The United Nations has issued a report in which it states that al-Qaeda’s global terror network remains “remarkably resilient” as ISIS quickly heads towards defeat. In some regions, the reports argues, al-Qaeda now poses more of a threat than ISIS.
The report, sent to the UN Security Council, says that AQAP — al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen — has now become the communications hub for the entire organization. “Al-Qaeda affiliates remain the dominant terror threat in some regions, such as Somalia and Yemen, a fact demonstrated by a continuous stream of attacks and foiled operations,” the report explains.
Especially in West Africa and South Asia, al Qaeda-linked groups are far more dangerous and powerful than their ISIS counterparts. The latter terror group’s afffiliates “currently remain unable to reach a dominant position,” per the report.
In Syria, al-Qaeda’s local affiliate, al-Nusra Front, “remains one of the strongest and largest Al Qaeda affiliates globally. Its fighters, the report states, are “using threats, violence and material incentives” to incorporate smaller terror groups into al-Nusra itself. Al-Nusra is believed to command somewhere between 7,000 and 11,000 terrorists. Its main base of operations is Idlib province.
It’s rather strange that al-Qaeda is not only alive and breathing, but becoming more powerful and dangerous by the day. After all, back in 2008, Barack Obama promised to “crush al-Qaeda.” To say that he failed would be an understatement.
Under Obama’s watch, al-Qaeda offshoot ISIS created a radical Islamic caliphate while al-Qaeda itself regrouped. Now that President Trump is close to delivering a final blow to ISIS, the UN informs us that al-Qaeda is back … or actually never left.
Although al-Qaeda was on the ropes in 2008 when Barack Obama started his first term, he allowed it to make a comeback and to grow bigger than ever before. As PolitiFact noted in 2015:
The rise of the Islamic State and other extremist groups casts a new light on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to “crush al-Qaida.” Last time we looked at this promise in 2012, we rated it a Compromise. The administration had stripped al-Qaida of many leaders, but its global reach was still growing. The trend continues today.
As usual, it will be up to a Republican president — Trump — to fix this mess.