2012 Country Reports on Terrorism Released by the U.S. Department of State

Combating Terrorism

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism has released the 2012 Country Reports on Terrorism (CRT). This document comes in the wake of the 2012 Global Counterterrorism Forum, whose 30 founding members represent many UN countries with a universally agreed-upon Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

The CRT details terrorism reports on a continental and country-by-country basis. In African countries, Al-Qaeda is often the focus of counterterrorism measures performed by local governments. Many African countries are in their first stages of counterterrorism measures, developing definitions of terrorist acts and taking part in the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance program and the International Law Enforcement Academy. Countries that have denied this assistance, such as Cameroon, often still accept U.S. capacity building projects that improve counterterrorism training for local law enforcement.

European countries are host to various high-profile terrorist attacks, and typically invest greater time and financial resources into counterterrorism efforts. Threats to European countries include ethno-nationalist groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.

Other countries, such as Panama, have been inundated with significant human smuggling cases. Although those smuggled through the country are typically Cuban, there has been “a consistent flow of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian smuggled aliens, including from Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Eritrea, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia.” Threats from human smuggling include passage for members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent officers to improve border controls of various countries, including Paraguay and other South American countries, in light of the threat posed by FARC.

Many countries have also been designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism, and the CRT includes a comprehensive list of these, with updates of current terrorist activity.

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