Terrorist Groups Rise 58% Since 2010

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


130221_terroristsOne of the principal narratives of the 2012 Obama re-election campaign — as in al Qaeda has been “decimated” and put on a “on the path to defeat” — has itself been decimated. According to a study released yesterday by the RAND Corporation, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups over the last four years. Even more troubling, the number of jihadist fighters has doubled, and the number of worldwide attacks has tripled. The report further notes that terrorist groups operating in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan pose the greatest threat to the United States.

“Based on these threats, the United States cannot afford to withdraw or remain disengaged from key parts of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia,” states Seth G. Jones, author of the study and associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND. “After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, it may be tempting for the U.S. to turn its attention elsewhere and scale back on counterterrorism efforts. But this research indicates that the struggle is far from over.”

The raw numbers are stark. The number of groups have increased from 31 to 49, the number of fighters to a high estimate of 100,000 and the number of attacks from 392 to approximately 1000.

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Jones points out that America also faces significant threats in addition to Islamic jihadism, including the invasion of Ukraine by Russia that threatens our NATO alliance; China’s flexing of its economic, military and cyber muscles in East Asia; and the instability of North Korea. He also puts Iran and their dedicated pursuit of nuclear-weapons in this category.

Jones’s analysis pokes a giant hole in the leftist ideology that posits America’s forays into Iraq and Afghanistan caused an increase in jihadist activity. In fact it is quite the opposite. As America has retreated from the Middle East – completely from Iraq in December of 2011, combined with a highly-publicized schedule of winding down combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of this year — terrorism is surging.

According to Jones the epicenter of that surge is Syria. The ongoing civil war there has produced the largest increases in both the number of groups and the number of terrorists, and they now comprise more than half the number of groups worldwide who are al Qaeda sympathizers. “It’s become a breeding ground for jihadist activity,” he explains. He also notes there were substantial gains in North Africa in general, and Libya in particular.

The study further reveals that terrorist leadership has become more decentralized. It is

diffused among four tiers: (1) core al Qa’ida in Pakistan, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri; (2) formal affiliates that have sworn allegiance to core al Qa’ida, located in Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and North Africa; (3) a panoply of Salafi-jihadist groups that have not sworn allegiance to al Qa’ida but are committed to establishing an extremist Islamic emirate; and (4) inspired individuals and networks.

The terror groups themselves are divided into three categories. “Category one,” and the top priority for U.S. counter-terror efforts according to the author, should be groups with both the “interest and ability” to perpetrate attacks in the United States. They include al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula based in Yemen, al Qaeda’s core elements along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, homegrown jihadists such as the Boston Marathon-bombing Tsarnaev brothers, and the growing number of radicalized Americans fighting the Assad regime in Syria.

“Second category” terror groups are those incapable of mounting a domestic terrorist attack, but who remain committed to attacking U.S. and other Western targets abroad. They emanate from countries such as Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria, and include al-Shabaab and Boko Haram. “Third category” terrorist groups are those with little interest or capacity to target America or American interests overseas. Jones cites the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in China, and “numerous others with parochial interests across Africa, the Middle East and Asia.”

Different military strategies are offered for coping with each category. Groups in the first category should be subjected to “clandestine special operations, intelligence, diplomatic and other capabilities to target al Qa’ida groups and their financial, logistical and political support networks.” The U.S. should also assist local governments with training, advice and assistance in attacking terror’s root causes, which he claims range from incompetent security forces to collapsing economies. (The latter root cause is a largely specious assumption, as this list of middle class and wealthy high-level terrorist indicates).

Jones posits that groups in the second category should engender U.S. support for local governments, but no direct action on our part. For the third category, he suggests an approach that relies on counter-terror operations by allies and local governments while keeping American air, naval and rapidly deployable ground forces assets in close proximity “offshore.”

Unfortunately for an Obama administration seemingly determined to squander painfully bought gains in the Middle East, Jones offers a most inconvenient assessment of reality. “Al Qa’ida was born along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier in the late 1980s, and it will not disappear just because U.S. forces leave,” he insists, adding that our imminent departure from Afghanistan “will most likely be a boost for insurgent and terrorist groups dedicated to overthrowing the Kabul government, establishing an extreme Islamic emirate, and allowing al Qa’ida and other groups to establish a sanctuary.” He further warns that just as in Iraq, the withdrawal of U.S. troops “does not make the terrorism problem go away,” but has rather allowed al Qaeda and other groups “breathing space to expand their attacks and spread to neighboring countries like Syria.”

