December 2nd, 2013
03:09 PM ET

Resurgent al Qaeda: new concern about U.S. homeland

By Paul Cruickshank

Intelligence committee leaders in Congress warn that al Qaeda's network has strengthened over the past two years, creating new concern over the terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the United States was no safer today than in 2011, despite the death of Osama bin Laden and the removal of senior al Qaeda operatives in drone strikes.

Their warning reflects growing concern among Western intelligence agencies about al Qaeda's growing strength in the Arab world.

While al Qaeda and groups that link to it have suffered setbacks in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, Somalia, Mali and other "Jihadist fronts," al Qaeda has taken advantage of the political turmoil caused by the Arab Spring to build its operations across North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.

"People think that, well, we've got this thing beat," Rogers said. "And that's just not the case."

Syria has been crucial to al Qaeda's restored fortunes. The civil war has seen the emergence of two al Qaeda affiliates each with several thousand men under arms. They control swaths of territory across the country.

The conflict has helped al Qaeda repair a brand tarnished in Muslim countries by the previous violent excesses of its affiliate in Iraq, because al Qaeda fighters in Syria have presented themselves as protecting Sunnis from a brutal "Alawite" dictatorship.

Syria has emerged as the new "Jihadist cause célèbre" across the Arab world, energizing that movement and providing a melting pot for foreign fighters from across the region to create personal ties that will underpin future terrorist networks.

By the measures of manpower, weaponry and territory, it can now be argued that the broader al Qaeda network is stronger than at any time since the peak of the Iraq insurgency half a decade ago, and perhaps even than at any time since 9/11.

The shutdown of more than 20 U.S. embassies across the Arab and Muslim world in August dramatically demonstrated the scale of the ongoing threat.

The closures followed a communication intercept suggesting al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen - AQAP - was planning to carry out a major attack.

Despite being forced to retreat from a number of towns in Yemen's tribal areas last year, the group still has significant resources at its disposal, including an unmatched team of bomb-makers adept at building devices which threaten Western aviation.

Groups linked to al Qaeda have also built a significant presence in Algeria, Libya, and the Sinai region of Egypt.

Nearly 1,000 people are now dying in terrorist attacks in Iraq in some months, many at the hands of al Qaeda suicide bombers.

Even Tunisia, previously the poster child for the Arab Spring, has a real and growing problem. In October, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a hotel popular with Western tourists in the coastal resort of Sousse.

In Egypt, the overthrow of an elected Islamist president and the return of the security state have made a significant number of younger adherents believe al Qaeda was right all along - that only their brand of violence works.

The idea of al Qaeda was forged in part in Egypt's repressive jails and the concern is the same grim facilities will now produce a new generation of embittered zealots.

All this worries intelligence officials on both sides of the Atlantic. But al Qaeda's revived fortunes in the Arab world have not yet resulted in a spike in plots against the United States and other Western countries.

The main reason for this is that al Qaeda and its affiliates simply have bigger priorities. They believe the political turmoil produced by the Arab Spring has given them a historic opportunity to achieve what has always been their central aim: creating Islamic states in the Arab "heartland."

This has been the overriding priority, even for AQAP, the group that has targeted the United States most consistently in recent years. Its leader, Nasir al Wuhayshi - recently appointed al Qaeda's global No. 2 - has until now only assigned a fraction of the group's resources and manpower to "external operations."

There has also been a shift in strategic vision at the top. Whereas Osama bin Laden was determined to find a way to strike inside the United States once again, his successor Ayman al Zawahiri, has prioritized hitting U.S. interests in the Arab and Muslim world.

In recent years, instead of orchestrating major plots against the West, Zawahiri and other al Qaeda leaders have urged sympathizers there to carry out terrorist attacks in their name and posted bomb-making instructions online to help them.

Exhibit A: the Boston Marathon bombing last April.

But the fear is that at some point in the future a strengthened al Qaeda may reprioritize and launch its own terrorist attacks inside the West.

If past history is a guide, al Qaeda and its affiliates will eventually lose ground in Syria and other Jihadist fronts in the Arab world because of the unpopularity of their mediaeval ideology and their harsh treatment of the local population. In fact, a backlash is already underway in Syria.

Once the al Qaeda dream of creating Islamic theocracies starts to fade, it is possible the leaders of the various al Qaeda affiliates will blame the West, and – just like bin Laden on 9/11 – lash out at the powers they believe are blocking their goals.

Al Qaeda's affiliates in Syria poses the greatest potential threat. Well over 1,000 Europeans have travelled to fight in Syria, many with Jihadist groups – an unprecedented number.

This has provided the terrorist network with opportunities, if attacking the West again becomes the priority, to provide recruits with terrorist training and send them home. Because Europeans do not require visas to enter the United States, these recruits could also be used to attack America.

