the Department of State designated three al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) leaders:  Osama Mehmood, Atif Yahya Ghouri, and Muhammad Maruf.  Mehmood is the emir of AQIS.  Ghouri is the deputy emir of AQIS.  Maruf is responsible for AQIS’s recruiting branch.

Also on November 30, the Department of State designated Mufti Hazrat Deroji, aka Qari Amjad.  Amjad is the deputy emir of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, overseeing operations and militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Multilateral Efforts to Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism

In 2022 the United States continued to work through multilateral organizations to promote whole-of-government and whole-of-society CT efforts that respect human rights and the rule of law while strengthening complementary regional and international efforts.  At the UN and in other multilateral settings, the United States continued to strengthen partnerships, build consensus on evolving threats, and advance U.S. measures to counter terrorism and violent extremism.  Examples of U.S. multilateral engagement are described below.

The UN:  Sustained and strategic engagement at the UN on CT issues is a priority for the United States.  Throughout 2022, the UN remained actively engaged in addressing the evolving threat of terrorism to international peace and security, including through preparations for the upcoming biennial review of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy in 2023.

The UN Security Council and its Counterterrorism Committee (CTC) and the Counterterrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED):  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 (2001), 1624 (2004), 2178 (2014), 2396 (2017), and 2617 (2021) and other relevant CT resolutions to facilitate needed training and other technical assistance to UN member states.  In 2022 the CTC held open briefings on issues, including the use of emerging technology for terrorist purposes.  The United States participated in negotiations of a political declaration associated with the outcomes of the UN CTC Special Meeting on “Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist Purposes” on October 29 in New Delhi, India, that focused on three themes:  countering use of information and communication technologies, new payment technologies and fundraising methods, and unmanned aerial systems for terrorist purposes.

  • UN Security Council Sanctions Regimes:  In 2022 the United States supported the UN listings of Khatiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (an al-Qa’ida-affiliated group operating in Idlib, Syria) and Ali Mohammed Rage (an al-Shabaab spokesperson).  The United States continued to work closely with the UN 1267 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh) and Al-Qa’ida, 1988 Taliban, and 751 Al-Shabaab Sanctions Committees by proposing listings or amendments.  It also continued to engage the UN 1267 ombudsperson regarding petitions for de-listings, provided input to the committee to enhance its procedures and implementation of sanctions measures, and assisted respective monitoring teams or panels of experts with information for its research and reports.  The United States also led or supported the negotiation of several other CT-/sanctions-related UNSCRs, including UNSCR 2665, which renewed the mandate of the 1988 Taliban Sanction Regime’s Monitoring Team, and UNSCR 2662, which renewed the newly named 751 Al-Shabaab Sanctions Regime.  The US. government additionally co-penned UNSCR 2664 with Ireland, which significantly reformed UN targeted sanctions by establishing a humanitarian carveout to the asset freeze measures across all UN sanctions regimes.  The adoption of this resolution enables the flow of legitimate humanitarian assistance and other support for the basic human needs of vulnerable populations while maintaining sanctions on designated individuals and entities.  UNSCR 2664 also includes safeguards to protect against abuse and evasion by sanctioned persons and entities, including through a monitoring, reporting, and review process to facilitate detection and mitigation of possible aid diversion.
  • The UN General Assembly and UNOCT:  UNOCT continued to work closely with the 45 UN Global Counterterrorism Compact Entities to ensure balanced implementation of the four pillars of the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy:  1) measures to address the conditions conducive to terrorism, 2) measures to prevent and combat terrorism, 3) measures to build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in this regard, and 4) measures to ensure respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism.

The United States participated in the United Nations’ High-Level Conferences organized by UNOCT on “International and Regional Border Security and Management Cooperation to Counter Terrorism and Prevent the Movement of Terrorists” in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and “Human Rights, Civil Society and Counterterrorism” in Málaga, Spain.  The United States also participated in the first-ever UN Congress of Victims of Terrorism, which provided a platform for victims of terrorism to share their experiences and to advocate for upholding and strengthening the protection of their rights.  The Congress allowed the audience to learn about good practices undertaken by member states and civil society organizations, while ensuring that victims’ voices were heard and that their experiences helped shape the way forward.  Additionally, the United States contributed to the UN Security Council Secretary General’s 2022 report titled Terrorist Attacks on the Basis of Xenophobia, Racism and Other Forms of Intolerance, or in the Name of Religion or Belief (A/77/266), which acknowledges the growing, transnational nature of the threat and complements similar efforts by UN Global Counterterrorism Coordination Compact Entities.

  • UNODC:  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 for countering 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 to strengthen member states’ criminal justice systems response to terrorism.  In 2022 the United States participated in consultations to inform the UNODC’s New Global Program on Preventing and Countering Terrorism for 2022-27.  The United States also participated in the launch of the UNODC Manual 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, which was informed by U.S. government input.
  • The UNSC 1540 Committee:  The 1540 Committee monitors and facilitates efforts to implement UNSCR 1540 (2004), which addresses 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.  On November 30 the UNSC renewed the 1540 Committee’s mandate for another 10 years.  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 OPCW, the IAEA, 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 10 countries that together with the EU have contributed to the 1540 Trust Fund, which is used to support these activities and help fund 1540 regional coordinator positions in OAS, OSCE, 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 reviews, the United States will continue to promote the idea of establishing additional 1540 regional coordinators, to increase the number and quality of NAPs and encourage greater implementation of UNSCR 1540 and subsequent resolutions.

GCTF:  Founded in September 2011 by the United States and Türkiye, the GCTF is an informal, apolitical CT body that aims to increase countries’ capacity to deal with regional and global terrorist threats and violent extremist radicalization by strengthening civilian cooperation to counter terrorism.  Morocco is Co-Chair of GCTF, serving along Canada until the latter was replaced by the EU in September.

The GCTF has five working groups, three of which are thematic –  CVE, Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law (CJ-ROL), and foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) – and two others focused on regional capacity-building:  Capacity-Building in the East Africa Region, and Capacity-Building in the West Africa Region.  In 2017 the United States and Jordan assumed co-chairmanship of the FTFs Working Group, and in 2022 the mandate was extended for an additional two-year term ending in 2024.   As of 2022 the co-leads of the other GCTF working groups are Australia and Indonesia for the CVE Working Group, Italy and Nigeria for the CJ-ROL Working Group, and Algeria and Germany for the West Africa Working Group.  There were no co-chairs for the East Africa Working Group.

The UN 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 United Nations.  The GCTF also partners with a wide range of regional multilateral organizations, including the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO, the AU, the OAS, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and ASEAN.

In September, GCTF members produced and successfully presented two new GCTF Toolkits and two Concept Notes:

  • Toolkit on Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE)
  • Gender and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Policy (P/CVE) Toolkit 
  • GCTF Initiative to Operationalize the Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices for Countering Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Gender Identities Platform for Countering Violent Extremism and Counterterrorism

Moreover, in 2022, the GCTF continued to implement the work of the forum through six virtual and in-person engagement initiatives co-led by the United States:

  1. Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism Toolkit and Initiative:  The United States and Norway (a non-member of GCTF) presented the final GCTF REMVE Toolkit for adoption at the GCTF’s 20th Coordinating Committee in September.  Launched in 2021, the Toolkit initiative built off two GCTF Exploratory Dialogues followed by two online webinars, each bringing together more than 100 participants to discuss critical components of the Toolkit as well as the current global REMVE landscape, the varying definitions and legal frameworks that influence how countries address REMVE threats, and operational and policy responses to REMVE challenges and threats.  Speakers examined gaps in international community resources related to the REMVE threat, and how the GCTF could help states, civil society, and private sector organizations address REMVE-related challenges.  To leverage momentum the co-leads plan to hold a launch event and two to three interactive tabletop exercises in 2023 to help practitioners conceptualize and implement the 26 recommendations from the Toolkit in local, national, and regional contexts.
  1. 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 planning workshops to gather insight and context while exploring sector-specific tools and expertise to inform the drafted Gender and Preventing/CVE Policy Toolkit, which was successfully presented at the 20th GCTF Coordinating Committee.  The United States provided insight and review throughout the process, contributing to the updated text, and promoting U.S. approaches to respecting gender and identity in CT policies and programs.
  1. Initiative on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Returning Family Members of Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Under the Initiative Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, co-led by the United States and Jordan under the FTFs Working Group, the co-leads organized two virtual, regionally focused workshops in 2022.  The first workshop in June addressed policies and practices for rehabilitation and reintegration focusing on the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa Regions, and the second workshop in October focused on Central Asia.  These events brought together practitioners and civil society actors to promote international best practices based on evidence from relevant reintegration and rehabilitation efforts in the targeted regions while also facilitating international and national-level information exchange and complementing existing initiatives.
  1. Watchlisting Toolkit Initiative:  In 2022, the Watchlisting Toolkit initiative focused on implementation of the Toolkit’s recommendations to help countries build out and manage their own watchlisting enterprises 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.  The Toolkit complements recommendations from pivotal global security doctrines such as the New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Travel and obligations established in UNSCR 2396.  The FTFs Working Group merged the Watchlisting Initiative and Maritime Security Initiative programming to host the first combined events that addressed best practices in border security management with an emphasis on maritime efforts.
  1. Initiative on Maritime Security and Terrorist Travel: The GCTF initiative Operationalizing the Prevention and Interdiction of Maritime Terrorist Travel promotes the recommendations put forth in the Maritime Addendum to the GCTF New York Memorandum on Good Practices for Interdicting Terrorist Traveladdressing potential vulnerabilities in the maritime sector that could be exploited by terrorists.  In 2022 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 the combined efforts of the Watchlisting Initiative and Maritime Security Initiative, the FTF Working Group Co-Leads held two virtual workshops focusing on maritime and border security best practices and Africa-wide maritime border challenges.
  1. Initiative to Counter Terrorist Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems:  In 2022, the United States and the UK announced a partnership to counter the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems) for terrorist purposes by operationalizing the Berlin Memorandum on Good Practices to Counter Unmanned Aerial System Threats (2019).  The leads presented a Concept Note at the 20th GCTF Coordinating Committee outlining plans for a series of webinar workshops in 2023 and 2024 to bring greater awareness of the good practices.

More information on the GCTF is available through its website.

