Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said the threat of al-Qaeda and terrorism is spreading and remains imminent, even as the data says otherwise, suggesting she inflated the threat.
“The core of Al-Qaeda that carried out the 9/11 attacks may be on the path to defeat, but the threat has spread, becoming more geographically diverse,” Clinton said at a speech at the Global Counterterrorism Forum meeting in Istanbul, adding that “the danger from terrorism remains urgent and undeniable.”
The National Counterterrorism Center’s annual report for 2011 was released on this week and it documents a declining threat from al-Qaeda and non-state terrorism.
“Total ‘terrorist’ attacks fell 12 percent from the previous year and are down 29 percent from 2007,” writes Dan Murphy at the Christian Science Monitor, “which the center says is a five year low.”
The study said about 10,000 acts of violence occurred in 2011 that the government classifies as terrorism, killing about 13,000. Zero terrorist attacks occurred in the U.S. and, as Murphy points out “three-quarters of the fatalities were in just four countries: Afghanistan (3,353), Iraq (3,063), Pakistan (2,033), and Somalia (1,101).”
Incidentally, those all happen to be countries in which U.S. foreign policy has been excessively interventionist and brutal and which only became hot-spots of “terrorism” following U.S. wars or proxy wars.
The report says, out of about 13,000 people, only 17 private American citizens were killed in terrorist incidents last year: 15 in Afghanistan, one in Jerusalem, and one in Iraq. Those in Afghanistan and Iraq were likely aid workers or private contractors, although the report doesn’t specify.
Even counting all 17 U.S. deaths by terrorism last year, though almost all went knowingly into a war zone, that amounts to .001% of Americans died from government-designated terrorism last year.
That said, the U.S. has been laying the groundwork for some very serious blowback via its own state terrorism (not counted in the report, of course) in places like Yemen, Pakistan, and beyond.