THEY'RE GROWING: Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups - and their 'friends' - are growing
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/1/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
While the world occasionally hears of the terrorist network al-Qaeda these days, the public perception is that following the death of Osama bin Laden, the group has diminished in power and influence. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. According to a new report from the State Department, al-Qaeda's affiliate organizations, along with other terror groups, have grown even more dangerous.
Nasir al Wuhayshi is leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While it has been noted that al-Qaeda's central leadership along with its ability to direct operations from beyond its base in Pakistan has diminished, international terrorism remains evergreen.
"The terrorist threat continued to evolve rapidly in 2013, with an increasing number of groups around the world - including both AQ affiliates and other terrorist organizations - posing a threat to the United States, our allies, and our interests," the annual report on global terrorism trends found.
Steps to disarm and eliminate the organization led by Ayman al-Zawahiri have "accelerated the decentralization" of al-Qaeda. However, groups like its affiliate in Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to take advantage of conditions on the ground to "broaden and deepen their operations."
The decentralization of al-Qaeda has led its splinter groups to increase their financial independence through increased kidnappings for ransom and criminal activity, such as extortion and credit card fraud, the report found.
Al Qaeda in Yemen is among the most lethal of the affiliate groups, the report says and "continues to pose the most significant threat to the United States and U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen."
That group's leader, Nasir Wahishi, recently elevated to the No. 2 position in al Qaeda's larger network. , carried out more than 100 attacks in Yemen in 2013. Wahishi continues its focus of directing attacks at the U.S. homeland like the failed 2009 attempt to take down a jetliner over Detroit with the "Underwear Bomber."
More bad news comes in the form of renewed terrorist attacks. The report cited 9,707 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 43 percent increase from 2012, according to statistics compiled by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
Attacks resulted in more than 17,800 deaths and more than 32,500 injuries. The majority took place in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Thailand and Yemen.
Last year's most lethal incidents were carried out by the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, Nigeria's Boko Haram, al Qaeda in Iraq and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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