The most inconvenient reality of all? The current trends outlined in the study suggest that “the struggle against extremism is likely to be a generational one, much like the Cold War.”

In other words, no matter how desperately the American left, the isolationist factions on both sides of the political divide, and those Americans unduly influenced by the Democrats’ odious anti-war presidential campaign of 2004 want the war on terror to end, the terrorists themselves have other ideas. To believe otherwise is a fool’s errand based on the same kind of fatuous, faculty-lounge thinking engaged in by an Obama administration that precipitates such follies as the easing of sanctions on Iran, the latest announcement by the State Department that they will work with a Palestinian “unity” government that includes terrorist-designated Hamas, and the release of five high-level terrorist thugs from Guantanamo Bay.

On the last page of the report, Jones cites a poem entitled “Mujahid’s Wish.” It was published in the Spring 2013 issue of al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, and as Jones rightly explains, reveals the mindset of those who consider the U.S. “a bitter enemy.” The last four lines are more than enough to understand what we are really up against:

Brother residing in the West, grab you (sic) chance and 

Walk steadfastly towards your goal.

As for me here in Yemen, whenever I move around with 

Explosives around my waist, I wish I am in America.

 

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  • G99

    We fought the worst of moslemkind
    Then sought to win its heart and mind
    But naught of either could we find
    So caught, were we, in quite a bind.

    • VarshaMoretoniss

      like
      Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
      on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I have a prediction: As long as you so-called right-wing writers continue to morally equate and conflate what is actually jihad, which is a holy war waged by all Muslims both violently and non-violently, but astronomically far more non-violently relative to violently, against all infidels to ultimately make Islam supreme throughout the world, and violent jihadists, i.e., Mujahideen (holy warriors), as opposed to non-violent jihadists that you guys always ignore since they aren’t violent, as being terrorism and terrorists, our politicians and federal government will continue to allow mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage that is really non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad for the nefarious purposes of mass Muslim infiltration and eventual demographic conquest, since you guy’s lunacy is providing the cover for it. Not to mention that when you writers also label certain Muslims as being Islamists, i.e., Islamic supremacists, at the same time you also imply that other Muslims are so-called moderates, even though the actual reality is that all Muslims in the world are jihadists in one form or another. Otherwise, they are blasphemous apostates that per the texts and tenets of Islam must be executed.

    The Marxist totalitarian left loves to morally equate what is really jihad as being terrorism so they can blame it on everything else other than what it actually is, i.e., a holy war waged by the Islamic totalitarian world both violently and non-violently against all infidels and all religions to ultimately make Islam supreme throughout the world, and you so-called right-wing writers have swallowed their bait lock, stock, and barrel. Pathetic!

    • 1Indioviejo1

      I keep saying the same things over and over again, albeit in different words. The simplest action available to us right now is to boycott Muslim businesses, and to ostracise them, yet no one seems to care. Have you heard of an effort to organize this campaign?

      • Chilly Willy

        That’ll never fly. Sounds too much like what the Nazis did with Jewish businesses in the 30′s. All it would do is generate great sympathy for the Muslims and make them look like persecuted victims.

        • Drakken

          When the muslims come back to the west after all that nice jihadist activity in the ME and N Africa and the bombs start going off and jihadist gun down the infidel in towns and cities near you, nobody is going to care what type of muslims they are, for they will be deemed all dangerous and the mantra of, no more mulims, means no more problems, will become a matter of policy.

        • 1Indioviejo1

          It is not forced. You may shop where ever you want if you so love them, but I don’t. Let your conscience be your guide.

    • Americana

      Islam has always voiced grandiose ambitions but its intentions to achieve world domination are a fool’s wet dream even if the imams and the Grand Mufti spout off about it. Everyone knows that but those whose political aims lie in making jihad seem like an incontrovertible force against which the West has no chance stand most to gain if they continue to stress just how resolute and implacable Islam is. Let’s be realistic about what jihad is and what it intends to accomplish in order to combat it because I’m sick and tired of this monolithic BS about jihad.

      Most jihads have REGIONAL political aims. You’re welcome to conflate them into terrifying political power blocks across vast regions but the fact is, where most jihads are occurring today, there have been Muslim political Caliphates in the past. The wish to revive those Muslim Caliphates is a political phenomenon w/a theological basis. It’s scary but it’s not a threat that should be totally severed from all its factual bases, whether those be sociological, economic or historical. Breaking down these regional jihads is the only sensible way to approach the geopolitical realities of jihad.

