Terrorist attacks and deaths were on the decline worldwide for the second year in a row in 2016, according to The Country Reports on Terrorism report from the US Department of State.
The report said that year-over-year terror attacks were down nine 9 percent and deaths caused by terrorist attacks decreased 13 percent. The report attributed the drops to fewer terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen. At the same time, the report said attacks in the Congo, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan and Turkey increased between 2015 and 2016.
The majority of attacks — 55 percent — took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and 75 percent of the deaths took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The report called out Iran as the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2016, because of destabilization via proxies such as terrorist group Hezbollah. Iran carried out 20 percent more attacks in Iraq in 2016 compared with 2015, and its affiliates struck in more than 20 countries, according to the report.
"Iran remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2016 as groups supported by Iran maintained their capability to threaten U.S. interests and allies," said the report.
The report also accused Iran of supplying weapons, money and training to militant Shia groups in Bahrain, maintaining a "robust" cyberterrorism program and refusing to identify or prosecute senior members of the al-Qaida network that it has detained.
As in previous reports, Sudan and Syria were also identified as "state sponsors of terrorism."