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Iran Is Not a Major Sponsor of Terrorism, Not Even Close


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Self-delusion and denial with regards to Iran's alleged status as the leading sponsor of international terrorism are rampant in Washington and among the punditry. It is crazy, it is dishonest and it is wrong. This is not my opinion. I can do math. I can count. If Iran was actually continuing to act like it did 30 years ago, when it was a major sponsor of terrorism, then we would be able to point to those attacks. 

Here are the statistics for 2018. Do not take my word for it. Count them yourself. The vast majority of terrorism continues to be carried out by Sunni extremists that have support from places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Consider the numbers for January, February, March and December of 2018. There were 160 attacks recorded in January 2018. Only one of the groups listed as perpetrators is supported by Iran--that is Hamas. The incident recorded for Hamas in January was a drive by shooting that killed one person. Six groups accounted for 56 percent of all attacks. All are Sunni extremist groups--Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Islamic State aka ISIS and the Taliban. None of these are funded or supported by Iran. In fact, Iran and Hezbollah have been fighting and killing ISIS fighters in Syria.

We see the same pattern repeated in February, March and December.  There were 184, 176 NS 238 attacks respectively. A majority of the attacks and casualties were caused by the same five groups listed in the preceding paragraph.

The memo I drafted more than 18 months ago that was published by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity aka VIPS still stands. I wrote:
The depiction of Iran as ‘the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism’ is not supported by the facts. While Iran is guilty of having used terrorism as a national policy tool in the past, the Iran of 2017 is not the Iran of 1981. In the early days of the Islamic Republic, Iranian operatives routinely carried out car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations of dissidents and of American citizens. That has not been the case for many years.
These facts are absent from the public debate. We ignore them at our peril.

January 2018--160 terrorist attacks.
9 by Al Qaeda
15 by Al Shabaab
3 by Allied Democratic Forces
1 by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Saudi)
1 by Atomwaffen Division
1 by Baluch Liberation Front
4 by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
3 by Barisan Revolusi Nasional
19 by Boko Haram
2 by Coordinadora Arauco Malleco
5 by Communist Party of India (Maoist)
8 by ELN (Colombia)
3 by FARC
2 by Hamas
1 by Hizbul Mujahideen (Pakistani sponsored)
32 by Islamic State
4 by Jaish Mohammed
1 by Kosovo AlbanianMilitants (suspected)
2 by Lashkar-e-Taiba (suspected)
1 by Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (suspected)
4 by New People's Army
1 by Palestinian nationalist
1 by Paraguayan People's Army
2 by PKK
23 by Taliban
7 by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
3 by YPG/PKK
1 Unknown

February 2018--186 terrorist attacks
4 by Abu Sayyaf
11 by Al Qaeda
14 by Al Shabaab
3 by Allied Democratic Forces
1 by Arm na Poblachta
1 by Armed Revolutionary Struggles
1 by Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia
1 by Baluch Liberation Front
1 by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
3 by Barisan Revolusi Nasional (suspected)
11 by Boko Haram
1 by Coordinadora Arauco Malleco
5 by Communist Party of India
11 by ELN
5 by FARC Dissidents
1 by Free Papua Movement
1 by GNLA
1 by Hizbul Mujahideen
34 by Islamic State
1 by Islamist
12 by Jaish-e-Mohammed
1 by Jaysh al-Islam (suspected)
1 by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
3 by Lashkar-e-Taiba
5 by New People's Army
1 by Northern Alliance (suspected)
2 by Palestinian nationalist
2 by PKK
1 by Popular Resistance Committees
1 by Rakhine nationalists (suspected)
1 by rightwing extremnist
1 by Tahrir al-Sham (suspected)
31 by Taliban
8 by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
1 by Unknown
3 by YPG / PKK

March 2018--174 terrorist attacks
2 by Abu Sayyaf
8 by Al Qaeda
12 by Al Shabaab
5 by Allied Democratic Forces
1 by Anarchist
1 by Balochistan Liberation Army
1 by Barisan Revolusi Nasional (suspected)
9 by Boko Haram
1 by Coordinadora Arauco Malleco
13 by Communist Party of India
1 by ELN
2 by EPL
1 by FAI FAR
5 by FARC Dissidents
1 by Hamas
1 by Hasma Movement
4 by Hizbul Mujahideen
40 by Islamic State
2 by Islamist
1 by Jaish ul-Adl
3 by Jaish-e-Mohammed
1 by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar
1 by Jaysh al-Islam (suspected)
2 by Lashkar-e-Taiba
1 by Mark Anthony Conditt
1 by National Socialist Council of Nagaland
1 by NDFA
3 by New People's Army
3 by Palestinian Nationalist
2 by PKK
1 by Sendero Luminoso
1 by Tahrir al-Sham (suspected)
1 by Takfir wal-Hijra
20 by Taliban
3 by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan
2 by Unknown
1 by Volcanic Group Rupture Network Domination
4 by YPG/PKK

December 2018--238 terrorist incidents
1 by Abu Sayaaf
8 by Al Qaeda
14 by Al Shabaab
3 by Allied Democratic Forces
4 by Ambazonia Defence Forces
6 by Ambazonia Separatist
2 by Anarchists
5 by Ansar Al Sunna
1 by Ansar Al-Furqan
1 by Balochistan Liberation Army
1 by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
2 by Barisan Revolusi Nasional (suspected)
16 by Boko Haram
1 by Celulas de Ataque contra la Devastacion de la Tierra
1 by Chadian Militants
1 by Cherif Chekatt
1 by Circulo Iconoclasta Michelle Angiolillo and N.A.N.G.U
2 by Coordinadora Arauco Malleco
1 by Cow Vigilante
2 by Communist Party of India
3 by Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda
2 by Dissident Republican
1 by East Indonesia Mujahideen
3 by ELN
1 by EPL
2 by FARC dissidents
1 by Free Papua Movement
3 by Fulani Herdsmen
2 by Grupo de Ataque Antipatriarcal Claudia López and N.A.N.G.U
1 by Guardians of Religion Organization (suspected)
2 by Hamas
4 by Hizbul Ahrar
1 by Iconoclastic Sect
1 by Immediate Action Group
1 by Individualistas Tendiendo a lo Salvaje
3 by Thai Insurgents
1 by Irish National Liberation Army (suspected)
1 by Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (suspected)
36 by Islamic State
5 by Islamists
2 by Jaish-e-Mohammed
1 by Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin
1 by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
2 by Lashkar-e-Taiba
2 by Militants
1 by National Socialist Council of Nagaland
8 by New People's Army
1 by Oromo Liberation Front
2 by Paraguayan People's Army
4 by PLGA
1 by Popular Fighters Group
1 by Rouse the Believers
1 by Sendero Luminoso
1 by Sociedad Silvestre Salvaje
1 by Sophia Perovskaya Cell
5 by Tahrir al-Sham
43 by Taliban
3 by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (suspected)
1 by ULFA
2 by Unknown
1 by Wilayah al-Qawqaz
1 by Wrath of Olives
4 by YPG

Reprinted with permission from Sic Semper Tyrannis.
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