THE Philippines is among the top five countries in the world where the most number of terrorist at-tacks occurred in 2016, according to an annual report released by the US State Department.
Based on the Country Reports on Terrorism 2016, of the terrorist attacks that took place in 104 coun-tries in 2016, 55 percent of all attacks took place in five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
The report also noted a decrease on the total number of terrorist attacks by nine percent and a 13 per-cent drop on total deaths caused by terrorism in 2016.
“In 2016, terrorist groups continued to exploit ungoverned territory and ongoing conflict to expand their reach. ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) remained the top terrorist threat in 2016, directing and inspiring terrorist cells, networks, and individuals around the world,” the US State Department report said.
In the Philippines, the report said domestic and international terrorism remained a serious problem as shown by existence of Islamic State affiliated extremist groups, persistent kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), attacks on government forces, and bombings.
“Terrorist groups retained the ability and intent to conduct bombings, shootings, and ambushes against targets of their choice, as seen in a November 28 incident in which a bomb was discovered and disarmed near the US Embassy in Manila,” the report added.
The report also noted, however, that the Philippines continued to make progress, particularly in coun-tering violent extremism and its financial support.