NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Terrorist Attacks Increased Last Year

May 1, 2001

International acts of terrorism increased 8 percent last year, according to the U.S. State Department's most recent annual report identifying nations that sponsor terrorists.

In releasing the report, Secretary of State Colin Powell called terrorism "the dark side of globalization" -- and noted that it "exploits the easing of travel restrictions, the improvement of communications or the internationalization of banking and finance..."

  • There were 423 terrorist attacks in 2000, compared with 392 the previous year.
  • Two-hundred of those attacks were targeted against the U.S. and 19 Americans were killed -- including 17 who died in the attack against the destroyer Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.
  • South Asia remains the focal point for terrorism, with the Taliban in Afghanistan continuing to provide safe haven for international terrorists while Pakistan backs terrorist groups as well.
  • Despite concerns about Afghanistan and Pakistan, they were not added to the list of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, nations that sponsor terrorism -- a distinction they have held for some years.

Much of the increase in terrorist attacks was related to rebel bombings of multinational oil pipelines in Colombia. For the first time, the State Department added the United Self-Defense Force of Colombia -- an umbrella organization of paramilitary groups -- to its compilation of terrorist groups.

Source: Marc Lacey, "Attacks Were Up Last Year, U.S. Terrorism Report Says," New York Times, May 1, 2001; "Patterns of Global Terrorism - 2000," April 2001, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State.


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