Al-Qaeda Affiliates and Homegrown Cells Pose Threat to U.S.

[Camden Courier-Post/Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Michael Jacobson and Matthew Levitt - In mid-August, the U.S. intelligence community's senior ranking terrorism analyst concluded that al-Qaeda "remains the most serious terrorist threat to the United States." But al-Qaeda affiliates and homegrown cells pose a growing threat as well. Al-Qaeda affiliates include al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Finally, there are more local groups today inspired by al-Qaeda, even if they have no direct ties. There were almost 300 different groups involved in terrorist attacks in 2006 - most of them Sunni. More than 40 organizations announced formation and pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden between January 2005 and April 2007. These groups are located in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Europe, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt, among others. Ongoing tactical efforts to capture and kill hardened terrorists need to be better combined with strategic efforts to counter the increasing radicalization of disaffected Muslim youth (particularly in Europe) and to highlight al-Qaeda's bankrupt ideology and contest its violent and intolerant message.

2008-09-11 01:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive