State Department: Al Qaeda gaining strength

John Moore/Getty Images The State Department has just released its annual report on global terrorism, as it does every April 30. Some highlights (read the AP synopsis here): On the strength of Al Qaeda: “It has reconstituted some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities through the exploitation of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas … and [restored] some central ...

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595251_080430_bhutto2.jpg

John Moore/Getty Images

The State Department has just released its annual report on global terrorism, as it does every April 30. Some highlights (read the AP synopsis here):

On the strength of Al Qaeda: "It has reconstituted some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities through the exploitation of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas ... and [restored] some central control by its top leadership, in particular Ayman al-Zawahiri."
On Al Qaeda's leadership: "Numerous senior al-Qaida operatives have been captured or killed, but al-Qaida leaders continued to plot attacks and to cultivate stronger operational connections that radiated outward from Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe."
Terrorist attacks in Pakistan doubled between 2006 and 2007 and the number of fatalities quadrupled
In Afghanistan, the number of terrorist attacks rose 16 percent in 2007
Terrorist attacks in Iraq declined slightly between 2006 and 2007, but still accounted for 60 percent of terrorism fatalities worldwide, including 17 of the 19 Americans killed in attacks last year
More than 22,000 people were killed by terrorists worldwide in 2007, 8 percent more than in 2006
Iran is the world's "most active" state sponsor of terrorism
In Iraq: 13,600 noncombatants were killed in 2007; suicide bombings in country rose by 50 percent; suicide car bombings were up 40 percent and suicide bombings outside of vehicles climbed 90 percent over 2006

John Moore/Getty Images

The State Department has just released its annual report on global terrorism, as it does every April 30. Some highlights (read the AP synopsis here):

  • On the strength of Al Qaeda: “It has reconstituted some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities through the exploitation of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas … and [restored] some central control by its top leadership, in particular Ayman al-Zawahiri.”
  • On Al Qaeda’s leadership: “Numerous senior al-Qaida operatives have been captured or killed, but al-Qaida leaders continued to plot attacks and to cultivate stronger operational connections that radiated outward from Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.”
  • Terrorist attacks in Pakistan doubled between 2006 and 2007 and the number of fatalities quadrupled
  • In Afghanistan, the number of terrorist attacks rose 16 percent in 2007
  • Terrorist attacks in Iraq declined slightly between 2006 and 2007, but still accounted for 60 percent of terrorism fatalities worldwide, including 17 of the 19 Americans killed in attacks last year
  • More than 22,000 people were killed by terrorists worldwide in 2007, 8 percent more than in 2006
  • Iran is the world’s “most active” state sponsor of terrorism
  • In Iraq: 13,600 noncombatants were killed in 2007; suicide bombings in country rose by 50 percent; suicide car bombings were up 40 percent and suicide bombings outside of vehicles climbed 90 percent over 2006

The conclusions on Pakistan are likely to garner the most attention, and quite rightly. Watch for more calls like this one for a three-front war.

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