Sudan

Overview:  Even after the October 2021 military takeover, Sudan continued to cooperate with the United States on counterterrorism efforts, including through consistent information sharing and efforts to build capacity to identify terrorists and deny them safe haven within Sudan.  Despite the lack of any terrorist attacks in 2022, ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and Harakat Sawa’d Misr continued to use Sudan as a facilitation and logistics hub.  Public calls for jihad by prominent al-Qa’ida clerics in Sudan in late 2022 — including public messages specifically identifying the U.S. Ambassador, Embassy Khartoum, and American organizations in Sudan as legitimate targets — could inspire lone actors and violent extremists, who generally lack direction from senior leadership, to launch attacks in Sudan.

Historically, terrorist groups opted against conducting organized, large-scale attacks inside Sudan to preserve their facilitation lines.  Sudanese security services continue to focus on identifying terrorist actors and denying them safe haven, which could cause terrorists to reconsider this calculus.  As further detailed below, increased calls for violent action by terrorist-linked figures in Sudan in late 2022 could also affect the historical moratorium on attacks inside Sudan.  The government continued to view foreign terrorist fighters as the predominant threat.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  There were no reported terrorist attacks in Sudan in 2022.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  Previous efforts by the civilian-led transitional government (CLTG) to amend the overarching counterterrorism (CT) legal framework in Sudan were stalled by the military takeover in 2021.  The military-led government granted additional authorities to security services, namely the General Intelligence Service, to target terrorists in late 2021.  There were no significant developments regarding CT authorities in 2022.

Regarding law enforcement actions against terrorism, Sudanese security forces continued to actively target and interdict terrorist cells in Sudan.  Sudan continued to focus on improving its border security measures to track and interdict terrorist suspects traveling on forged passports, a crucial effort given Sudan’s extensive and porous borders.

On November 2 the newspaper Almsoul published a statement attributed to al-Qa’ida-linked Sheikh Abu Hudhaifah al-Sudani calling for jihadist attacks on the Ambassador, Embassy Khartoum, and American organizations in Sudan.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  Sudan is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force.  Its FIU, the Financial Information Unit, is a member of the Egmont Group.  There were no significant changes in 2022.

Countering Violent Extremism:  Sudan’s efforts to improve CVE have stalled since the 2021 military takeover and did not restart in 2022.  Previous efforts by the CLTG concentrated on broadening relationships and engagement on CVE by seeking input from international bodies, civil society, and local experts.  The CLTG and security services held numerous joint conferences, led by the Sudan National Commission for Counterterrorism, with local and international stakeholders to discuss various CVE initiatives.  However, authorities have not restarted these initiatives.

International and Regional Cooperation:  Sudan continued to support counterterrorism efforts in regional and multilateral organizations.  As of 2022, Sudan remained a member of the following groups, which have CT equities:  the United Nations (UNDP; the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism [UNOCT]); the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies; INTERPOL; and the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization.  UNOCT maintains a small team in Khartoum to liaise with Sudanese authorities and UN entities (including UNDP, UNESCO, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan) to share best practices for counterterrorism strategies, border security, countering the financing of terrorism, and community policing.

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