Apparently they are not on the “path to defeat,” who knew?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge in the number of aggressive al-Qaida affiliates and like-minded groups the Middle East and North Africa poses a serious threat to U.S. interests and allies, the State Department said Wednesday in reporting a more than 40 percent increase in terrorist attacks worldwide between 2012 and 2013.

The department also singled out Iran as a major state sponsor of terrorism that continues to defy demands it prove its atomic ambitions are peaceful even as Washington pursues negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.

In its annual global terrorism report, the department said that losses in al-Qaida’s core leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan “accelerated” the network’s decentralization in 2013. That has resulted in more autonomous and more aggressive affiliates, notably in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, northwest Africa, and Somalia, it said.

“The terrorist threat continued to evolve rapidly in 2013, with an increasing number of groups around the world – including both AQ affiliates and other terrorist organizations – posing a threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests,” according to the strategic assessment of the “Country Reports on Terrorism.”

The report identified a 43 percent increase in the number of terrorist attacks in 2013 from 2012, according to statistics provided by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.