      I don’t EVER morally equate what jihad is w/LEGITIMATE POLITICAL ACTION by a population. It’s religious thuggery. But is Islam really attempting to take over the world by stealth jihad or force jihad? Look at where jihads are occurring. North Africa, a Muslim complex of countries since the time of the slave trade. Indonesia and the Far East, regional Caliphates were there up until WW II. These fluctuations in Muslim political power may be terrifying but we must cope w/them as we would any political surge. We should also bolster those moderate Muslims who see that this political thuggery and blackmail that is jihad needs to be abolished from Islam.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Indeed, you are the personification of John Kerry. Obviously, your blind obsession with Marxism has destroyed your ability to think and reason in a logical manner. Seek mental help for your severe mental disorder.

      • Drakken

        Islam is islam, and where ever islam goes, the blood always flows, without exception. There is no such thing as moderate islam, never has and never will be, and if you understood anything about islam, you would know this, islam is becoming resurgent and the only way you fight islam is by killing it.
        Maybe you should go to Europe and see what massive amounts of 3rd world savages are doing to the major cities there and talk with the natives. Not all cultures, people and religions are all equal.

      • truebearing

        You are a liar, a fool, or both. I vote for both. Your understanding of jihad, as with every other topic you blather about, is so superficial that I have a hard time believing anyone can be that naive and poorly informed, therefore, I have to assume you are a troll that is purposely trying to convince people to not believe their own eyes.

        Furthermore, this disjointed, dishonest, half-baked little screed of yours is essentially the same one you posted yesterday. That smacks of trollery, and a lack of anything truly substantive to offer. It doesn’t remotely address the article that clearly, with factual support, delineates the increase in Muslim terror groups and attacks. You can’t address how the facts refute Obama’s lies, nor is your childish, moronic localization of jihad explain the increase in terrorist activity across the the entire Muslim world.

        The fact that you refuse to acknowledge the Koran as the source of violent jihad, and its unapologetic commands to Muslims to kill all non-believers in the quest to rule the world under Islam, disqualifies you as having anything worth reading on the topic. You know nothing about Islam, or worse, are trying to enable its spread by giving people false comfort. Either way, you are a fool and a fraud.

        And you will now commence to flood this thread with your repetitive, moronic posts in an effort to hijack the thread, or at very least disrupt it with your drivel.

  • Hard Little Machine

    When Empress Hillary is Queen of Earth, will there be a metal detector on the White House front door or will the terrorists be allowed to concealed carry when they visit?

  • 1Indioviejo1

    We are in a long war and the enemy is Islam. We fail to recognize the enemy at our own peril. Our leaders, and I mean military and political, plus half of our people, will not face nor will they define the enemy. So far we are doing everything in our power to lose. This is a “Clash of Civilizations”, and if we lose, the West will disapear as we know it.

  • Prof. L. Wessell

    I wish to dissent on a structural point. There is NO Nato alliance! That is an illusion. The European nations reduce and have reduced and will reduce more their military. Period! If my memory is correct, Germany can field on the battlefield about 10,000 troops (behind which are, of course, intelligence, med. concerns, etc.). Germany is already extended as far as it can go. This is true of all non-American “partners” in exploitation, from day one. Since the end of the Cold War Europe can take care of itself. There are some 500,000,000 citizens in the EU with more money and productivity than the USA. Europe has used American protectionism as the means to divert money to their welfare states. I am tired of this.

    My suggestion is the following: Nato should be dissolved as quickly as it is feasible. The European nations can then form a military ETO (European Treaty Organizaton) embodying their military wants and perceived needs. At that point, the US and the ETO can (but do not have to) make a military treaty, but one in which the ETO pays its “fair share”, i.e., way over 50% (instead of the 25% paid in Nato. To the degree that the US does things for the ETO that are not directly related to US interests, the ETO should pay for services rendered. The Ukraine problem (and I happen to side with Russia) is a European problem. There is no need for US interventionism in this respect. But, Europe is intentionally weak, depending upon the US to do the defensive work. They know they can con America. I do not wish to have America pulled into another European war.

    So, i disagree with the tenor of the article, although some of the problems need tending to. I only wish for America not to do the attending when Europeans can..

    • Americana

      Agree in some respects, Prof. Wessell, but disagree in others. Europe should certainly shoulder more of the military burden in Europe. I would perhaps approach the issue of the EU assuming more responsibility by designing power blocks within NATO but I wouldn’t destroy NATO. We don’t know when we might need it again in its present form.

