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State Sponsors of Terrorism 2024

The State Sponsor of Terrorism List (SSOT), first published in 1979, identifies governments that actively support violent non-state actors involved in terrorist activities. The United States Department of State defines state-sponsored terrorism (SST) as acts involving violence or danger to human life, property, or infrastructure intended to intimidate or coerce civilian populations or influence government policy.

State-sponsored terrorism includes actions where a foreign government provides sanctuary, training, arms, logistical or intelligence support to terrorist groups, or involves these groups in violent acts against its enemies. Currently, the United States Department of State lists Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. The inaugural list in 1979 included Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Libya under Gaddafi, South Yemen, and Syria.

Iran has been on this list since 1984, continuing to support terrorist organizations like Hizballah and various groups in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, and across the Middle East. Cuba, listed since 1982, earned its designation due to a history of aiding guerrilla forces and individual terrorists.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, has also been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. Although this designation was removed in 2008, it was reinstated in 2017 due to North Korea's repeated support for terrorist acts.

  • Countries listed below are those known to have sponsored terrorism against the United States. A list of countries that have sponsored terrorism against a country other than the US would likely differ.

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State Sponsors of Terrorism Designation Date
CubaJanuary 12, 2021
IranJanuary 19, 1984
North KoreaNovember 20, 2017
SyriaDecember 29, 1979

What are the State Sponsors of Terrorism?

Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Cuba have all sponsored terrorism against the United States in the past.

Frequently Asked Questions