Global Counterterrorism Forum-Inspired Institutions:  The first three of the following institutions — 1) the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, 2) Hedayah, and 3) the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund — 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:  In 2014 the United States and other GCTF partners established the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ) as an institution dedicated to building the capacity of law enforcement and criminal justice stakeholders to address terrorism and related transnational criminal activities based on the work of the GCTF.  In coordination with the GCTF and others, the IIJ has become a leading center for helping countries develop capable civilian counterterrorism systems and approaches and trained more than 7,500 lawmakers, police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials, and other criminal justice stakeholders from 123 participating countries in issues relating to FTFs, Battlefield Evidence, REMVE, addressing homegrown terrorism, juvenile justice, and mutual legal assistance, among others.  The IIJ works closely with the GCTF, supporting the work of the GCTF’s CJ-ROL Working Group, hosting meetings and workshops, and operationalizing and informing the development of GCTF good-practice documents.  In partnership with the United States and Norway, the IIJ held a joint side event at the September Coordinating Committee to amplify the recommendations and complementary work of the Criminal Justice Practitioner’s Guide for Addressing REMVE and the GCTF REMVE Toolkit.
  • Hedayah:  Hedayah is the first-ever international center of excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  Hedayah concentrates on capacity building, dialogue and CVE communications, and research and analysis.  The center 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 2022, 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 use of the internet for terrorist purposes by 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 2022, Hedayah raised approximately $11 million for programs and operating expenses from donors including Australia, Canada, the EU, Morocco, the UAE, the UK, and the United States.
  • Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund:  In 2013 the GCTF called for the establishment of 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, the EU, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Liechtenstein, Morocco, New Zealand, Niger (both a recipient and donor country), Norway, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.  The United States has contributed $20.8 million through 2022.  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.

The 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, SCN now includes more than 165 local governments across six continents.  The network 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 and the EU, SCN began to launch regional hubs in East and Southern Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and the Western Balkans.  In April, SCN organized a U.S.-Nordic dialogue on countering hate and polarization in Helsinki, Finland.  In November, SCN partnered with other organizations to organize workshops on countering hate and polarization for Central and Eastern European stakeholders in Bratislava, Slovakia, and a mayoral summit in The Hague, Netherlands, for city leaders from the United States and Europe.

INTERPOL (the International Criminal Police Organization):  Through its I-24/7 secure global police communications system, INTERPOL connects member states’ law enforcement officials to its criminal police databases, and to its system for requesting assistance in criminal investigative matters by sending messages and the publication of notices for various purposes.  INTERPOL provides technical assistance to help member countries affected by the FTF challenge by providing frontline officials with access to I-24/7.  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 able to identify, deter, and interdict FTFs and other transnational criminals.

The European Union:  The EU remains a top counterterrorism partner of 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 member states on REMVE, which some EU members refer to as “right-wing extremism,” “nationalist 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.  The EU is also concerned by individual “right-wing nationalists” from member states who have been volunteering in Ukraine and later returning to their home countries with battlefield experience – and possibly also with weapons.   There are significant transnational links between REMVE actors and networks on both sides of the Atlantic, and the United States and the EU work together to tackle these threats.  By working together, the United States and the EU continue to make significant progress in addressing 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 prosecuting and securing convictions of 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.  The U.S. government continued to encourage EU member states to take responsibility for their FTFs and associated family members located in the al-Hol and Roj displaced persons camps in northeast Syria by repatriating, rehabilitating, reintegrating, and prosecuting 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 member states, it has stated that rehabilitating and reintegrating returning citizens is a priority at the EU level as well.  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 member states to facilitate the sharing of battlefield evidence, as well as to emphasize that CT is an important area for NATO-EU cooperation.

The EU continued military and law enforcement capacity building missions in the Horn of Africa, the Central African Republic, Mozambique, and the Sahel, working closely with U.S. elements in CT, border security, and stabilization efforts.  In May, following the Mali military junta’s decision to pull out of the G-5 Sahel force, the EU suspended its military training mission in the country.  In December the EU established the EU Military Partnership Mission in Niger, a new EU Common Security and Defense Policy mission, to support Niger’s fight against terrorist armed groups.  The mandate of the mission will initially last three years, and the financial reference amount for the common costs for this period will be roughly $30 million.  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 CT 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.

The OSCE:  The OSCE’s CT work in 2022 was significantly disrupted by the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine.  Under Poland’s leadership as the 2022 Chair in Office, the OSCE approach to CT focused on the protection of vulnerable targets from terrorist attacks and improving border security measures to counter terrorist travel while upholding international human rights law.  In March the OSCE, UNOCT, and Uzbekistan hosted a “High-Level Conference on Regional Cooperation Among Central Asian States Within the Framework of the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the UN GCTS [Global Counterterrorism Strategy].”  In October the OSCE, UNOCT, the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Tajikistan, the EU, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar hosted a conference entitled “International and Regional Border Security and Management Cooperation to Counter Terrorism and Prevent the Movement of Terrorism.”  In September the United States participated in a policy brief organized by the OSCE Action Against Terrorism Unit and the OSCE Gender Issues Program.  This meeting of 59 representatives from governments, international organizations, civil society, and academia discussed the “linkages between violent misogyny and violent extremism.”  In October the United States participated in the sixth OSCE-wide Seminar on Passenger Data Exchange, urging OSCE participating states to expand the use of watchlists and information sharing for border screening, including in the maritime sector.  OSCE staff actively participated in global and regional efforts supported by the United States through the GCTF, the IIJ, and NATO.

NATO:  In June, Allies released the NATO 2022 Strategic Concept, which affirmed terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as the most direct asymmetric threat to the security of Alliance citizens and to international peace and prosperity.  In 2022 the United States continued to invest foreign assistance resources to support implementation of the NATO Counterterrorism Action Plan (CTAP).  NATO work under the CTAP focuses on improving awareness of the terrorist threat, developing capabilities to prepare and respond, and enhancing engagement with partner countries and other international actors.  To facilitate information sharing, NATO brought together its own experts in May to meet with those from various UN offices, INTERPOL, the EU, the Council of Europe, and the IIJ, focusing on civilian-military cooperation and communication in support of the collection and use of battlefield evidence.  At the NATO Center of Excellence for Stability Policing in Vicenza, Italy, NATO conducted three iterations of institutional-level battlefield evidence training for participants from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia, and the UAE.  The NATO Battlefield Evidence Working Group resumed in-person meetings in Brussels, Belgium.  In July, NATO held a CVE-focused meeting for Allies to exchange lessons learned and develop ways to strengthen NATO and national resilience to monitor, prevent, and counter violent extremism conducive to terrorism.  The United States also contributed to work of the new NATO Resilience Committee to strengthen national and collective resilience and civil preparedness against military and nonmilitary threats.  NATO International Staff members regularly collaborate with the AU, the EU, the IIJ, the OSCE, the United Nations, and other international and regional organizations.

The Council of Europe (CoE):  The United States participates in the CoE as an observer.  The CoE’s counterterrorism priorities, as established in its 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 Emerging Terrorist Threats; Countering Terrorist Communications, Recruitment, and Training; and the Use of Information Collected in Conflict Zones as Evidence in Criminal Proceedings Related to Terrorist Offenses.  With significant advocacy and involvement from the United States, the CoE passed Battlefield Evidence (BE) Legal Recommendations under the auspices of the CDCT in the spring.  These recommendations are critical in advancing effective prosecution and accountability efforts for terrorists and other criminals, potentially including atrocities committed by Russia’s forces in Ukraine.  The United States continued to cooperate on CoE efforts to develop good practices for identifying and using BE as a follow-on to the Legal Recommendations.  Representatives from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Treasury participated in the November CoE conference entitled “Terrorist Threats Emerging from Far-Right Violent Extremist Movements.”  The biennial CDCT plenary addressed topics including BE, countering terrorist communications, recruitment and training, increasing information sharing, and transnational threats.  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:  Germany served as the 2022 Group of Seven (G-7) President and set a well-considered agenda for the year that culminated in the adoption of the G-7 Interior and Security Ministerial Statement that focused on CT-related priorities and deliverables, including addressing threats from Afghanistan; countering REMVE; preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism online; and emerging issues related to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.  The United States participated in the Roma-Lyon Group’s Heads of Delegation meetings and the Roma-Lyon Group on Counterterrorism and Counter Crime’s six subgroups, ensuring the facilitation and implementation of ongoing projects that develop good practices for CT and law enforcement efforts.  The United States also continued chairing the Roma-Lyon Group’s cross-modal Transportation Security Subgroup, including overseeing collaboration related to flight school security and information sharing on sanction implementation in the maritime domain.

OAS/CICTE:  The OAS’s Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism with a Meeting of Consultation of States Parties in September.  The Convention, adopted shortly after 9/11, was one of the first efforts to combat terrorism in a systematic, strategic way.  At the September meeting, States Parties including the United States endorsed a declaration and recommendations intended to enhance coordination and information sharing, support capacity building, and increase resilience and preparedness.  In May, OAS member states participated in a virtual training course entitled “Introduction to the Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism.”  CICTE also led the commemoration of June 2 as Inter-American Day Against Terrorism, encouraging member states to counter terrorism and violent extremism in the Western Hemisphere and worldwide.  The committee held its 22nd regular session in a virtual format in July.  Led by Guyana and Mexico as outgoing and incoming chairs in office, respectively, the meeting focused on the security of civil aviation and major events, supply-chain security, cybersecurity in the hemisphere, and cooperation to prevent violent extremism that is conducive to terrorism.  In 2022, 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.

ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the East Asia Summit:  CT activities with the 10-member ASEAN bloc and the 27-member ARF in 2022 included annual meetings and capacity building.  The United States led 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 2021.  The third and final workshop in this series was held in Manila, Philippines, in May.  The United States additionally co-sponsored, with Indonesia, the Second Annual ASEAN-U.S. CVE workshop held in August in Bali, Indonesia, which supported the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism (Bali Workplan 2019-25) which set forth a comprehensive framework for preventing and countering violent extremism.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) — which includes the 10 ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States — issued multiple statements in 2022.  At the 12th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in August in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, foreign ministers issued a statement that reaffirmed their commitment to CVE, recognized the importance of a collective and comprehensive approach to address terrorism and violent extremism, and expressed continued support for the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalization and Violent Extremism.  At the 17th East Asia Summit held in November in Phnom Penh, EAS leaders similarly issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to CT and CVE and to the ASEAN Plan of Action.

APEC:  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.  It 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.  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.

AU:  There are two main bodies within the AU that lead its CT 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 Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), 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 expanded CT efforts.

The 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 May, Mali withdrew from the G-5 Sahel and Joint Force.  However, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (or MINUSMA) continued to provide logistical support to the G-5 Sahel and 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 CVE and other threats.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):  The ICAO is a specialized UN agency that promotes the development of international civil air navigation safety and security standards and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.  The organization adopts standards and recommended practices across many areas, including air navigation, its infrastructure, flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation.  The ICAO’s Aviation Security 2021 (AVSEC2021) event, which concluded on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, featured substantive and compelling discussions on aviation security, including contributions from current and former representatives of government and industry.  The ICAO’s involvement during the 2021 takeover of Kabul by the Taliban progressed from issuing guidance to avoid Afghanistan’s airspace to tackling the full range of technical issues relating to 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 (GICNT):  In 2022 the United States continued to serve as co-chair of 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 2022, GICNT paused all official meetings and working groups until further notice due to Russia’s renewed war of aggression against Ukraine.  However, the United States consulted closely with GICNT partners and supported the implementation of three practical exercises and one virtual engagement outside the formal GICNT framework to address global nuclear terrorism threats and challenges without Russia’s involvement.

