Over the past five years there has been a clear downward trend in the number of suicide attacks worldwide, with a particularly sharp drop in 2021. This trend is apparently the combined result of the significant weakening of the Islamic State following its military defeat in Syria and Iraq, and the withdrawal or considerable reduction of Western military forces in combat areas in the Middle East and southern Asia. In 2021 there were about 42 percent fewer suicide attacks than in the previous year, with a 48.5 percent reduction in the number of suicide attackers, and a decrease of 69 percent in the number of women participating in such attacks. A sharp drop of 44.5 percent was recorded in the number of attacks carried out by ISIS and its affiliates, and of about 35 percent in the number of attacks carried out by supporters of al-Qaeda. In general, there was a reduction of about 44 percent in the number of attacks linked to the Salafist-jihadi stream of Islam, although organizations linked to it continued to dominate as instigators of suicide attacks.
Despite its oft-stated determination to fight terrorism, France has struggled to establish an effective intelligence system and adequate legislation to combat Islamist terrorism, in part due to fears of upsetting its large Muslim population. French sensitivity to Muslim public opinion has led to the creation of a double standard regarding Israel’s fight against terrorism. France’s own fight against Islamist terrorism is viewed as justified, but Israel is to be condemned for fighting Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance gate outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul on Tuesday. Photo: AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called for efforts to promote the steady transition of the Afghan situation as soon as possible, engage Afghanistan in dialogue, and help the Afghan people tide over their difficulties.
Xi made a three-point proposal in Beijing at a joint summit of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states on the Afghan issue by video link.
The United States has designated Lebanon- and Kuwait-based members of a financial network that funds Hizballah, as well as members of an international network of financial facilitators and front companies that operate in support of Hizballah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Together, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trade in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF. This action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority within Executive Order 13224, as amended.
Hizballah uses revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities and to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region. The United States will not relent in targeting these networks, and we will continue to take actions to disrupt their activities.
Hizballah is increasingly looking for additional sources of revenue to bolster its coffers. We call on governments around the world to take steps to ensure Hizballah and other terrorist groups do not exploit their territory and financial institutions.
For more information on today’s action, please see the Department of the Treasury’s press release.