New figures released by the Bush administration show dramatically higher terrorism casualties last year than the State Department documented in an April report that U.S. officials heralded as evidence of great progress in the battle against terrorism.
The statistics show that 625 people died in terrorist attacks last year, not 307, as first reported. The corrections also reveal a larger number of incidents deemed "significant" by government analysts than at any time since U.S. authorities began issuing figures, in 1982.
John Brennan, a 23-year CIA veteran who oversaw the effort, took "personal responsibility." He blamed antiquated computers and personnel shortages for the errors and dismissed suggestions that the administration purposely fabricated the figures.
When the April report was released, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said it provided "clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight." Tuesday, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Armitage's words were based on incorrect information.
The revised figures show that more people were killed by terrorists last year than at any time since 1998, apart from 2001, when the Sept. 11 hijackings caused 2,973 deaths. Terrorist bombings and shootings left 3,646 people injured around the world.
-- Peter Slevin