FATF:  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 implementation of global FATF standards are supported by FATF-style regional bodies worldwide.  In 2022, FATF continued to address terrorist financing through ongoing work.  This included regular, nonpublic updates to the FATF global network on the financing of ISIS, AQ, and their affiliates, as well as the completion of a project to identify and analyze unintended consequences of the FATF standards, including de-risking, financial exclusion, and undue targeting of non-profit organizations.  FATF also published a report in March on money laundering and terrorist financing risks arising from migrant smuggling.

Christchurch Call to Action to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online (Christchurch Call):  In May 2021, the United States officially joined the New Zealand- and France-led Christchurch Call, established in a 2019 summit after the livestreamed terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier that year; 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.  It also noted that in its Christchurch Call participation, the United States would not take steps that would violate the freedoms of speech and association protected by the First Amendment, 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 mitigate the risk of online platforms being exploited for terrorist or violent extremist purposes.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT):  In 2022 the United States continued to participate in the industry-led 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.  Its objectives are to prevent and counter terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of online platforms through developing and sharing technology, including by providing assistance to smaller companies and by implementing, research and prevention programs.  In 2022 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.  Also in 2022, the United States invited the GIFCT to cross-pollinate ideas and support workshops for the GCTF REMVE Toolkit development and operationalization.

OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development):  In 2022 the United States continued its efforts with governments, tech companies, 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 is to increase voluntary reporting by platforms of all sizes to help build the evidence base for sound policy-making and 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.

The Aqaba Process:  In 2022 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 to bring together government decisionmakers and other stakeholders to coordinate strategic confrontation with terrorists and violent extremists both offline and online.  Jordan started the Aqaba Process to address the need for a holistic approach that addresses terrorist threats collectively and simultaneously, sometimes on a regional or thematic basis.

Long-Term Programs and Initiatives Designed to

Counter Terrorist Safe Havens and Recruitment

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.  Preventing and countering radicalization, recruitment, and mobilization to violence are essential counterterrorism tools.  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 2022, through bilateral and multilateral engagement, the Department of State’s 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) counter messaging.  The CT Bureau partnered with local and national government officials, community leaders, NGOs, educators, mental health professionals and social workers, religious figures, private sector technology companies, and others to build a prevention architecture to counter radicalization and recruitment to violence.

For example, the CT Bureau worked to implement the Bali Workplan 2019-25, which provides an implementation framework to guide relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, organs, and entities in carrying out the necessary activities and to monitor effectiveness in preventing and countering terrorist radicalization and recruitment.  In 2022 the CT Bureau, in coordination with ASEAN, USAID’s ASEAN office, and the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism, held the second of three scheduled U.S.-ASEAN Workshops on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) in Indonesia, focusing on developing and implementing ASEAN members’ National Plans of Action on P/CVE, as well as raising awareness of P/CVE online, including promoting media literacy and critical thinking skills.

Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism

The CT Bureau increased its efforts to counter 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 communities; 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.  As noted previously, the United States and Norway (a non-member of GCTF) developed the GCTF REMVE Toolkit, which was adopted in September to address complex REMVE challenges with legal, operational, and policy responses and good- practice recommendations.  In November the CT Bureau sponsored REMVE-focused workshops in Bratislava and The Hague 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 continued 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 CT strategy because increased censorship and other restrictions on human rights can undermine CT 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 longstanding guiding principles and focused on programs and workshops to promote critical thinking skill and digital literacy to build resilience against terrorist and violent extremist propaganda and recruitment efforts.

The United States continued to work with the Christchurch Call and the CT Bureau worked to ensure the U.S. position was reflected in the work of international and other multilateral fora such as the UN, the G-7, and the G-20.  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 on terrorist trends and tactics.  The CT Bureau also engaged regularly with the industry-led GIFCT, including GIFCT working groups, and the 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 (FTFs) and associated 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.  Through the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, the CT Bureau supported rehabilitation and reintegration training for civil society organizations in Indonesia and other countries.  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 nationals and update their approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration, which could, in turn, encourage other nations to agree to repatriate their nationals from Syria and Iraq.

Strategic Messaging

The CT Bureau continues to work with the Global Engagement Center to counter terrorist messaging globally, with a particular focus on countering ISIS and AQ propaganda.  The CT Bureau supports the GEC’s Resiliency Campaign focused on Iraq, Syria, and Jordan as part of the Global Coalition to 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.

In coordination with Hedayah, the CT Bureau trained and supported government and civil society officials from Kosovo and Kyrgyzstan ‎in developing communications strategies to complement CVE national action plans and building positive messaging campaigns to undermine terrorist narratives and counter the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.

International Platforms to Advance CVE

In 2022 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.

  • The 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, SCN now includes more than 165 local governments across six continents.  The network 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 and the EU, SCN began to launch regional hubs in East and Southern Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and the Western Balkans.
  • The Global Community Engagement Resilience Fund:  The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) supported 75 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 2021 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, 19 international donors (18 countries and the EU) 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 2.7 million direct beneficiaries, with 50 percent of direct beneficiaries being women and girls.  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 to violence, and to build a safety net among 10 million other people in their communities in more than 20 countries.
  • Hedayah:  In 2022, Hedayah continued to support CVE work in Tunisia and Tajikistan that focused on developing and disseminating strategic messaging content for vulnerable communities and build resiliency against terrorist content, strengthen capacity to understand and employ techniques to counter terrorists’ use of the internet, and help the Tunisian and Tajik governments develop and implement their CVE national action plans.  Hedayah also advised and assisted governments and civil society on developing CVE strategies and approaches that concentrated on REMVE and on rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters and associated family members.  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 2022, Hedayah raised about $11 million for programs and operating expenses from donors, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Morocco, the UK, the EU, and the UAE.

Civilian Counterterrorism Capacity Building Programs

As terrorism 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 U.S. partners.  In 2022 the U.S. government shifted its counterterrorism approach to a more sustainable footing, less reliant on military action and more rooted in partnerships, diplomacy, and multilateral relationships.  To succeed over the long term, the United States must have partners who not only prevent, disrupt, and degrade networks through law enforcement or militarily — 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.  Across 14 core competencies ranging from CVE to border management, 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.

In 2022, CT resources allowed the Department of State to continue, and in some cases expand, civilian law enforcement CT 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, the Western Balkans, and the Western Hemisphere 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 CT operations, protecting both the homeland and U.S. interests abroad.  Similarly, the CT Bureau developed the capacity of law enforcement partners to respond to terrorist attacks and counter IEDs.  CT support strengthened security at airports, with particular focus on those with direct flights to the United States, while also building law enforcement capacity to secure lengthy, porous borders through technical assistance and equipment.  The CT Bureau also supported multilateral efforts to strengthen law enforcement and build CVE capabilities.  Recipient law enforcement organizations have used the skills and assistance to counter 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).  It 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, conspiring to commit, or attempting to commit, or aiding or abetting in the commission of, 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, foreign election interference, hostage taking of U.S. persons, and terrorism-linked kidnappings of U.S. persons.

To generate leads, RFJ issues reward offers for information covered by its statutory authority.  Since RFJ’s inception in 1984, the program has paid in excess of $250 million to more than 125 individuals who provided information that helped resolve threats to national security, and the Secretary continued to authorize such payments in 2022.

In 2022 the RFJ program announced the following new terrorism-related reward offers:

  • February 7.  A reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) leader Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir.  Ghafari is responsible for approving all ISIS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding to conduct operations.
  • February 7.  A reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of those responsible for the August 26, 2021, terrorist attack at the Kabul airport.  At least 185 people were killed in the attack, including 13 U.S. servicemembers who were supporting evacuation operations.  More than 150 people, including 18 U.S. servicemembers, were wounded.  ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • November 18.  A reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of al-Shabaab, the East Africa AQ affiliate.

Throughout 2022, RFJ readvertised reward offers worldwide for

  • Information leading to the identification or location of senior terrorist leaders.
  • Information on those responsible for terrorist attacks.
  • 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

While the United States continues to cooperate with Pakistan on regional security and counterterrorism, the bilateral relationship has intensified its focus on shared economic and development priorities, including trade and investment, addressing the climate crisis, and responding to the devastation caused by heavy flooding.

The United States continues to provide civilian assistance on a focused set of priorities.  In 2022 the US. government committed more than $97 million for flood response, food security, and disaster preparedness efforts in Pakistan.  The United States also provided assistance to support Pakistan’s development, stability, and prosperity, partnering to address the climate crisis and facilitate private sector-led trade and investment.  In health, the United States partnered with Pakistan to promote global health security; combat infectious diseases such as COVID-19, other vaccine-preventable diseases, and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; support maternal and child health; and fund activities in family planning and reproductive health.  The United States also supports people-to-people exchanges to strengthen the U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relationship, improve Pakistan’s perceptions of the United States, and deepen people-to-people ties.  The U.S. government continues to provide robust law enforcement, counternarcotics, and rule-of-law assistance for Pakistan.

The table below shows bilateral assistance provided to Pakistan for fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022.  It does not include humanitarian and other centrally managed assistance for Pakistan’s benefit, including $97 million in flood recovery assistance.

Account   FY 2020  FY 2021 FY 2022
Total Bilateral Foreign Assistance a   73.4 81.9 97.8
Economic Support Fund   46.0 45.0 39.6
Global Health Programs   3.0 7.0 30.5
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement   21.0 25.0 25.0
Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, and Demining   0.8 0.7 —-
International Military Education and Training   0.7 4.4 2.7
Food for Peace Title II   2.0 —- —-
a Figures in millions, US$.

Counterterrorism Coordination with Saudi Arabia

Countering Violent Extremism:  In 2022, Saudi Arabia continued to be a premier counterterrorism (CT) partner of the United States.  Saudi authorities worked closely with the United States to implement CT commitments and remained eager to enhance defense and security cooperation with the United States, including on 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 counter violent extremist threats.  The main threats were from Iran-backed proxies and Houthi cross-border attacks from Yemen.  Saudi Arabia remained a regional leader in countering terrorist financing, in part by hosting and co-chairing the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC).  The TFTC brings together the United States and Gulf Cooperation Council partners to confront new and evolving threats through joint multilateral designations aimed at disrupting financial flows to terrorist networks and individuals.

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. Saudi Arabia is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

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 violent extremist interpretations of Islam, emphasizing a positive notion of 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 counter violent extremist messages.  The government-supported Etidal Global Center for Countering Extremist Ideology continued its counter -extremism monitoring and messaging strategy online.  Security authorities continued to employ the Center for Counseling and Care to monitor, rehabilitate, and reintegrate into society former Saudi terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters.

With the goal of reducing the potential for violent 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.  The Saudi government made further progress in revising textbooks used in the public K-12 curriculum to reduce intolerant and “extremist” content.  The Minister of Islamic Affairs instructed all mosques to remove books that called for “extremism” and partisanship and banned unlicensed preaching activities, including proselytizing to non-Muslims without permission.  In contrast, antisemitic language was used in several Friday sermons at the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina.  Social, legal, economic, and political discrimination against the country’s Shia minority continued.  The Saudi government’s potential use of terrorism laws to prosecute activists and 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 https://www.usagm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/USAGM_CVE_Factsheet-02-16-23.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, while 2) facilitating legitimate travel and international exchange.  Focusing on these two missions safeguards the 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 require additional processing and vetting after the interview.  Because of this, program sponsors and applicants should coordinate to submit 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

In accordance with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, USAID is required to report annually on Basic Education programs in Muslim-majority countries for the Country Reports on Terrorism.  With the approval of the Department of State, USAID’s Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation’s Center for Education (DDI/EDU) reoriented the 2021 submission to include a description of USAID’s strategic approach to basic education and links to the relevant publicly available documents and information.  DDI/EDU’s submission is now more evergreen; thus, the 2022 submission contains updated links but otherwise mirrors the 2021 submission.

