Last April, in its 18th annual report on terrorism, the State Department reported the number of terrorist attacks around the globe had fallen. The White House pounced on the report, using it as objective proof that President Bush was winning the war on terrorism. Just a few months later, the State Department had to revise the 2003 figures and acknowledge the original report drastically underreported the number of terrorist attacks. In fact, the number of significant terrorist attacks in 2003 had increased.
It’s a year later, and the new State Department report on terrorist attacks is due next week. According to former State Department terrorism expert Larry Johnson, statistics were set to show there were 625 “significant” attacks last year, making 2004 the worst year for terrorist attacks in two decades.
So the State Department simply decided not to publish the statistics this year. Instead, they say numbers will be compiled by the brand-new National Counterterrorism Center.
The State Department’s report on terrorism, sans numbers, is still due to Congress by the end of this month. But what about the numbers and statistics on international terrorist incidents? In today’s press briefing, spokesman Richard Boucher admitted:
“Don’t have a date yet. They’ve agreed to do it; don’t have a date yet…. I don’t know when.”
Don’t hold your breath.