      I’m not a believer in another European war in the near future. The fact Russia seized the Crimea when Ukraine followed through on its threat to leave the Russian sphere has gone full circle. Pres. Putin took what was basically his and he’s not going to commit any more military actions against either Ukraine or the EU unless he’s attacked first.

      • truebearing

        Brilliant plan. Have the EU do it. They are the idiots responsible for the craven weakness of Europe to begin with. I’ll bet you would hire a fox to fix holes in a chicken coop.

      • Prof. L. Wessell

        I accept your criticism. I have lived 35 years in Germany and Europe. Germans love to criticize American welfare. The worst insult on Germany tv is: “What, you what American conditions?”. So I have a certain axe to grind. I admit it. But, the EU has more money and potential military strength than the US. I think it best to have the European nations agree amongst themselves before entering into a collective agreement with the US. Whether Nato is dissolved or radically redone, is indifferent. If the US, say, is protecting, say, oil shipments for Germany with an aircraft carrier unit, let the Germans pay a fee.It is the presence of US troops in Urkaine that makes things difficult for Russia, not EU troops. If something goes wrong, we Americans will be involved for the 3rd time in a European war. I want a balance and sharing of the burden. I hold that the US has be taken by European misuse of American defense policies.

  • ChangeHopeInAZ

    Is it any wonder Obama’s favorable ratings have improved with the middle eastern Muslims. I guess it’s no surprise when you let our enemies live another day to attack us.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    Not only the Obama administration but the entire Left eggs on terrorists in their effort to destroy the “imperialist” Nazified West. See http://clarespark.com/2014/06/04/did-bureaucratic-rationality-cause-the-holocaust/. “Did bureaucratic rationality cause the Holocaust?” Eric Hobsbawm also declared the joint project to fight back against the “Orientalist” (Edward Said) West. So much for the progressive project.

  • watsa46

    Liberals and democrats at war against white America!

  • meanpeoplesuck

    Deaths caused by terrorists in the US rose by 3000% under Chimpy W MCHitler. Any thoughts on that?

    • Drakken

      Mean people might suck, but nice people like you swallow.

      • meanpeoplesuck

        Thank you for proving that TeaBangers are incapable of logic, only namecalling. You have posted this reply to my comments before, so I guess that’s all you are able to say. I have posted provacative but much less crude comments on Right wing sites and they are routinely deleted. The gutless wonders on one site are blocking me, but you can get away with your filthy comment.

        Hope you are enjoying living in your parent’s basement, sitting under a faded Ted Nugent poster wanking to the 2nd Amendment (let’s see how long it takes for the gutless wonders here at FPM to delete this!).

    • truebearing

      Yeah, you’re a moron whose stupidity is exceeded only by your dishonesty.
      The deaths from 9/11 are directly the fault of Bill Clinton, who could have taken the entire Al Queda leadership into custody, including Bin Laden and Atta, but instead chose to repeatedly turn down offers from the Sudan to turn them over. His idea of showing his Commander-In-Chief prowess was by bombing an aspirin factory and killing innocent people.

      • meanpeoplesuck

        Thank you for proving once again that Tighty Whitey Righteys are incapable of engaging in an honest debate, only awkwardly repeating Rush Limbow talking points and name calling.

        So- it was Bush sitting in the White House when the planes came calling, and Bush in the White House when the economy collapsed, but none of it is his fault! It’s Clinton! The Community Reinvestment Act, not the fact that ole Georgie let the financial companies leverage up 35 or 50 to 1! Oh no! It;s those damn minorities who stretched too much and bought too much house. We should all do ourselves a favor and shoot them. It’s legal in Florida to do that, especially if they are wearing a hoodie! And why stop at Clinton? Throw in Carter, LBJ, Kennedy, Truman and FDR while you;re at it!

        • truebearing

          You deranged chimpanzee, you started the name calling, and you did it to elicit the same so you could hop around and make guttural grunts of outrage.

          Your plays on names are retarded, at best. Smarter heads than yours pop out of zippers.

          I see you can’t refute anything I said about Clinton’s responsibility for 9/11. Too stupid, or just too lazy?

          Yes, you’re right. The CRA was Clinton’s fault too. He effed up a lot of things. Of course, obama had a hand in the sub-prime conspiracy too. He filed the first lawsuit against banks for not lending to blacks who had no money or jobs, and probably no ability to do simple math. It was in Chicago, after all. Obviously you’re too stupid to understand the connection between borrowing money and paying it back. That’s what welfare does to people.

