Al-Qaeda is gaining strength as world’s focus remains on the Islamic State
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- Al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin...[+]
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Despite major setbacks in recent years, the al-Qaida terror group seems to remain resilient and is slowly rebuilding its capabilities in many conflict-ridden countries around the world, while the world’s focus is on the Islamic State (IS), experts warn.
Experts say the once-powerful jihadist group has been seeking to establish more ties with local extremist groups, particularly in some parts of Africa and the Middle East.
“For some time, al-Qaida has been working quietly in many places, forging new alliances, and re-establishing links with former affiliates,” said Radwan Badini, a professor of political science at Salahaddin University in Irbil, Iraq.
The ongoing political and security instability in countries such as Syria, Libya and Yemen has offered yet a new opportunity for al-Qaida to strengthen its presence.
“The fact that IS has been the main target of the United States and other powers has allowed al-Qaida to reinvent itself and to become a more decentralized terror network that attracts Islamist groups that are even slightly inclined to wage jihad against the West,” Badini told VOA.
In its 2018 Country Reports on Terrorism, the U.S. State Department last week asserted that al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen has managed to recruit new members, wage attacks and threaten the West.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has “released several videos reiterating its intent to attack the West,” the report said.
U.S. officials say al-Qaida’s affiliates in Libya have also established safe havens there, exploiting the fragile security climate in the North African country.
In Syria, experts say, al-Qaida has maintained a presence through several local affiliates largely based in the northwestern part of the war-torn country, despite severed ties with its main Syria affiliate, the al-Nusra Front.
Source: VOA News