State Department report: Middle East is of greatest concern in fight against ''terrorism''
According to the State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report for 2003, published Thursday, the Middle East continues to be "the region of greatest concern" in the global war against "terrorism."
The report pointed to major terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq and Israel as evidence of the ongoing threat of "extremist" activity in the region. Nevertheless, the report observed that numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa have intensified their efforts to combat "terror" organizations and to cut off funding flows to these groups.
The report noted a particularly strong shift in counterterrorism efforts in Saudi Arabia following two bombings in Riyadh. "The terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia on 12 May and 9 November galvanized Riyadh into launching a sustained crackdown against al-Qaeda's presence in the Kingdom," the report said.
On the other hand, Iran and Syria are two of seven nations designated as sponsors of "terrorism."
According to the report, Syria provides aide for a range of "terror" groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)