The U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education for Fiscal Years 2019-23 (the Strategy) was released in September 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 2021 U.S. Government Strategy Report to Congresshighlight 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 USAID’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 pre-primary 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 https://www.usaid.gov/economic-growth-and-trade and https://www.usaid.gov/reports-and-data 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.  Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) mandates that the Department of State review FTO designations every five years to determine whether an FTO still meets the relevant criteria.  The law requires that the Secretary of State revoke a designation if the Secretary finds that the circumstances that were the basis of the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant a revocation.

In 2022 following a thorough review, the Department of State revoked the FTO designations of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), Aum Shinrikyo, Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), Kahane Chai, and Gama’a al-Islamiyya (IG).  Revocation of these designations does not affect any prior law enforcement actions related to the groups’ past terrorist activities and does not allow any former members admissibility into the United States.

Legal Criteria for Designation Under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act 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 2022

AFRICA  
Ansar al-Dine AAD
Boko Haram BH
ISIS-Democratic Republic of the Congo ISIS-DRC
ISIS in the Greater Sahara ISIS-GS
ISIS-Mozambique ISIS-M
ISIS-West Africa ISIS-WA
Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin JNIM
Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan Ansaru
al-Murabitoun
al-Shabaab AS
al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM
EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Abu Sayyaf Group ASG
Communist Party of Philippines/New People’s Army CPP/NPA
ISIS-Philippines ISIS-P
Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid JAT
Jemaah Islamiya JI
EUROPE
Continuity Irish Republican Army CIRA
Real IRA RIRA
Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front DHKP/C
Revolutionary Struggle RS
THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Abdallah Azzam Brigades AAB
al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade AAMB
al-Ashtar Brigades AAB
al-Nusrah Front ANF
al-Qa’ida AQ
al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula AQAP
Ansar al-Islam AAI
Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi AAS-B
Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah AAS-D
Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia AAS-T
Army of Islam AOI
Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq AAH
Asbat al-Ansar AAA
Hamas
Harakat Sawa’d Misr HASM
Hizballah
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Libya ISIL-Libya
ISIS-Sinai Province ISIS-SP
Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi JRTN
Kata’ib Hizballah KH
Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK
Palestine Islamic Jihad PIJ
Palestine Liberation Front-Abu Abbas Faction PLF
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine PFLP
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command PFLP-GC
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent AQIS
Haqqani Network HQN
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami HUJI
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh HUJI-B
Harakat ul-Mujahideen HUM
Hizbul Mujahideen HM
Indian Mujahedeen IM
Islamic Jihad Union IJU
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan IMU
ISIS-Bangladesh
Islamic State’s Khorasan Province ISIS-K
Jaish-e-Mohammed JeM
Jaysh al-Adl
Lashkar e-Tayyiba LeT
Lashkar i Jhangvi LJ
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE
Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan TTP
WESTERN HEMISPHERE
National Liberation Army ELN
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army FARC-EP
Segunda Marquetalia
Shining Path SL

AFRICA

Ansar al-Dine

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

Description:  Ansar al-Dine (AAD) is now a component of JNIM.  The group 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 they 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 separately claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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 also is 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 (ISIS-WA).  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-WA.  On May 19, 2021, Shekau was reportedly killed during a clash with ISIS-WA.

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.  Since then, BH has continued to abduct women and girls, some of whom are subjected to domestic servitude, other forms of forced labor, and sexual servitude, including through forced marriages to its members.  Others have been ordered to carry out suicide attacks on civilians.

In 2020, suspected BH fighters attacked trucks carrying passengers along a military checkpoint in Nigeria, attacked villages in northeast Nigeria and killed 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 2021, suspected BH fighters launched rocket-propelled grenades into densely populated areas from the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing at least 10 people; and hundreds of BH fighters attacked a military post in southern Niger, killing at least 16 soldiers.

In January, BH claimed responsibility for an attack on a village in northeast Nigeria and reportedly abducted 17 girls.  In May, BH fighters reportedly killed at least 50 people around the town of Rann in Nigeria’s Borno State.  In November, BH attacked an army position in western Chad, killing at least 10 Chadian soldiers.

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 publicly recognized the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) as an affiliate in late 2018 and claimed responsibility for ADF-attributed attacks starting in 2019 after an attack on an Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo base near Kamango.  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.  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 persons and wounded 33 others.

In 2022, ISIS-DRC claimed responsibility for a bomb attack during a service at a Protestant church in Kasindi, North Kivu Province, killing at least 10 people and wounding 39 others.  Also in 2022, ISIS-DRC reportedly attacked several villages in Beni, killing 26 people and abducting 12 others.

Strength:  ISIS-DRC has between 500 to 1500 members.

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; Islamic State of the Greater Sahel; ISIS in the Greater Sahel; ISIS-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.  In 2022, ISIS-GS was elevated to a formal ISIS branch and changed its name to ISIS-Sahel (aka ISIS-Sahel Province).

Activities:  Since 2017, ISIS-GS has been involved in numerous skirmishes and attacks in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, including the 2017 attack on a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol that killed four U.S. soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers, as well as other attacks targeting or killing French, Malian, Nigerien, and Burkinabe soldiers and civilians. 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 ISIS-GS leader Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi in southern Mali.

In September, ISIS-GS launched an attack on a northern Malian town that killed dozens of civilians.  In the same month, ISIS-GS claimed responsibility for two attacks in northern Benin in July that killed six soldiers.  In August, ISIS-GS was suspected of being responsible for an attack in central Mali that killed 42 soldiers.

Strength:  ISIS-GS is estimated to have 400 to 1,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and to a lesser extent Benin.

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

ISIS-Mozambique

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 was designated as an FTO on March 10, 2021.  ISIS-Mozambique reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS as early as 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 the terrorist group has killed more than 2,300 civilians, security force members, and suspected ISIS-Mozambique militants since it began its violent extremist insurgency.

Activities:  In 2020, ISIS-Mozambique captured the strategic port of Mocímboa da Praia, Cabo Delgado Province, killing 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.  In 2022, ISIS-Mozambique attacked a Catholic mission in Chipene, killing an Italian nun and burning down several buildings.  Also in 2022, ISIS-Mozambique fighters dressed in Mozambique Defense Armed Forces uniforms attacked multiple villages in Ancuabe District, killing at least four civilians.

Strength:  ISIS-Mozambique is estimated to have up to 1,200 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Mozambique.

Funding and External Aid:  Although sources of funding remain unclear, the group has targeted banks in previous operations.  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:  Since 2016, ISIS-WA has been responsible for numerous attacks in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, including ones against Nigerian and Chadian military and security personnel.  ISIS-WA has also attacked humanitarian aid workers, local officials, critical infrastructure, and other civilians including executing 11 reported Christians in 2019.  ISIS-WA claimed the executions were revenge for the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In February, ISIS-WA claimed responsibility for several attacks in northeast Nigeria that killed or wounded at least 30 Nigerian soldiers.  In May, ISIS-WA killed 30 civilians in northeast Nigeria in response to military air strikes that killed several ISIS-WA commanders.  In July, ISIS-WA claimed responsibility for an attack on the Kuje prison in Nigeria that killed at least one guard and freed more than 800 inmates.  In the same month, ISIS-WA fighters ambushed the convoy of a local official in northeast Nigeria, killing four persons.  In October, ISIS-WA fighters attacked an army base in central Nigeria but were repelled.

Strength:  ISIS-WA is estimated to have between 4,000 and 5,000 active fighters.

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

Funding and External Aid:  ISIS-WA receives funding from local sources, taxes, the capture of military supplies, 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:  Since its formation in 2017, JNIM has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including a suicide attack against an African Defeat-ISIS Coalition base in Mali and a truck bomb in a residential complex in 2018; an attack against a UN base in northern Mali in 2019; attacks against Malian security and military personnel in 2020; and attacks against UN peacekeepers and Malian soldiers, as well as the abduction of a French reporter working in Mali in 2021.

In May, JNIM claimed responsibility for an attack on a Togolese military base that killed eight soldiers and wounded 13 others.  In July, JNIM claimed responsibility for an attack on Mali’s main military base that killed at least one soldier and wounded six others.  In October, JNIM claimed responsibility for an attack on a convoy in Burkina Faso that killed more than a dozen soldiers.  In November, JNIM claimed responsibility for an attack on Togolese forces near the border of Benin and Burkina Faso that killed at least 17 soldiers.

Strength:  JNIM is estimated to have about 2,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, 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 (BH) 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 BH’s objectives and struggle, but it has criticized the group for killing fellow Muslims.

Activities:  Since splintering from BH, Ansaru has kidnapped several civilians including a French engineer allegedly in response to French involvement in Mali in 2012 and seven international construction workers who were subsequently killed in 2013.  In 2020, Ansaru claimed responsibility for attacking the convoy of the Emir of Potiskum in northern Nigeria, killing at least 30 Nigerian soldiers.

In January, Ansaru reconfirmed its allegiance to AQIM in a statement released online.  Ansaru is suspected of having participated in an attack on a Nigerian passenger train in March from which more than 60 passengers were taken hostage.  Ansaru also is suspected to have been behind an attack on a military base in Nigeria in April, which killed 17 soldiers and wounded 40 others.  In July, Ansaru participated in an attack on the Kuje prison in Nigeria, killing at least one guard and freeing more than 800 inmates, including Ansaru leader Khalid al-Barnawi, and six of his close lieutenants.  Al-Barnawi was originally captured by the Nigerian Army in 2016.

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.

Al-Murabitoun

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 is now a component of JNIM and 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:  Since 2013, al-Murabitoun has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks involving civilians, including an attack against a gas facility in southeastern Algeria where more than 800 people were taken hostage during the four-day siege, resulting in the deaths of 39 civilians, including three U.S. citizens; and an attack at the La Terrasse restaurant in Bamako, Mali, that that killed a French national, a Belgian national, and three Malians in 2015.  Al-Murabitoun also has been involved in attacks against military personnel, claiming responsibility for a 2017 suicide car bombing at a military camp in Mali that killed more than 47 people and fighting against French forces in Mali in 2018.

Between 2015 and 2016, al-Murabitoun was involved in a series of hotel attacks, claiming responsibility for a hotel siege in central Mali and participating in the strike against the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako in 2015.  More than 170 people, including U.S. citizens, were taken hostage in the Radisson attack and at least 26 people were killed, among them a U.S. international development worker.  Al-Murabitoun reportedly also was involved in the 2016 AQIM attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso that killed nearly 30, including a U.S. citizen.