          You have a point about people wearing hoodies. Most of probably should get the treatment you suggest, but since they will do it to each other, why spend tax dollars on it?

          Yes, lets throw all of the presidents you mentioned under the bus. There wasn’t one worth a dam n, but none of them deserve what Obama deserves.

          • UCSPanther
          • truebearing

            He’s right. If you find the weak spot in the foundation of a liberal, which is always flimsy and based on flawed reasoning and ideology, a few good shots and they are spinning and foaming at the mouth.

            What I have found liberals to hate most of all is wit directed at them or their beliefs. They simply can’t handle being laughed at.

            Isn’t it interesting that collectivists are mostly narcissists? What an interesting contradiction. These supremely selfish individuals believe they want collectivism,at least when it is in the theoretical stage and before the ugly realities about collectivism are manifest. They love living in anticipation of utopia, so they all share it in a state of deluded and drug aided euphoria, but once they are actually in power, the delusion gives way to disillusion as everything turns to chaos, nothing is working, and they bicker and scrap for power. Then the citizens begin complaining, but the narcissistic collectivists have no experience building or managing anything, so they do the only thing a narcissist can do: blame someone. Demonize a segment of the population and go about destroying those who are ruining utopia.

            Pointing out the failures of the Left in the 20th Century, including the tally of citizens killed in “utopian” leftist regimes has always been my trump card when I want to shut one up. Sometimes though, it is fun to just work them over and make them struggle to defend their idiotic religion.

          • UCSPanther

            Once they start using juvenile insults or playing “internet tough guy”, you know you have them…

        • UCSPanther

          You see, you aren’t as smart as you think…

  • truebearing

    We desperately need to start looking at the patterns of Muslim behavior and stop letting the media control the narrative by featuring specific events that always end up categorized as “isolated.” There is nothing isolated about Islamic jihad. It is a tsunami of simultaneous jihad from every Muslim sect and country.

    The other thing that has to be burned indelibly into the minds of Americans are the irreconcilable contradictions between what Obama says and what he does. He claims we have terrorism on the run, then frees five of the most bloodthirsty, ruthless terrorists on earth. Forget that he swapped a deserter and a traitor for the Taliban Five, he was going to free them anyway. Bergdahl was simply political cover.

    Obama says we have Al Queda “on the run,” then arms them in the civil war against Khaddafi. Then he arms them some more against Assad. Libya is now a breeding ground for Muslim Brotherhood and Al Queda terrorists that don’t exist, according to Obama. They killed an ambassador and three other Americans, and Obama just sat and watched on TV. He did nothing to prevent it, stop it, or avenge it.

    Obama was going to heal all wounds at the VA. He was going to straighten out the backlog and treat the vets right. Instead, he and his Death Panel handlers at the Center For American Progress (evil) cut funding for vet healthcare and incentivized a scheme to deny care to sick and dying veterans. There is that cross-current of statement vs action, yet again.

    Obama said he would never let Iran get nukes, but ended sanctions, freed billions of frozen Iranian assets, and meddled in Israel’s government to prevent Netanyahu from doing anything to stop Iran. When Iran’s pro-democracy movement needed his support he ignored them and the opportunity to destabilise the Ayatollahs. Now iran will have nukes, courtesy of Barack Hussein Obama, the Meccan Horse.

    Obama is a pathological liar, doing the bidding of Americas enemies, both Marxist and Muslim. What he says is usually the opposite of what he intends. He is evil and the greatest threat to America in its history.

  • Chiron_Venizelos

    We are in the perfect storm of threats to our civilization which has been rooted in the concept that our rights, our individual liberty and our freedom are gifts of God.
    Our current situation is more precarious than at any time in our history, since a ragtag group of patriots–half starving and ill-equipped–stood against and defeated the mightiest army on earth.
    We have come as far as we have because our beliefs were founded in a faith in something greater than ourselves, but having forsaken that faith has guided us through the challenges of our past and enabled us to rise to glories never heretofore thought imaginable, we are about to suffer the pains of our debauchery and slothfulness.
    Can we still recover? It is doubtful, but if it were possible to do so, it would require that we lay aside our petty differences and understand that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
    I commit myself to uniting with all like-minded patriots because I realize that our enemies have dedicated themselves to the premise that one of us must cease to exist. While I would rather live at peace with all men, I realize that it simply is not possible at this point, and if forced to decide whom shall survive, I choose those who would be free and allow others to be free.