The Secretary of State designated Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1993 for supporting international terrorist groups, including the Abu Nidal Organization, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hizballah. The Government of Sudan asserts that it no longer supports them or any terrorist organization. Sudan has taken some steps to work with the United States on counterterrorism. In 2018, the Government of Sudan continued to pursue counterterrorism operations alongside regional partners, including operations to counter threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan.
In January 2018, an ISIS inspired individual approached U.S. Embassy Khartoum and repeatedly stabbed a Sudanese police officer guarding the embassy. The severely injured police officer, although maimed and permanently disfigured, survived the attack due to the immediate response from embassy staff. The attacker, who was subdued by another police officer and Local Guard Force, was fined and sentenced to the maximum term of three years. Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Sudan, especially in Khartoum. In June 2018, according to open press and police sources, a young woman was allegedly rescued after being recruited by ISIS. Despite the absence of high-profile terrorist attacks, ISIS appears to be active within Sudan, though the extent to which is unclear.
The Sudanese government continues to develop a national strategy for countering violent extremism and anticipates a parliamentary decision on the strategy and implementation in May 2019. The strategy will combine government and civil society resources and use a social, economic, and religious approach towards strengthening Sudan’s population against internal or external extremist influences. Sudan’s de-radicalization programs will run concurrently with the new national strategy. De-radicalization programs in Sudan focus on reintegration and rehabilitation of returned foreign terrorist fighters and those espousing terrorist ideologies. Sudan repatriated a small number of women and children who are or had been affiliated with foreign terrorist fighters, mostly the spouses and children of ISIS members killed in Libya, and incorporates them in Sudanese rehabilitation programs.
In October 2018, the United States and Sudan launched the Phase II framework for bilateral engagement, which is designed to lay the foundation for normalized relations. This framework includes the expansion of counterterrorism cooperation and adherence to UNSCRs concerning North Korea, especially the cessation of any governmental ties to North Korea. Phase II also includes the Sudanese government taking steps to address outstanding terrorism-related claims and judgements against Sudan held by victims of terrorism, including U.S. court judgements related to the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.