130 Million Strong: Al-Qaeda's Deep Muslim Support

Yet even an expanded data set of that scope and size would still capture only a partial tally of all Muslims -- failing even to begin to touch Muslims living outside of Muslim countries, including the U.S. What polling has been done is cold comfort. A 2007 Pew Poll on American Muslims, for instance, revealed that 75,000 American Muslims supported al-Qaeda and 120,000 American Muslims believed that bombings against civilians in the defense of Islam are justified.

The fact of the matter is that al-Qaeda supporters worldwide number in the hundreds of millions. Because of their support, in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Sudan, Northern Africa, and Yemen, al-Qaeda is able to inhabit vast quantities of territory -- or control them outright.

As the December 2010 WikiLeaks hemorrhage of Department of State cables has revealed, no nation has been able to stem the tide of financial support to al-Qaeda, especially from wealthy donors in the Gulf region. With attacks increasing against the homeland, and a new and vigorous media campaign underway to turn American Muslims into lone wolf attackers, it is exceedingly unlikely that the global jihad -- or the direct threat it poses to the U.S. -- will end any time soon.