The Growing Threat of Jihadist Terrorist Groups
According to a new RAND report, terrorist jihadist groups have increased by 58% since 2010. That is a scary thought when traveling just about anywhere. Of course, Americans are targets but traveling within the USA provides for a much safer venue. Many of these groups are small with their own agenda, but others do have ties to al-Qaeda. In 2010, there were 31 such groups, today 49.
Al-Qaeda and these smaller groups number have an estimated number of 100,000 worldwide. The number of attacks from 392 to 1000. Gradually, there have been more American terrorists in the ranks of jihadist groups- that is, people who live here, born here, went to school here who somehow became discontented and were turned by terrorist propaganda. Many groups love to recruit US citizens willing to convert and hand their lives over to Allah. One such person was a US citizen, from Florida, who gave his life in Syria to blow up a target there. To reach the American terrorist, al-Qaeda produces a very polished magazine, Inspire. Radical Americans can learn the bomb making techniques and others for their own jihadist attacks within the US mainland. Even if there are not ties to al-Qaeda, as was the case in the Boston attack, the information the magazine provides allows for a small group to cause mayhem. The top members in al-Qaeda, in Yemen, are two Americans, Abdullah al-Shami and Adam Gadahn.
The terrorist groups are divided in those in the Middle East, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan; those in Africa, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria; those in Asia. The groups in Africa are growing are bent on attacking the US or US installations or business's. In Somalia, there is al-Shabaab, while Boko Harem threatens Nigeria, These groups have lose ties with al-Qaeda, but they share an agenda to target Americans and other westerners.
What will probably happen in Afghanistan has already happened in Iraq. America left Iraq after setting up the country to succeed. Billions were spent in equipment and training and improving the local infrastructure, yet, one of its biggest provinces, Anbar, is controlled mostly by terrorist groups like ISIS or al-Nusra. Iraqi soldiers seldom venture into that area. They are causing mayhem there in their effort to turn Iraq into a terrorist haven. They are succeeding. So, it is not hard to see the identical thing happening to Afghanistan as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba do the same there. Leaving behind a mere 10,000 troops to control a huge country that is token at best, destined to fail and only protect Kabul and other key places. It will resemble the French in Vietnam in 1953, outside the key places the French held were controlled by the enemy and any patrols outside the protected areas were dangerous.
Of course, America is tired of war after over 10 years and seeing what seemed like good ideas to spread freedom, begin to crumble. The things we setup for success, not followed or simply deleted. Some ideas stick, but the terrorists and others who do not want a Western style of a lifestyle, are major hurdles that are growing. An evil force.
Just like in Star Wars. The good versus bad.