In December, Fawaz Ould Ahmed was extradited to the United States to face charges including the murder of a U.S. citizen and conspiracy to provide material support to AQIM and al-Murabitoun.  Ahmed admitted to a Malian court in 2020 to carrying out the La Terrasse restaurant attack and planning hotel attacks including the Raddison Blu Hotel attack in 2015.  Al-Murabitoun did not separately claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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.

Al-Shabaab

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 pledged allegiance to al-Qa’ida in 2012 and has ties to other al-Qa’ida affiliates, including al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb.  Al-Shabaab formed originally as 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.

Composed of Somali recruits and foreign terrorist fighters, al-Shabaab since 2011 has seen its military capacity and territorial control reduced owing to the efforts of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS; formerly 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 Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda.

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.  Al-Shabaab has murdered numerous civil society figures, government officials, journalists, international aid workers, and members of non-governmental organizations.

The group has claimed responsibility for numerous high-profile bombings and shootings throughout East Africa against civilians, AMISOM troops and other foreign forces, and Somali officials, including suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in 2010 — its first attacks outside of Somalia, killing 76 people, including a U.S. citizen.  Other attacks include the 2013 multiday siege against the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, resulting in the deaths of at least 65 civilians, including foreign nationals from 13 countries as well as six soldiers and police officers; the 2015 raid on Kenya’s Garissa University College that killed 148 people; the 2016 attack against a Kenyan AMISOM base that killed more than 100 soldiers, one of the deadliest attacks against AMISOM troops in Somalia; the 2020 attack against U.S. and Kenyan personnel at the Manda Bay Airfield in Kenya, killing three U.S. citizens; and several attacks and bombings against civilians, as well as security and military personnel in 2021.

In 2022, al-Shabaab detonated two car bombs at a busy market intersection near the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu, killing at least 121 people and wounding at least 300.  Al-Shabaab also continued to expand its cross-border attacks in 2022, sending hundreds of militants to infiltrate the Ethiopian border, killing 17 people including several Ethiopian soldiers.

Strength:  Al-Shabaab is estimated to have between 7,000 and 12,000 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda.

Funding and External Aid:  Al-Shabaab receives and generates enough income to launch attacks throughout East Africa, including against ATMIS 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, killed in 2020 by French forces, the group chose Abu Obaida Yusuf al-Annabi as Droukdel’s successor.

Activities:  Since becoming an al-Qa’ida affiliate, AQIM has claimed responsibility for or was involved in numerous high-profile attacks including the 2007 bombing of the UN headquarters building and an Algerian government building in Algiers that killed 60 people.  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.  AQIM also participated in a 2015 attack against the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali.  More than 170 people, including U.S. citizens, were taken hostage in the Radisson attack, and at least 26 people were killed, among them a U.S. international development worker.

Between 2016 and 2020, AQIM carried out several attacks against civilians, as well as security and military personnel, including 2016 attacks on a hotel in Burkina Faso that killed 28 people and a popular tourist beach resort in Côte d’Ivoire that killed more than 16 people; a 2018 vehicle suicide attack on an army patrol in Gao that killed four civilians and wounded 31 others, including four French soldiers; and a 2019 attack on a UN camp in northern Mali, killing 10 Peacekeepers and wounding 25 others.

In February 2022, French forces killed Yahia Djouadi, a senior AQIM official responsible for finance and logistics, in Mali.  AQIM did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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.


EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

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 Islamic 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.  In 2014, an ASG faction pledged allegiance to ISIS and later formed ISIS’s Philippines branch in 2016.

Activities:  Since 2015, ASG has committed kidnappings for ransom (KFR), bombings, ambushes of security personnel, public beheadings, assassinations, and extortion, including KFR operations targeting Canadian, Philippine, German, and Norwegian citizens in 2016 and 2017; a 2018 car bombing at a military checkpoint on Basilan Island, Philippines, killing 10 people, including a Philippine soldier and pro-government militiamen; and the 2019 kidnapping of two British nationals from a beach resort in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.

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.

In January, ASG killed one Philippine soldier and wounded two in an attack on a Philippine Army truck.

Strength:  ASG is assessed to have fewer than 200 armed fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Philippines and Malaysia.

Funding and External Aid:  ASG is funded primarily through its KFR operations and extortion.  The group may also receive funding from external sources, including remittances from overseas Philippine 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.

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.  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.  In December the CPP/NPA’s founder, Jose Maria Sison, who reportedly directed CPP/NPA activity from the Netherlands, died in a hospital in Utrecht.

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, including four separate 1987 attacks in Angeles that killed three U.S. soldiers, and claimed responsibility for the 1989 ambush and murder of Col. James Nicholas Rowe, chief of the Army 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, including reports of the CPP/NPA’s continued recruitment in the Philippines and attacks against government forces and civilians.  In subsequent 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 December the CPP/NPA ambushed and wounded two civilians in a convoy of Philippine Army soldiers and civilians engaged in a preemptive evacuation because of Super Typhoon Odette.

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.

ISIS-Philippines

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”; ISIS-East Asia.

Description:  ISIS-Philippines (ISIS-P) was designated as an FTO on February 28, 2018.  In 2014 a faction of ASG militants under the command of now-deceased leader Isnilon Hapilon pledged allegiance to ISIS and later formed the ISIS branch in 2016.  Some Abu Sayyaf Group factions have been reported to interact and coordinate with ISIS-P, including participating in attacks that are claimed by ISIS in the Sulu archipelago.

Activities:  Since 2016, ISIS-P has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Philippine security forces, including 2017 fighting in Marawi that claimed more than 1,000 lives and forced more than 300,000 residents to flee the area; a 2018 suicide bomb attack on a military checkpoint in Basilan that killed at least 11 people; and several attacks in 2021.

ISIS-P also has claimed responsibility for attacks targeting civilians, including the 2019 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; and twin suicide bomb attacks in the Sulu province in 2020 that killed more than a dozen people and injured more than 70 others.  In 2021, Philippine authorities arrested several ASG members, including an ASG bomb expert linked to the Jolo cathedral bombings.  In November, ISIS-P was suspected of bombing a passenger bus in the southern Philippines that killed one and wounded 11.

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 arms from the Philippine military.

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, Indonesia.  Ba’asyir is also the co-founder and former leader of Jemaah Islamiya (JI).  JAT fractured when Ba’asyir pledged the group’s allegiance to ISIS in 2014.  Some members who disagreed with the group’s realignment left to form Jemaah Anshorut Syariah, while most members joined various ISIS-inspired groups, including Jemaah Anshorut Daulah and Mujahidin Indonesia Timur.

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.  JAT has not claimed responsibility for any attacks since at least 2014.  Former JAT members have been involved in ISIS-inspired attacks in Indonesia.

Strength:  JAT is estimated to have fewer than 1,000 former members scattered among various other Indonesia-based groups.

Location/Area of Operation:  Indonesia.

Funding and External Aid:  JAT has raised 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:  Jemaah Islamiya (JI) was designated as an FTO on October 23, 2002.  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.

Activities:  Since 2002, JI has conducted numerous significant JI attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people, among them seven U.S. citizens; the 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta; the 2004 bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta; the 2005 suicide bombing in Bali that killed 26 people; and the 2009 suicide attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, where a JI faction claimed responsibility, that killed seven persons and injured more than 50, including seven U.S. citizens.  JI has kept to a self-imposed moratorium on attacks since 2009.

More than 400 JI operatives have been captured or killed since 2002, including its emir, Para Wijayanto, who was arrested in 2019.  Indonesian police said that between 2013 and 2018, under Wijayanto’s leadership, JI sent at least six groups of individuals 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 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.

In 2021, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, JI’s 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.  In December, one of the 2002 Bali bombers, Umar Patek, was released from an Indonesian prison on parole.

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 has raised 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.


EUROPE

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 Northern 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 2021, CIRA claimed responsibility for an attack on a police station in Fermanagh County, Northern Ireland.  CIRA did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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:  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.  In June 2023, the Department of State amended its FTO designations of RIRA to reflect additional aliases including New IRA as its primary name.  Although this amendment occurred outside of the reporting period for this report, it is included to highlight claimed activity under its new primary name through 2022.

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 2012, RIRA rebranded itself as the New Irish Republican Army (New IRA) when members of RIRA, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), and several independent republicans came together.  In 2016, the New IRA bombed the van of an Irish prison officer in east Belfast; the officer died from complications following the attack.  Dublin police also linked the New IRA to a cache of explosives found in Dublin in 2016.  In 2017, the New IRA claimed responsibility for a gun attack on police in north Belfast that injured an on-duty officer.  In 2019, the New IRA claimed responsibility for four parcel bombs mailed to London and Glasgow and an attempt to murder a police officer in Northern Ireland using a car bomb.  Also in 2019, the New IRA admitted responsibility and offered apologies for the shooting and killing of Lyra McKee, a journalist in Norther Ireland.  In 2021, the New IRA claimed responsibility for an attempted bomb attack on a police officer in Northern Ireland.  In November 2022, the New IRA claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a police vehicle in Northern Ireland.

Strength:  The Irish government reports that 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:  The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  DHKP/C 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.  DHKP/C murdered 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, 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.

In 2015, 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 DHKP/C after police attempted to rescue him.  Also that year, two women opened fire on the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul; one woman was identified as a DHKP/C member.  In mid-2019, two individuals linked to DHKP/C were arrested by Turkish security forces after they had entered the Turkish Parliament and taken a staff member hostage.  There have been no known attacks by DHKP/C since mid-2019.

In May, German police arrested three senior members of DHKP/C for organizing the group’s propaganda, recruitment, and funding activities across Germany, and are believed to have supplied fake passports to DHKP/C members.  In November, Turkish security forces arrested Gülten Matur, the DHKP/C leader responsible for Türkiye.

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

Revolutionary Struggle

AkaEpanastatikos Aghonas

Description:  Revolutionary Struggle (RS) was designated as an FTO on May 18, 2009.  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 in 2003 when it claimed responsibility for bombings at the Athens Courthouse protesting 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 2022.

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.


THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Abdallah Azzam Brigades

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:  Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB) was designated as an FTO on May 30, 2012.  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 2017, AAB called for jihad by Muslims against the United States and Israel after the U.S. announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Beginning in 2013, AAB began targeting Hizballah for the organization’s involvement in the Syrian conflict and support for Syrian regime forces.  In subsequent years, AAB claimed responsibility for several suicide bombings, including the 2013 bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, that killed 23 people; the 2014 twin suicide bomb attacks against the Iranian cultural center in Beirut that killed four persons; and the 2014 AAB-blamed suicide bombing in Beirut that killed a security officer.  From 2016 through 2018, AAB continued its involvement in the Syrian conflict and was active in Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp.

AAB announced its dissolution in 2019 and did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Lebanon.

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade

Aka al-Aqsa Martyrs Battalion.

Description:  Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) was designated as an FTO on March 27, 2002.  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 2015, AAMB declared open war against Israel and asked Iran to help fund its efforts in a televised broadcast.  Since 2010, AAMB has claimed responsibility for multiple rocket attacks on Israel from the West Bank, including at least 36 rockets launched in 2021.  In 2022, AAMB claimed responsibility for attacks that killed several Israeli security personnel.

