In the last week of December, Politico Magazine published an insightful piece on “Al Qaeda’s Big Year. How the terrorist group made a comeback in 2013.”
It’s been a few years since the US took out Al-Qaeda’s leader and public enemy No.1, Osama Bin Laden, in Pakistan. Yet the terrorist group has managed to weave a web of regional affiliates as far as Africa’s Mali and Algeria, constantly reasserting itself within each region. Whether it’s Somalia’s Shabab or Syrian rebel Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda-linked groups are filling power vacuums and wreaking havoc in more than half a dozen countries.
In the video above, Carbonated.TV has highlighted the group’s burgeoning capabilities in 2013, showing the complex and global nature of militant Islam and how vulnerable many countries are to this threat in 2014.
In the first week of 2014, Al-Qaeda gunmen - exploiting local grievances against Baghdad's rule and fueled by the jihadist group’s successes in Syria - took over two cities in Iraq’s Anbar province.
Ramadi and Falluja have not been under militant control since U.S. occupation troops defeated them in 2006-07, Reuters reported.
July’s various prison breaks are included here because they can be seen as a boost to Al Qaeda’s capabilities.
“Much of the increased jihadist organizational presence in North Africa since 2011 can be traced back to militants who were freed from regional prisons. Similarly, the regeneration of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group’s Yemeni affiliate, began with a 2006 jailbreak,” Politico pointed out.
While the Obama administration once claimed to have weakened the Jihadist network, Al Qaeda – through its various franchises – has been flexing its muscles, proving that the War of Terror is far from over.
Some might argue that the ‘enemy’ is stronger than ever.