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ISIS, Al-Qaeda, other terrorist groups have Iran's support: US report

ISIS, Al-Qaeda, other terrorist groups have Irans support: US report

Chicago: Iran uses terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda along with its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force (IRGC-QF) to advance its interests in foreign lands, the "2020 Country Reports on Terrorism" by the United States Department of State said.

The report adds that Iran also acknowledges the IRGHC-QF's involvement in the Iraqi and Syrian conflicts, Arab News reported.

The US report said that Iran is supporting many groups that were declared terrorists by the US. Iran-supported armed-extremist groups include Hamas in Palestine, Al-Ashtar Brigades and Saraya Al-Mukhtar in Bahrain and Kata'ib Hizballah, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq in Iraq.

Also, Houthis in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan have Iran's backing. Tehran has been funding, arming and training them, the report asserted.

The report suggested that the increased attacks on Iraqi bases that host the US forces had Iran's support as well as for Houthis to enable attacks, even against Saudi Arabia. The report says that terrorist activities are persistent in the Middle East and North Africa, where extremist groups have safe sheltering too.

Al-Qaeda, along with ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), is still high in Libya, Syria, Sinai province of Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.

It says that ISIS had lost all the territories it had in Syria and Iraq, but it continued its terrorism campaign worldwide through many fatal attacks. It also says terrorism has expanded geographically into many more countries.

Further, it explains the joint effort of Saudi and the US, through the initiative Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre, to counter-terrorism financing. It was established in 2017 and had imposed sanctions on six persons and entities branched from ISIS.

The US report, detailed in 421 pages and published on Thursday, has accounts of terrorist presence in many regions worldwide and names of extremists' groups in each region, their sources of funding etc. It mentions India not having Counter Violent Extremism policies at the Union level.

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