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.

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 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, including a 2014 bomb attack that killed two police officers and an officer from the United Arab Emirates and the 2017 killing of 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 2022.

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-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.  It is led by Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani.  The group 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.

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.  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, 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 2022, ANF remained the largest and most-dominant militant faction in northwest Syria’s Idlib province.  In a mid-October offensive, ANF took full control of the strategic city of Afrin and at least 26 towns and villages to the southwest.  After several days of fighting between ANF and Turkish-backed rebel groups, an intervention by Türkiye stopped ANF’s expansion and the group withdrew from the Afrin region.  The clashes killed least 58 people, including 10 civilians, and forced thousands to flee homes or refugee camps.

Strength:  ANF has as many as 15,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Syria, headquartered in Syria’s Idlib province; operationally active in northwest 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.

Al-Qa’ida

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 was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1999.  Established in 1988, al-Qa’ida helped finance, recruit, transport, and train fighters for the Afghan resistance against the former Soviet Union.  Al-Qa’ida 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.  Al-Qa’ida 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.  Al-Qa’ida merged with al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) in 2001.  Although numerous al-Qa’ida leaders have been killed in recent years, including Usama bin Laden in 2011 and Ayman al-Zawahiri in 2022, al-Qa’ida’s likely acting leader remains at large in Iran.

Activities:  In the 1990s, al-Qa’ida conducted three bombings targeting U.S. troops in Aden, Yemen; claimed responsibility for shooting down U.S. helicopters and killing U.S. soldiers in Somalia; and 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.  Two of the individuals wanted for the embassy bombings, Sayf al-Adl and Abu Mohammed al-Masri, were released from Iranian custody in exchange for an Iranian diplomat who had been kidnapped in Yemen and held hostage since 2015.  In 2000, al-Qa’ida 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 al-Qa’ida 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 al-Qa’ida was behind the kidnapping of U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein in Pakistan.  Weinstein was held captive until his death in 2015.  In 2017, al-Zawahiri released a video calling for jihadists around the world to conduct attacks against the United States.  Al-Zawahiri also 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, 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.

Several individuals supporting or inspired by al-Qa’ida have been convicted or arrested.  In 2017 a U.S. citizen was convicted in New York of charges related to abetting al-Qa’ida’s 2009 attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan using two truck bombs.  In 2019 a man from Cleveland, Ohio, was arrested for allegedly making plans for an al-Qa’ida-inspired bomb attack on the city’s downtown Independence Day parade.

In 2022 the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri.  While al-Qa’ida did not claim responsibility for any attacks, it remained active in 2022.

Strength:  Fewer than a dozen al-Qa’ida core members with legacy ties to the group remain in Afghanistan.  The deaths or arrests of dozens of mid- and senior-level al-Qa’ida operatives, including Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, have disrupted communication, financial support, facilitation nodes, and several terrorist plots.  Al-Qa’ida leaders, including those located in Iran, oversee a network of affiliated groups.  In addition, supporters and associates worldwide who are motivated by the group’s ideology may operate without direction from al-Qa’ida central leadership.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan, Iran, North Africa, West Africa, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen.

Funding and External Aid:  Al-Qa’ida depends primarily 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 operatives were working together under the banner of AQAP.  The announcement signaled the rebirth of an al-Qa’ida 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, including a 2009 attempted attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan; a 2010 foiled plot to send explosive-laden packages to the United States on cargo planes; and the 2015 attack by brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi 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, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani killed three persons and injured eight others in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  AQAP released a video claiming “full responsibility” for the shooting the following year.  In 2021, AQAP killed eight Yemen soldiers and four civilians in an attack on a security forces checkpoint in Abyan governorate.

In 2022, AQAP claimed responsibility for several attacks throughout the year.  In February, AQAP kidnapped five UN workers in Abyan governorate, and continues to hold them hostage.  In June, AQAP carried out two attacks against pro-government forces in Abyan and Shabwah governorates in Yemen, killing 10 soldiers.  In September, AQAP ambushed a security forces checkpoint in Abyan, killing at least 21 Yemeni soldiers — the group’s deadliest attack since 2019.

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.

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.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS 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.

In 2014, parts 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 2022.  However, it remained active in Syria.

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:  Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi (AAS-B) was designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014.  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.

AAS-B announced its formal dissolution in 2017 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 2022.

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:  Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah (AAS-D) was designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014.  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 2022.

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:  Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T) was designated as an FTO on January 13, 2014.  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 2022.

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:  Army of Islam (AOI) was designated as an FTO on May 19, 2011.  Founded in 2005, AOI 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:  Since 2006, AOI has been responsible for kidnappings and terrorist attacks including kidnappings of civilians, including a U.S. journalist; 2009 attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis, Egypt; the 2011 attack on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria that killed 25 persons and wounded 100; and rocket attacks on Israel in a joint operation with the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem in 2012.

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 2022.

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:  Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) was designated as an FTO on January 10, 2020.  Led by Qays and Laith al-Khazali, AAH is an Iran-backed, militant organization that remains ideologically aligned with Iran and loyal to 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:  Since its creation in 2006, AAH has claimed responsibility for more than 6,000 attacks against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces.  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 individuals assessed to be AAH members were arrested in connection to rockets fired at the Camp Taji military training complex, where U.S. personnel provide divisional training.  Also in 2019, AAH members opened fire on a group of protestors trying to set fire to the group’s office in Nasiriya, killing at least six.  AAH continued to be active in 2022, including through indirect fire attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, typically using front names or proxy groups.

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 2022.

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.

Hamas

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:  Hamas was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Established in 1987 at the onset of the first Palestinian uprising, or First Intifada, Hamas is an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Its 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, Ismail Haniyeh was selected as Hamas’s new leader.  Hamas remained in de facto control in Gaza in 2022.

Activities:  Hamas has 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 2012, Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad operatives coordinated and carried out a bus bombing in Tel Aviv that wounded 29 people.  In 2014, Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers, 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.  Since 2018, Hamas has continued rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli territory, including an 11-day escalation with Israel in 2021 during which Hamas and other militant groups launched more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli cities.

In May 2022, Israeli security forces thwarted an attack planned by a Hamas cell in Jerusalem.  The cell planned to shoot Israeli public figures, launch bombing attacks, and kidnap soldiers.

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

Activities:  Since 2016, HASM has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the 2016 attempted assassination of Egypt’s former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, the 2017 assassination of Egyptian National Security Agency officer Ibrahim Azzazy; the 2017 attack on Burma’s embassy in Cairo; and the 2019 car bomb attack targeting security forces in Giza, killing or wounding 10 soldiers.  HASM was responsible for a car bombing on a government health institute in Cairo, killing at least 20 people and injuring dozens.

HASM did not claim responsibility for any terrorist attacks in 2022.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  Egypt.

Funding and External Aid:  Sources of funding are unknown.

Hizballah

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 continues to share 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 Embassy Beirut annex; and the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847, during which U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem was murdered.  Hizballah also was 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 who 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, killing five Israelis and one Bulgarian.

Several Hizballah operatives have been arrested or tried around the world, including two Hizballah operatives arrested in the United States in 2017.  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, extraditing him to Paraguay for prosecution two years later.  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 June, appeals judges sentenced two other Hizballah members, Hassan Habib Merhi and Hussein Hassan Oneissi, to life imprisonment for their roles as accomplices in the assassination.

In 2022 the Israeli military shot down three Hizballah-launched drones heading toward one of Israel’s offshore rigs at the Karish gas field, located in disputed waters between Israel and Lebanon.  Hizballah confirmed responsibility for the unarmed drones and noted they were intended to send a threatening message to Israel.

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:  The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was designated as an FTO on April 15, 2019.  As part of Iran’s military, the IRGC 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.

Founded in 1979, the IRGC has since 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 also is 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-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

Activities:  The IRGC — most prominently through its Qods Force — 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.  Also 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.  In 2022 an IRGC member was charged for attempting to arrange the murder of a former U.S. National Security Advisor.

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 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.  The IRGC also is active in Syria in support of the Assad regime.

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

Location/Area of Operation:  Iran, Iraq, Syria, Europe, and the Persian 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 2022 the United States designated an international oil smuggling and money laundering network, led by previously U.S.-designated IRGC-QF official Behnam Shahriyari and former IRGC-QF official Rostam Ghasemi.  This network facilitated the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of oil for the IRGC-QF and Hizballah, and it spans several jurisdictions, including Iran and Russia.

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 2004, Zarqawi joined al-Qa’ida, pledged allegiance to Usama bin Laden, and his group became known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI).  Zarqawi led AQI during Operation Iraqi Freedom to fight against U.S. and Defeat-ISIS Coalition forces in Iraq until he was killed in June 2006.

In 2006, AQI publicly renamed itself the Islamic State in Iraq before adopting the moniker of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2013 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 and separated this group from al-Qa’ida in 2014, before 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 (SDF), with support from the Defeat-ISIS Coalition, began a final push to oust ISIS fighters from the lower Middle Euphrates River Valley in Syria.  2019 marked the full territorial defeat of ISIS’s so-called caliphate; however, ISIS remains a serious threat.  The group benefits from instability, demonstrating intent to cause and inspire terrorist attacks around the world.  This report refers to central ISIS leadership as ISIS-core.

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 also was heavily involved in the fighting in Syria and participated in numerous kidnappings of civilians, including aid workers and journalists.  ISIS was responsible for most of the 12,000 Iraqi civilian deaths in 2014 and claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks in Iraq and Syria, including a 2016 car bombing at a shopping center in Baghdad that killed nearly 300 people — the deadliest bombing in the city since 2003.  In 2018, ISIS conducted multiple suicide bombings and simultaneous raids in a brutal offensive in southwestern Syria, killing more than 200 people.

Since 2019, ISIS has claimed responsibility numerous attacks including the 2019 suicide bombing of a restaurant in Manbij, Syria, that killed 19 people, including four U.S. citizens; the 2019 killing of a U.S. servicemember while he was participating in a combat operation in Ninewa province, Iraq; the 2021 twin suicide bombings in a busy market in Tayaran Square in Baghdad that killed at least 32 people; and a 2021 suicide attack in a busy market in a predominantly Shia neighborhood in east Baghdad, Iraq, that killed 30 people.

ISIS also directs, enables, and inspires individuals to conduct attacks on behalf of the group around the world.  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, including 23-year-old U.S. citizen Nohemi Gonzalez.  In 2016, ISIS directed two simultaneous attacks in Brussels, Belgium — one at the Zaventem Airport and the other at a metro station, killing 32 people, including four U.S. citizens.  In 2016 a gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS killed 49 individuals at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  ISIS also claimed responsibility for two attacks in 2016:  one in which a terrorist driving a cargo truck attacked a crowd in Nice, France, during Bastille Day celebrations, resulting in 86 deaths, including three U.S. citizens; the second a truck attack on a crowded Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured 48 others.

