"On April 28, 2006, the Department of State sent to Congress its annual report on global terrorism: Country Reports on Global Terrorism 2005. The 262-page report provides an annual strategic assessment of trends in terrorism and the evolving nature of the terrorist threat, coupled with detailed information on anti-terror cooperation by nations worldwide. The report and underlying data portray a threat from radical Jihadists that is becoming more widespread, diffuse, and increasingly homegrown, often with a lack of formal operational connection with al Qaeda ideological leaders such as Osama Bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri. Three trends in terrorism are identified in the Department of State report which are independently reflected in the work of analysts elsewhere. First is the emergence of so called 'micro actors,' in part spurred by U.S. successes in isolating or killing much of al Qaeda's leadership. The result is an al Qaeda with a more subdued, although arguably still significant, operational role, but assuming more of an ideological, motivational, and propaganda role. Second is the trend toward 'sophistication'; i.e. terrorists exploiting the global flow of information, finance, and ideas to their benefit, often through the internet. Third is an increasing overlap of terrorist activity with international crime, which may expose the terrorists to a broad range of law enforcement countermeasures."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33555