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. lawn care near me

    https://www.magicalmex.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  2. guns for sale near me

    https://westsideink.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  3. dominos near me

    http://codingart.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  4. bike shops near me

    Great article! We are linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.

    http://kcb.bondstreetcap.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  5. diner near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is also really good.

    https://www.maternal.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  6. chiropractic near me

    https://tamiroom.com/bbs/cafe.php?mode=node&id=936&page=1&home=http://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  7. homes for sale near me

    http://www.broadhollow.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  8. meijer near me

    https://angryip.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  9. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    http://girisimhaber.com/redirect.aspx?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-escondido-california

    June 16, 2021 at 11:44 am | Reply
  10. pharmaceptica

    tadalafil online with out prescription https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 4:24 am | Reply
  11. RV Repair Around Me

    http://www.triathlon.org/?URL=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-san-gabriel-california

    June 15, 2021 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  12. Nearest RV Repair

    Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.

    https://local.google.bg/url?q=https://scotland.gov.uk

    June 15, 2021 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  13. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    This excellent website truly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    https://bellinghoven-online.de/index.php?url=www.ocrvcenter.com/national-interstate-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 11:39 am | Reply
  14. Camper Repair Near Me

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog articles.

    http://southampton.ac.uk/~drn1e09/foaf/visualizer.php?url=http://directory10.biz/listing/camper-store-nearby-250561

    June 15, 2021 at 11:06 am | Reply
  15. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    Excellent article. I absolutely appreciate this website. Thanks!

    http://www.etracker.de/lnkcnt.php?et=qPKGYV&url=https://www.handtucher.net/shopping/business_and_economy/business_libraries/science_and_technology/education/business_to_business/recreation_and_sports/aviation/

    June 15, 2021 at 8:38 am | Reply
  16. Randal Krul

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl articles and blogs

    http://amusingspace.blogspot.com/2012/03/keeping-in-touch-with-mobile-phone.html

    June 15, 2021 at 6:17 am | Reply
  17. RV Repair Orange County

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    http://surveys.montclair.edu/survey/preview.jsp?surveyid=1326825217719&url=http://cynar.co.uk/photobook/index.php?/guestbook&start=261555

    June 15, 2021 at 5:06 am | Reply
  18. RV Repair Seal Beach

    http://connectathon-results.ihe.net/open_is_url.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-furniture-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 4:12 am | Reply
  19. RV Repair Orange County

    I was pretty pleased to discover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and I have you book-marked to see new things on your blog.

    http://www.mhc.ie/?URL=www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-sound-system-repair-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 1:03 am | Reply
  20. Nearby RV Repairs

    https://www.baoviet.com.vn/Redirect.aspx?url=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-montclair-california

    June 15, 2021 at 12:42 am | Reply
  21. RV Repair Orange County

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    https://westernalliancebancorporation.com/WALSpeedBump_All_Others?target=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-chino-hills-california/

    June 14, 2021 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  22. RV Repair Around Me

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just bookmark this web site.

    http://www.fcviktoria.cz/media_show.asp?id=2924&id_clanek=2467&media=0&type=1&url=www.ocrvcenter.com/contact/

    June 14, 2021 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  23. Stacey Donovan

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2005/02/hypertextual-citation.html?m=0

    June 14, 2021 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  24. meat market near me

    http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~drn1e09/foaf/visualizer.php?url=http://lacapillacantina.com

    June 14, 2021 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  25. bars near me

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read through articles from other writers and use a little something from other websites.

    https://paeria.cat/ang/ajuntament/noticies.asp?Detall=True&IdNoticia=21087&Dia=-1&Mes=-1&Any=2014&IdDepartament=-1&Consulta=False&PaginaAnterior=http://www.ocrv.vip

    June 14, 2021 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  26. takeout near me

    This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise infoÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    https://234ww.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.fleetservicesorangecounty.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  27. stop and shop near me

    https://www.menedzserpraxis.hu/sharing/?menu=email&url=https://bethjameson.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 10:36 am | Reply
  28. estate sales near me

    This website certainly has all the information I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    http://schornsteinfeger-duesseldorf.de/redirect.php?url=http://www.johnnygillespiemusic.com

    June 14, 2021 at 6:24 am | Reply
  29. gamestop near me

    Very good article. I will be facing many of these issues as well..

    https://www.ams.ceu.edu/optimal/optimal.php?url=www.localartistsnearme.com&refresh=1

    June 14, 2021 at 3:18 am | Reply
  30. t mobile near me

    http://sendfwd.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.forkliftdealernearme.com

    June 14, 2021 at 2:58 am | Reply
  31. delivery food near me

    https://creativecommons.org/choose/results-one?field_attribute_to_url=www.marketingpostfalls.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 1:36 am | Reply
  32. honda dealership near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    https://proteinaute.com/lib/request/redirect.php?url=www.heatingairconditioningcontractorsmissionviejo.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 12:28 am | Reply
  33. nails near me

    http://www.sageport.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallshealth.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  34. kmart near me

    http://www.entertainment-resources.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=forkliftdealernearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  35. Russel Jarrard

    I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/03/ryanair-to-offer-child-free-flights-real-or-april-fools-marketing-genius/

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2018/05/border-crossers.html?showComment=1566392019260

    June 13, 2021 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  36. chase bank near me

    http://rusinvestforum.org/bitrix/rk.php?goto=http://hootnholler.net

    June 13, 2021 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  37. Yvone Dekok

    I don't know about you all but I am obsessed with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/05/some-awesome-changes-to-the-airline-blog/

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2007/08/reading.html

    June 13, 2021 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  38. for rent near me

    http://firstrateloan.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestservicenearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 4:03 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply to houses for sale coeur d alene idaho


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.