In 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for two attacks in the United Kingdom:  one a terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge, when a man drove his car into pedestrians and stabbed others, killing five persons; the other a suicide bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people outside of a live concert.  That same year, a man claiming to be a member of ISIS drove a truck into a crowded shopping center in Stockholm, Sweden, killing five persons.  In 2019, ISIS-inspired terrorists carried out coordinated suicide bombings at multiple churches and hotels, killing more than 250 people on Easter Sunday.  Also in 2019, ISIS claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack near the London Bridge in which a man killed two persons.

In 2022, ISIS attacked Hasakah prison in Syria, triggering a 10-day battle that spilled over into the streets, killing at least 121 SDF soldiers, 374 suspected ISIS militants, and four civilians.  Also in 2022, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack at the Shāh Chérāgh shrine in Shiraz, Iran, killing at least 15 people.

Strength:  Estimates suggest ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria number between 8,000 and 16,000, including several thousand foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).  Since at least 2015, the group has integrated local children and children of 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.  ISIS also 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 otherwise subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

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, which 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 some revenue from criminal activities through its many clandestine networks and provides 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 ISIS operatives from Syria to Libya to establish a branch.  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 its establishment, ISIL-Libya has claimed responsibility for and carried out multiple attacks targeting government officials and civilians throughout Libya, including a 2015 suicide attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli that killed eight persons, including a U.S. contractor; 2018 attacks on Libya’s electoral commission headquarters in Tripoli that killed 14 people, a suicide attack on Libya’s National Oil Corporation headquarters that killed two persons, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that killed three persons; and a 2021 suicide attack at a police checkpoint in Sabhā, Libya, that killed at least two Libyan National Army personnel.

In January, ISIL-Libya attacked and killed three Libyan security personnel in southwest Libya.  This followed an attack on the same brigade a week earlier that killed two members.

Strength:  ISIL-Libya is estimated to have fewer than 100 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.

ISIS-Sinai Province

Aka Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis; Ansar Jerusalem; Supporters of Jerusalem; Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes; Ansar Beit al-Maqdis; ISIS-SP; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-Sinai Province; Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham-Sinai Province; 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 Sayna; Wilayat Sinai.

Description:  Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) was designated as an FTO on April 9, 2014.  ABM emerged in 2011 following the revolution in Egypt.  In 2014, ABM officially declared allegiance to ISIS.  The Department of State amended ABM’s designation to add the aliases ISIL Sinai Province and Islamic State-Sinai Province in 2015 and ISIS-Sinai Province (ISIS-SP) in 2021, 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 the Egyptian military and tourist sectors.  From 2015 through 2022, 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 Sufis, and 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 and killed at least three persons.  Although the Egyptian military, in partnership with tribal fighters of the Sinai Tribal Union, has degraded ISIS-SP, the group continued to target Egyptian security services, including by conducting the first terrorist attack west of the Suez Canal since 2019.

In 2022, ISIS-SP ambushed a military checkpoint guarding a water pumping station, killing 11 Egyptian soldiers.  Days later, ISIS-SP killed five Egyptian soldiers and injured four others in an ambush at a border guard checkpoint.  In November the group attacked and killed seven Egyptian troops in El Qantara in the Sinai.

Strength:  ISIS-SP is estimated to have an estimated 500 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.  In 2006 the group announced insurgency operations against international forces in Iraq 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 2022.

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.

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:  Kata’ib Hizballah (KH) was designated as an FTO on July 2, 2009.  Formed in 2006 as an anti-western Shia group, 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’ Israeli-Palestinian peace conference.  KH also was reportedly involved in sniper operations against Iraqi protestors in 2019.  In December, KH was blamed for a rocket attack on K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk that killed one U.S. citizen.  On December 31, KH members broke into the U.S. Embassy Baghdad 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 two Americans and one British soldier, and wounding 14 others.  In 2021, KH was suspected of a March rocket attack on Ain al-Asad Air Base, which hosts U.S. soldiers.

In 2022, KH remained active in Iraq and Syria, typically using front names or proxy groups to obfuscate its involvement in attacks.  In August, KH was suspected of launching two Iranian-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) toward the U.S. base at al-Tanf, Syria.  The UAVs reportedly were launched from a KH-controlled area in Iraq.

Strength:  KH is estimated to have as many as 10,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Iraq and Syria.

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

Kurdistan Workers’ Party

Aka Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress; Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan; KADEK; Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan; Halu Mesru Savunma Kuvveti; HSK; Kurdistan People’s Congress; People’s Congress of Kurdistan; KONGRA-GEL; PKK; KGK; KHK; KCK.

Description:  The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Founded by Abdullah Ocalan in 1978 as a Marxist-Leninist separatist organization, PKK is composed primarily of Turkish Kurds who launched a campaign of violence in 1984.

Activities:  In the early 1990s, PKK moved beyond rural-based insurgent activities to engage in urban terrorism.  Türkiye became the scene of significant violence, with some estimates suggesting there have been at least 40,000 casualties during the 38 year-long conflict.  After the arrest of the PKK’s founder in 1999, the group abandoned the insurgency until 2004, when its hardline militant wing solidified control and renounced the self-imposed cease-fire.  In 2009 the Turkish government and PKK resumed peace negotiations, but talks broke down after PKK carried out an attack in 2011 that killed 13 Turkish soldiers.  Between 2013 and 2015, the Turkish government and PKK resumed peace negotiations, but the negotiations ultimately failed — owing partly to domestic political pressures and the conflict in Syria.

In 2016 the group claimed a VBIED strike against Sirnak 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.

Between 2018 and 2021, numerous attacks by PKK were reported against Türkiye security forces and government officials, including a 2018 roadside bomb against a bus carrying workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, killing 7 persons and wounding 13 in Diyarbakir Province’s Kulp district; the 2019 assassination of a senior Turkish diplomat in Erbil, Iraq; several 2020 PKK-claimed attacks aimed at a Türkiye-Iran customs border gate, a natural gas pipeline near the Turkish-Iranian border, and a Turkish military base in northern Iraq.  In 2021, PKK was accused of killing 13 Turkish hostages in Iraq.

In April 2022, the Turkish Army Forces launched an offensive against PKK targets in northern Iraq and have been engaged in heavy fighting with the group.  In September, Türkiye blamed PKK for an attack on a police guesthouse in southern Türkiye in which one policeman was killed and another injured.  In November, Türkiye accused the PKK of being responsible for an explosion in Istanbul that killed at least six persons and wounded 81 others.  The PKK denied responsibility for the blast.

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

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

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

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 against Israeli civilian and military targets, including 2014 attacks on Israeli buses in Tel Aviv and a 2016 plot to abduct and kill an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier and carry out a mass-casualty attack on a reception hall in Beersheba.  Over the past decade, PIJ has carried out waves of rocket attacks into Israeli territory.  In August, PIJ launched more than 1,000 rockets toward Israel during a deadly three-day clash that ended in a ceasefire brokered by Egypt.  PIJ’s two most senior commanders, Tayseer Jabari and Khaled Mansour, were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the fighting.

Strength:  PIJ is estimated to have a thousand to several thousand members.

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, 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:  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, 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, PLF claimed responsibility for the 2008 assault against an Israeli military bus in Huwarah, Israel, and the shooting of an Israeli settler.  In 2010, 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.  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, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria.

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:  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  PLFP 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:  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 with other Palestinian terrorist groups launched multiple joint operations.

Since 2014, PFLP has conducted numerous attacks, including a 2014 attack in which two Palestinians reportedly affiliated with PFLP entered a Jerusalem synagogue and attacked Israelis with guns, knives, and axes, killing five persons, including three U.S. citizens; a 2017 attack involving two PFLP members near East Jerusalem’s Old City that killed an Israeli border security agent.  Two of the militants were PFLP members, although ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack; and an alleged 2019 PFLP detonation of 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 weapons and bomb making materials.  In 2021, PFLP claimed responsibility for 36 rockets fired at Israel.  PFLP remained active but did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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

Aka PFLP-GC.

Description:  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  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 PFLP-GC until his death in 2021 and was succeeded by Talal Naji.  PFLP-GC has close ties to both Syria and Iran.

Activities:  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.  PFLP-GC also 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, PFLP-GC claimed responsibility for a bus bombing in Tel Aviv that injured 29 people, although four Palestine Islamic Jihad and Hamas operatives later were arrested for the attack.  In 2015, 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, 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.

PFLP-GC did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

Strength:  PFLP-GC has several hundred members.

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

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


SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

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 Osama Mehmood.

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, Embassy Dhaka 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 attacks on Burmese authorities because of Burma’s policies toward Rohingya Muslims.

In 2020, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested 10 alleged al Qa’ida-affiliated operatives from Kerala and West Bengal.  In 2021, NIA arrested five alleged AQIS operatives in Lucknow on charges of conspiring to conduct a terrorist attack in Uttar Pradesh.  Also in 2021, AQIS released two propaganda videos specifically targeting audiences in India and Kashmir.

In June, AQIS threatened to conduct suicide bombings in several Indian cities.

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.

Haqqani Network

Aka HQN.

Description:  The Haqqani Network (HQN) was designated as an FTO on September 19, 2012.  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 his son Sirajuddin continued to direct and conduct HQN’s terrorist activity in Afghanistan.  In 2015, Sirajuddin Haqqani was appointed deputy leader of the Taliban.  Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, Sirajuddin Haqqani was appointed as the Taliban’s then 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 two 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 people, including four U.S. citizens, and Sirajuddin Haqqani held a ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in 2021 honoring deceased suicide bombers.  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 2021, 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 so-called interior minister, Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani was appointed as the Minister of Refugees.  In 2022, senior HQN leaders provided now-deceased al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri safe haven in Kabul before the U.S. counterterrorism operation that killed Zawahiri in August.  HQN did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

Strength:  Before the Taliban takeover, the HQN was estimated to have between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters.

Location/Area of Operation:  Afghanistan.

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:  Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was designated as an FTO on August 6, 2010.  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 emailed 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 2022.

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:  Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) was designated as an FTO on March 5, 2008.  Formed in 1992 by a group of former Bangladeshi Afghan veterans, HUJI-B seeks to establish hardline Islamist rule in Bangladesh with the use of violence.  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.  From 2020 to 2022, Bangladeshi courts continued to sentence members of HUJI-B to death for their involvement in HUJI-B attacks.  HUJI-B did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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:  Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  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 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 2022.

Strength:  After 2000 a significant portion of HUM’s membership defected to JeM, and only a small number of cadres are reported to be still 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 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 is suspected of or has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, including the 2018 abduction and killing of three police officials; a 2019 grenade attack on a bus stand that killed a teenager and injured 32 other people; and a 2020 attack by three HM militants who opened fire on Indian soldiers during a search operation, killing one soldier.  In 2021, a top HM commander was killed in a gunfight with police after opening fire on security personnel accompanying him during a search operation at his hideout.

In March, Indian police arrested three HM members in connection with the killing of a village leader.  In May, Indian police killed two HM members, recovering weapons and ammunition in the encounter.

Strength:  HM is estimated to have up to 1,500 members.

