In December, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. Even though it wasn’t published until the end of 2021, the report covers only the previous calendar year. Therefore, some of the material is clearly dated, including a passage touting the supposedly “aggressive action” taken by Afghan security forces against “terrorist elements” throughout 2020. Of course, those security forces no longer exist, as the Taliban overran the entirety of Afghanistan in 2021.
Still, the report provides a useful summary of the global terrorist threat more than 20 years after the 9/11 hijackings.
Three observations came to mind while reading the report.
First, the top leaders of both al-Qaeda and ISIS are alive.