MIM: For the complete State Department report go to :http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/c17689.htm
Background Information: Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism
Terrorists Killed More Than 14,500 People in 2005, Report Says
April 28 (Bloomberg) -- Terrorists killed more than 14,500 people in 11,000 attacks across the globe last year, the U.S. State Department said in its annual report on terrorism.
Fifty-six of those killed were Americans, the report said. Three thousand of the deaths were attributable to 360 suicide bombings. There were 25,000 people wounded and 35,000 people kidnapped, the report said.
"We saw indications of an increase in suicide bombings," the report said, noting that the July 7, 2005, bombings in London that killed 54 people were the first such attacks in Europe.
The report sums up a year in which suicide bombers also attacked in Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Indonesia. The most significant attack for which al-Qaeda claimed responsibility was the Nov. 9, 2005, suicide attack against hotels in Amman, in which at least 57 people died, the report said.
"We also noted a marked increase in suicide bombings in Afghanistan," the report said.
Officials said the U.S. broadened its definition of terrorism in 2005 to include more than just incidents involving the citizens or soil of two or more countries, making data for previous years "not comparable," Russell Travers, a deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center, told reporters in Washington.
The al-Qaeda terrorist network remains a threat, with plans to attack the U.S. in a manner to match "or even surpass the terror of 9/11," Henry Crumpton, the U.S. State Department's anti-terrorism chief said.
Yet while al-Qaeda's leaders continued to inspire terrorist activity in 2005 and their group is resilient and can adapt to counter-measures, they were not able to direct it as fully as in the past, the report said.
"Al-Qaeda is not the organization it was four years ago," the report said. The group's leaders are scattered and on the run, while its Afghan safe haven is gone. Its relationship with the Taliban has diminished, and its finances and logistics have been disrupted, Crumpton said.
For these reasons, "al-Qaeda and its affiliates are desperate to claim Iraq as their own," Crumpton said. "We and our allies, along with the emerging Iraqi government, must deny Iraq to al-Qaeda."
The year also saw an increase in small, autonomous cells and even lone actors, who relied on the Internet, satellite communications and international commerce to achieve their goals, the report says. The terrorists' ability to exploit technology makes them "extremely difficult" to detect or counter, the report said.
Terrorists are also exploiting some of the same international networks used by criminals to improve their mobility and avoid detection, the report said. They are also becoming more sophisticated in their use of propaganda.
Because of looser, less centralized terrorist networks, "we may face a larger number of smaller attacks, less meticulously planned, and local, rather than transnational in scope," Crumpton said.