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 has carried out multiple coordinated bombings in crowded areas to maximize terror and casualties, including 16 synchronized bomb blasts in 2008 aimed at crowded urban centers, killing 30 people in Delhi and 38 people at a local hospital in Ahmedabad; a 2010 bombing of a popular German bakery frequented by tourists in Pune, India, killing 17 people and injuring more than 60 others; and a 2014 low-intensity blast near a restaurant in Bangalore that killed one woman and injured three other people.  Three IM militants were arrested in 2015, and authorities 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 2022.

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:  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 was formed to overthrow 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 Uzbekistani 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 and hundreds of civilians were killed in the attacks.

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 UN confirmed that IJU was operating inside Syria under control of al-Nusra Front.  IJU did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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

Aka IMU.

Description:  Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) was designated as an FTO on September 25, 2000.  IMU was established to overthrow the Uzbekistani 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 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.

IMU has had a more than decade-long relationship with al-Qa’ida, 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; it has since cooperated with Islamic State’s Khorasan Province.  In 2016 a faction of IMU announced its continued commitment to the Taliban and al-Qa’ida, marking a split with Ghazi and the rest of the group.  Numerous IMU members, including possibly Ghazi himself, were subsequently reported to have been killed as a result of hostilities between ISIS and 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, 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.  IMU did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

Strength:  IMU consists of up to 500 fighters.

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

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

ISIS-Bangladesh

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:  ISIS-Bangladesh has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks, including the 2015 Christmas Day suicide attack at a mosque packed with Ahmadi Muslims; the 2016 assault on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka that killed 22 people, including one U.S. citizen; twin 2017 explosions that targeted a crowd in Sylhet, Bangladesh, killing six persons; and several 2019 explosions against police officers, civilians, a Bangladeshi minister and the Awami League.

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 2022.

Strength:  ISIS-Bangladesh has several hundred 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; ISISK; ISIS-K; IS-Khorasan; ISKP; IS-KP; 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.

Activities:  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.  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, including 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. servicemembers supporting evacuation operations; at least another 150 people, including 18 U.S. servicemembers, were wounded.  Also in 2021, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for multiple IED attacks in Jalalabad that killed at least 35 Taliban members and three civilians; a suicide bombing of a mosque in Kunduz that killed at least 50 civilians and injured 143 others; a suicide bombing of a mosque in Kandahar that killed at least 47 civilians and injured at least 70 others; and an attack against a military hospital in Kabul that killed at least 20 people and injured dozens more.

In 2022, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for attacks conducted across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, including a March suicide bombing of a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed at least 60 civilians and injured 200 others; an April bombing at a mosque in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, that killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 90 others; an April attack on a bus in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed at least four persons and wounded 18; an April rocket attack against Uzbekistan; a May rocket attack against Tajikistan launched from Afghanistan; a June attack on a Sikh Temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed two persons and wounded seven others; a September suicide bombing targeting the Russian Embassy in Kabul that killed at least six persons and wounded at least 10 others; and a December attack on the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul that injured one person.

Strength:  ISIS-K is estimated to have about 2,000 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.

Jaish-e-Mohammed

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 Harakat ul-Mujahideen senior leader Masood Azhar.  The group aims to annex the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan.  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 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 nine 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 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 April, suspected JeM members attacked a bus transporting Indian security forces, killing one security officer and injuring nine.  In August, two suspected JeM members conducted a suicide attack against an Indian Army camp that killed four soldiers.

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 seeks to secure recognition of Baloch cultural, economic, and political rights from the Government of Iran and 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 numerous attacks, including 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; a 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; and the 2010 attack against the Grand Mosque in Zahedan, killing about 30 people and injuring an estimated 300.

Jaysh al-Adal also has claimed responsibility for attacks against Iranian security personnel and officials, including the 2018 abduction of 12 Iranian security personnel on the border with Pakistan; a 2019 suicide car bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 27 Iranian government officials; and two 2020 roadside bombs on the course of an Iranian military convoy (one of the bombs detonated, injuring one person).

In September, Jaysh al-Adl claimed responsibility for an attack on a police station that killed 19 people.

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:  Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) was designated as an FTO on December 26, 2001.  LeT is an anti-India-focused terrorist group, originally 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, including the 2008 attacks in Mumbai against luxury hotels, a Jewish center, a train station, and a popular café that killed 166 people, including six U.S. citizens, and injured more than 300 others.  In 2010, Pakistani-American businessman David Headley pleaded 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.

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 May, two suspected LeT members shot and killed a government employee in his office in Kashmir’s Budgam district.  Also in May, suspected LeT members attacked a store in Kashmir’s Baramulla district, which injured four persons.  In June, suspected LeT members threw a grenade at civilians in Shopian district, Kashmir, killing two persons.

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.  In 2019, LeT and its front organizations continued to operate and fundraise in Pakistan.

Lashkar i Jhangvi

Aka Army of Jhangvi; Lashkar e Jhangvi al-Alami; Lashkar e Jhangvi; Lashkar e Jhangvi al-Almi; Lashkar-i-Jhangvi; LeJ al-Alami.

Description:  Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) was designated as an FTO on January 30, 2003.  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.

Activities:  LJ specializes in armed attacks and bombings and has admitted to killing Shia religious and community leaders in Pakistan, including the 1999 attempt to assassinate then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Since at least 2014, LJ has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against the Shia community, including a 2014 bus bombing targeting Shia pilgrims, killing 24 people; the 2015 suicide bombing that targeted a market in the predominantly Shia town of Parachinar, Pakistan, killing at least 23 people; and the 2019 bombing of a market in Quetta that killed 20 people and injured 48 others.  The Quetta attack reportedly targeted the local minority Shia Muslim Hazara community.  In 2021, three LJ members were allegedly involved in a bomb attack on the Shia minority community in Punjab that killed at least three persons and wounded 50 others.  LJ did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

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:  The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  Founded in 1976, 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 LTTE supporters and members have been arrested in India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka for allegedly planning attacks and fundraising for the LTTE.

In January, Indian authorities arrested a Sri Lankan national and alleged LTTE member allegedly seeking to raise funds for LTTE using fake documents.  In March, Indian authorities arrested six Sri Lankan nationals and alleged LTTE members transporting narcotics and weapons to raise funds for LTTE activities.

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.

Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan

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

Description:  Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was designated as an FTO on September 1, 2010.  Formed in 2007, TPP is a Pakistan- and Afghanistan-based terrorist organization that opposes Pakistani military efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the former tribal areas, 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.  TTP draws ideological guidance from al-Qa’ida, while elements of al-Qa’ida 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 al-Qa’ida’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.

TTP’s rate of attacks increased after it announced a merger with splinter groups Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Hizbul Ahrar in 2020.  In 2021, TTP claimed responsibility for an increased number of attacks in the months following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, claiming 69 attacks in a two-month span.  In 2022, TTP and its affiliate groups conducted more than 290 attacks, most of which targeted Pakistani security forces and occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.  In June, TTP agreed to an indefinite ceasefire with the Government of Pakistan as part of peace talks brokered by the Taliban, though their attacks continued.  In late November, TTP ended the ceasefire and dramatically increased attacks against security forces throughout December.

Strength:  TTP is estimated to have between 4,000 and 6,000 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.


WESTERN HEMISPHERE

National Liberation Army (ELN)

Aka ELN; Ejército de Liberación Nacional.

Description:  The National Liberation Army (ELN) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  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.  ELN commits crimes and acts of terror throughout Colombia, including violence against civilian populations there and in Venezuela.

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

In 2017 the Government of Colombia and 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 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.

In 2022, ELN militants blew up a bridge in Caesar Department, Colombia, set fire to vehicles along the road connecting the Colombian cities of Popayán and Cali, and set off bombs between the Colombian municipalities of Socorro and San Gil, which injured eight persons.

Strength:  ELN consists of about 2,500 members.

Location/Area of Operation:  Colombia and Venezuela.

Funding and External Aid:  ELN draws its funding from its involvement in drug trafficking activities, 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; Central General Staff; Estado Mayor Central (EMC).

Description:  FARC-EP was designated as an FTO on November 30, 2021.  Using the moniker of the former FARC, FARC-EP is responsible for the vast majority of armed attacks attributed to FARC dissident elements since 2019.  The FARC-EP is led by Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernandez, alias Ivan Mordisco.  In May 2022, former second-in-command Miguel Santanilla Botache, alias Gentil Duarte, was killed in Venezuela, allegedly during a confrontation with drug trafficking groups.

Activities:  FARC-EP has been responsible for the killing of political candidates and former FARC members, and the kidnapping of a political operative.  In 2021, 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 two U.S. military advisers.  Also in June 2021, FARC-EP shot at a helicopter carrying then Colombian President Ivan Duque.  In 2022, FARC-EP conducted an ambush of a Colombian Army patrol in Cauca, killing six soldiers.

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 (SM)

Aka New Marquetalia; Second Marquetalia; La Nueva Marquetalia; FARC dissidents Segunda Marquetalia; Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Dissidents Segunda Marquetalia; FARC-D Segunda Marquetalia; FARC-SM.

Description:  Segunda Marquetalia was designated as an FTO on November 30, 2021.  In 2019, former FARC commanders, led by Luciano Marin Arango, alias Ivan Marquez, established Segunda Marquetalia after abandoning the 2016 Colombian Peace Accord.

Activities:  Segunda Marquetalia has been responsible for the killings of former FARC members and community leaders.  Segunda Marquetalia conducts armed assaults, assassination, extortion operations, and hostage-takings, 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 — also called Common People’s party — Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, alias Timochenko.  Segunda Marquetalia did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2022.

Strength:  Segunda Marquetalia is estimated to have as many as 1,000 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 (SL)

Aka Sendero Luminoso (SL); Militarized Communist Party of Peru (Militarizado Partido Comunista del Peru-MPCP); Communist Party of Peru-Shining Path (PCP-SL).

Description:  Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso or SL) was designated as an FTO on October 8, 1997.  The Peru-based terrorist organization was founded in 1969 by former university professor Abimael Guzmán, whose teachings created the foundation of SL’s militant Maoist doctrine.  During the 1980s to the early 1990s, SL was one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the Western Hemisphere.  In 1992 the Peruvian government captured Guzmán and key accomplices and sentenced them to life in prison; Guzmán died there in 2021.  SL is led by Victor Quispe Palomino, alias Comrade Jose, and Tarcela Loya Vilchez, alias Olga.  Historically, the group aimed to overthrow the Peruvian government.

Activities:  SL typically targets Peruvian security services and has been known to conduct attacks against civilians.  In mid-2021, members of an armed group affiliated with SL murdered 16 civilians, stating that the victims’ activities were inconsistent with the group’s beliefs.  SL conducts a range of illicit activities, inducing extortion, murder, and drug trafficking.  In 2022, SL conducted at least five attacks.

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

Location/Area of Operation:  Peru

Funding and External Aid:  SL is funded by drug trafficking and collecting taxes from drug trafficking organizations operating in remote eastern part of Peru known as the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro River Valley, a vast jungle area near the Andes mountains where most of Peru’s coca cultivation and production occurs.

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.

It should be noted that 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 noncombatant 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.

Furthermore, 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