- An increasing AQ emphasis on ideological and propaganda activity to help advance its cause. This led to cooperation with al-Qaida in Iraq, the organization led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and with AQ affiliates around the globe, as well as with a new generation of Sunni extremists;
- The proliferation of smaller, looser terrorist networks that are less capable but also less predictable;
- An increased capacity for acts of terror by local terrorists with foreign ties (demonstrated in the July 7 London bombings);
- An increase in suicide bombings. The July 7 London bombing was the first such attack in Europe (three of the four terrorists were second-generation British citizens of South Asian descent); we also noted a marked increase in suicide bombings in Afghanistan;
- The growth of strategically significant networks that support the flow of foreign terrorists to Iraq.
Later in the report, Chapter 4 is particularly useful, and provides a good overview of programs and treaties designed to enhance international cooperation on counterterrorism.
The annual statistics on acts of terrorism are available in this document, compiled by the NCTC. The methodology was changed for the second straight year; given this change, I think it’s incumbent upon NCTC and State to provide historically comparable statistics back at least 15-20 years using this new methodology.