News / Middle East

    US: Iran Remains Leading State Sponsor of Terrorism

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks, during the 'International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism' in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2011.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks, during the 'International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism' in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2011.
    x
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks, during the 'International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism' in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2011.
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaks, during the 'International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism' in Tehran, Iran, June 25, 2011.
    STATE DEPARTMENT — The United States says Iran remains the world's biggest state-sponsor of terrorism. The annual U.S. report on global terrorism expresses concern about increasing attacks in Nigeria and Pakistan.

    U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin said the international community is increasingly alert to Iranian threats and is working to disrupt them.

    "We are deeply concerned about Iran's activities on its own through the IRGC Quds Force, and also together with Hezbollah as they pursue destabilizing activities around the globe," said Benjamin.

    The annual terrorism report says a September plot last year to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington "underscored anew Iran's interest in using international terrorism - including in the United States - to further its foreign policy goals." It says Iran is training Hamas and Taliban militants in Afghanistan, as well as allowing al-Qaida to use its territory to funnel materiel and personnel to South Asia.

    Benjamin said last year's death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and other key operatives put their terror network "on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse."

    "We saw millions of citizens throughout the Middle East advance peaceful public demands for change without any reference to al-Qaida's incendiary world view. This upended the group's long-standing claim that change in this region would only come through violence," said Benjamin. "These men and women have underscored in the most powerful fashion the lack of influence al-Qaida exerts over the central political issues in key Muslim-majority nations."

    But Benjamin says al-Qaida supporters remain adaptable and have shown resilience in conducting regional attacks that constitute a serious threat to U.S. national security.

    Among al-Qaida affiliates, the report says al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula represented a particularly serious threat last year, taking control of territory in southern Yemen and exploiting unrest in that country to advance plots against regional and Western interests.

    The report says that in the Sahel, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb gained financially in 2011 through ransoms from kidnappings, while taking advantage of instability in Libya and Mali.

    In the Horn of Africa, the report says, al-Shabaab pursued a diverse set of targets, demonstrating the willingness and ability to conduct attacks outside of Somalia. It says the group was weakened last year as a result of the African Union Mission in Somalia, and Kenyan and Ethiopian military offensives that forced it to retreat from Mogadishu.

    Benjamin said Nigeria experienced a steady increase in terrorist attacks in 2011, particularly in the northern states of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, and Kaduna. The increased terrorism also extended to the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, with Boko Haram militants killing government and security officials, Muslim and Christian clerics, and numerous civilians.

    "We've been engaging with the Nigerian government, in particular, at the highest levels to move them toward greater engagement with communities that are vulnerable to extremist violence by addressing the underlying socio-economic problems in the north," said Benjamin.

    In Pakistan, Benjamin said, safe havens remain for terrorist groups seeking to conduct domestic, regional and global attacks, including the Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.

    "We've urged Pakistan to take more action against Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. We would certainly like to see more progress on the trial regarding the atrocities in Mumbai. It remains a major concern on the terrorist landscape, without a doubt," he said.

    Benjamin said there has been an increase in the number of al-Qaida operatives fighting against the Syrian government, but that the United States believes "the overwhelming majority of the opposition in Syria is composed of ordinary Syrians who are tired of their dictatorship."

    Benjamin said that as long as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains in power and the country's political transition is blocked, "the danger grows of more foreign fighters, including extremists of the al-Qaida type infiltrating Syria."

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Viper from: US
    August 02, 2012 6:05 PM
    @Godwin, I see that you neither read history nor current events.

    First there is NO proof that Iran actually want a nuclear weapon (though with US and Israel pumping their fists and treaten with nuclear bombs, you can hardly blame Iran if they want one), Secondly the ONLY country that has ever use nuclear weapons against another country (and against civilians) is USA.
    Iran has done nothing to the west (except for supporting the fight against Israel). While we have assassinated their generals and scientist, created a revolution, embargoed the country, cut communications, bombed radarstations and naval facilities, and yet we call them the bad guys?
    Cooler heads need to prevail, and Israel, AIPAC and Pentagon is neither, so UN will do its part, and if Iran gets a nuclear bomb, then fine. Pakistan, Israel, India and North Korea already has them so why not Iran.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 02, 2012 11:17 AM
    If we're just finding out, sorry. Now that we know it, and she is planning to go to the next level - nuclearization of terrorism - what is the alarm level? Do we wait until the first bomb lands? Where will it land, the White House? Pentagon? Jerusalem? Or where? God forbid that it lands first in Israel or Nigeria! But the USA has delayed so much to take action on Iran just because it is 'election year'. The American public will not forgive Obama for this FATAL mistake, but that's what it takes to be suicidal - do it and dare the consequence. That's just Obama's game. After all Hussein is a muslim and most suicide attacks have come from his brothers in the faith..

    by: nojan from: arizona
    August 02, 2012 7:32 AM
    @ high Aim . israel do our job ? are you on pills ?
    we have been slaving away to them for last 60 years . tell me the last time you see israeli army next to us in wars ? in korea , vietnam ,south america , africa , .....first persian gulf war and balkans war . israel has been hiding behind us for decades now they are using their aipac and media to push us to another war in middle east . if they had the ball they would had attacked already . they cant face iran . all they can do is killing civilians in west bank and gaza . killing childrens and women so they can feel strong . what ally ? with friends like this who want enemy !

    by: Jason Wreight from: Melbourne Australia
    August 01, 2012 5:24 PM
    Well said, Viper. And the jewel in the terrorist crown is the US-sponsored terrorist state in Palestine. You know, the one who has repeatedly threatened the world with the use of their illegal nuclear armoury

    Not only does Iran have as much moral right to have nukes as the the US or anybody else does, if they had any brians they'd be perfectly justified in building as many as possible as quickly as possible in the face of the US-backed Israeli threat.

    MAD works.

    To

    .

    by: Spiro from: Greece
    August 01, 2012 5:02 PM
    Oh, it is so funny reading these Iranian sigehs comments... despicable animals

    by: Viper from: US
    August 01, 2012 11:48 AM
    Actually US is the biggest terror sponsor in the world. Since there is not a Pax Americana definition on who is a terrorist and who is not, we sponsor countless revolts and paramilitary groups around the world, that by their own governments are considered terrorists. We have mercenaries (or as we like to call them contractors) in many countries that basically is you standard goon with a gun. We sell weapons to groups that we like (stingers to the Taliban anyone?) and when governments do the same to groups we don't like, their are called terror sponsors by us.

    by: Kam from: Chicago
    August 01, 2012 2:49 AM
    Do you mean the alleged plot to assassinate Saudi ambassaders? I would allege, that it is far more probable that one this countries own defense contractors would stage such a preposterous false flag operation in an effort to send us to war. Get your facts, Iran was never implicated in the attempted attack.

    by: HiGH AiM from: USA
    July 31, 2012 9:04 PM
    yeah, and what do we do...??? more "sanction" let Israel do our job... we let them do it with Iraq... later, with Syria... now, we hope that they will do our job for us with respect to Iran... yeah, I feel great about us... hey, Obama, just leave the office

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora