Islamic Terrorism Shifting To Horn of Africa and Arabian Gulf
Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – Islamic terrorism in the last quarter of 2009 has slipped out of the ongoing conflict zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released in Washington on Thursday, 29 April.
In a mid-year update to the annual “Are We Winning?” report, the American Security Project, noted that the decline in frequency of terrorism incidences in Pakistan has shifted the focus out of the region.The report acknowledged that there have been “several high profile attacks in Pakistan,” there is a downward shift of 60% in Islamist terrorism in that country from the first six months of 2009, arguing that this decline is “likely due to increased military pressure by the Pakistani military on radicals within that country.”
The report, authored by ASP Senior Fellow Bernard Finel and Researcher Germain Difo measures America’s progress in the fight against terrorism according to metrics that are designed to be both reproducible and objective.
Though there is a demonstration of “the tactical effectiveness of military counter-terrorism activities,” Finel felt that, “it is unlikely that military pressure alone will provide a long-term solution to the terrorism challenge. We should be cautiously optimistic about the ability of military efforts in areas such as Pakistan and Afghanistan to dislodge some terrorist groups and keep them on the run,” warning, “there is still a significant chance that terror groups may rebound.”
The report also found that Yemen has emerged as both a potential launching pad for al Qaeda terrorist attacks and a locus of radicalization for foreigners traveling to Yemen from abroad.
Difo noted, “The increasing reach and capacity of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is a major source of concern, especially given disorder in Yemen and the challenge of radicalism in nearby Somalia.”
The report also noted that the number of terrorist attacks in Iraq are holding steady at between 52 and 66 incidents per quarter since the fourth quarter of 2008.
Afghanistan remains, by far, the most dangerous country in the world, with over 500 Islamist terrorist incidents in the last six months of 2009.