State sponsor of terrorism

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The United States defines a state sponsor of terrorism as a country which has "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism". Once so designated, resulting sanctions to penalize persons and countries engaging in state-sponsored terrorism fall into four categories of "restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions." [1]

The U.S. Department of State has designated the following countries as state sponsors of terrorism. [2]

The designation "also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors. Currently there are six countries designated under these authorities: Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria." [3]

Also see "Overview of State Sponsored Terrorism" in State Department Country Reports on Terrorism.

Designated Sponsors of State Terrorism


"On October 20, 2004, Iraq was formally removed from this list," Rodger A. Payne wrote in his blog September 14, 2005. "Since May 2003, the President had made terror-related sanctions inapplicable to Iraq, under authority granted by Congress.

"Iraq, of course, was previously removed from this list in February 1982, when the Reagan administration wanted to provide aid and trade credits during its war with Iraq, and was re-designated only after its invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. During that period, experts say that Iraq continued to sponsor terrorism," Payne wrote.


"Indeed, since the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the infamous seizure of hostages at the American embassy in Teheran, Iran has been a prime enemy of America," Con Coughlin wrote November 14, 2006, in his Telegraph (UK) blog.

"So grave a threat was it thought to be that Saddam Hussein's regime was supported in the Iraq-Iran war as a bulwark against Iranian Islamic fundamentalism.

"Now Saddam has been displaced by his former allies in the West, and — with bizarre irony — the Iranian regime that was his old nemesis may be invited in with Syria to carve up the spoils of his country.

"This approach, in which two countries once branded by the Bush White House as unambiguously evil miraculously become 'part of the solution', defies any credible logic except that of ignominious desperation," Coughlin wrote.

Annual Reports

"In 2005, the State Department stopped publishing its annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism, claiming that the new National Counterterrorism Center will be publishing most of the same data. The NCTC's first report, however, is simply a chronology of 2004 incidents of terrorism," Rodger A. Payne wrote in his blog September 14, 2005.

The Country Reports on Terrorism are "apparently the new State document that will replace the old Patterns annual report," Payne wrote.


In April 2006, the U.S. Department of State's "annual report on worldwide terrorism singled out Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism, saying that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security have been directly involved in the planning and support of terrorist attacks." [4][5]

"The report tallied some 11,000 terror attacks around the world last year, resulting in more than 14,600 deaths. That figure signified almost a fourfold increase in attacks from 2004, though the agency attributed the change largely to new ways of tallying the incidents.

"At least 10,000 to 15,000 of the approximately 40,000 people killed or wounded worldwide were Muslims, most of them in Iraq, said the National Counterterrorism Center, which provided the data to the State Department.

"Approximately 3,500 of last year's attacks occurred in Iraq, and about 8,300 of the deaths occurred there, as well, accounting for a large part of the increase over 2004." [6][7]

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