Out last week, the State Department’s annual set of Country Reports on Terrorism offers insights into the government’s thinking regarding al Qaeda and other terrorist threats. The report identifies four countries — Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Sudan — as “state sponsors of terrorism,” which they define as countries that “provide critical support to non-state terrorist groups.” The Sudan report offers a critique of Khartoum, but also takes pains to emphasize that Sudan remains a “cooperative partner in global counterterrorism efforts.”
Such hedging inside the report has found a critic in Senator Russ Feingold, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. In a press release out last week, the senator noted:
"I take serious issue with the way the report overstates the level of cooperation in our counterterrorism relationship with Sudan, a nation which the U.S. classifies as a state sponsor of terrorism. A more accurate assessment is important not only for effectively countering terrorism in the region, but as part of a review of our overall policy toward Sudan, including U.S. pressure to address the ongoing crisis in Darfur and maintain the fragile peace between the North and the South. I have communicated my concerns to the administration, and I hope that it will provide the public with a more accurate assessment in the near future."
The full text of the country reports can be found here.