February 18, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - While assurances are being made by members of Barack Obama's witless national security team that al-Qaeda no longer poses a threat, in the real world, al-Qaeda franchises are growing in strength and sophistication throughout the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa.
Most active are al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabaab and Boko Haram.
Instead of waning in influence after the death of bin-Laden, these Islamic terror groups have flourished, in no small part because their rapidly increasing influence has largely been ignored by this administration. Additonally, the ability of these generally weak central governments [such as they are in some cases] to deal with such a level of organized and well financed jihadist violence is limited.
The administration has made every attempt to define the threat as coming from a single entity, bin-Laden's original al-Qaeda group.
This allows Obama to avoid dealing with the underlying cause of the jihadistic violence - the revolutionary ideology of Islamism, thus allowing it to deal with these matters as if they were the concern of law enforcement.
If the foreign policy Einstein's in this administration had been correct then upon the death of Binny, the threat should have simply shriveled up and blown away, something which clearly didn't happen.
This is such a simplistic charade that it makes about as much sense as saying that because Ronald McDonald has been killed so have McDonalds 35,000 or so franchises.
Let's do a quick heads up on just a few details describing the current sit-rep.
Boko Haram - The group has nearly brought the Nigerian economy to its knees, in the North which accounts for much of the country's economic activity and in the country's rich oil fields which are under constant predation:
Commercial activities in the northern trade hub of Kano are down by half since 2010 because of the campaign of violence waged by militant group Boko Haram and government efforts to curb it, says the Kano traders' union. "The north is losing heavily due to the violence. When you destabilize Kano, which is the commercial nerve centre of the north, you are threatening the socioeconomic well-being of the north," Nigeria's Information Minister Labaran Maku told reporters in February 2012. [source, Boko Haram attacks cripple northern Nigeria's economy, IRIN, a service provided by one of the UN's many departments]
Boko Haram has also been responsible for a wave of kidnappings in Nigeria, primarily of foreign aid and oil field workers. In a recent case the group beheaded 3 North Korean doctors, certainly an intimidating action. [fore further information please refer to Boko Haram offshoot claims responsibility in Nigeria kidnapping]
Al-Shabaab - As we detailed in a September 12, 2012 piece Islamic Violence In Mombasa Escalates, Imams Call For Boycott Of Upcoming Elections, this group has been very active in Kenya, a primarily Christian nation.
Church bombings, random killings and constant agitation have become commonplace:
"Kenyan police seized more than 150 detonators in Nairobi on Friday, highlighting the security risks the east African country faces ahead of an election next year because of its struggle with al Qaeda-linked militants in neighboring Somalia. Home to a large Somali population, Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade attacks after its troops crossed into Somalia last year to crush al Shabaab Islamists it blamed for kidnappings and bomb attacks on its own soil..." [source, Kenyan police seize over 150 bomb detonators from Nairobi house, Chicago Tribune]
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb - The group has been active also in Nigeria where an offshoot of the group [Ansaru] is involved in a campaign of kidnappings and associated violence. [see for additional detail, KANO: Militant group Ansaru on Monday claimed the kidnapping of seven foreigners in a deadly raid on a construction site in restive northern Nigeria at the weekend]
It has also served as the head of the Islamist spear in Mali. So serious is the threat here that French troops were committed in an effort to repel the jihadist entity. [see for example, Al-Qaeda plan for northern Mali revealed, News 24]
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is also conducting jihadist operations wherever the opportunity presents, as detailed in the following, they have called for "holy war" in Mali.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - "Has called for jihad in Mali, a monitoring group said Tuesday, after four days of suicide attacks and guerrilla fighting in territory French-led forces reclaimed from Islamist rebels. The call to holy war from AQAP, the global network's Yemen-based branch -- which US officials have labelled Al-Qaeda's most dangerous franchise -- came as troops sought to tighten a security lock-down in Gao, the largest city in northern Mali and the target of a string of Islamist attacks." [source, Al-Qaeda's Arabian branch calls for holy war in Mali, AFP]
Though the above thumbnail is nowhere near exhaustive, as one can see though its founder is gone, al-Qaeda has only become stronger, now taking advantage of Africa's political instability.
Blindered by its lack of a basic threat doctrine, a serious one, involving not simply al-Qaeda and its associates but the associated political ideology which serves as the driver for world wide jihadism, the Obama administration is unwilling to acknowledge that the problem is far wider than a few renegade groups, that this is a movement whose plan for domination and eventual submission of the non-Muslim world by fundamentalist revolutionary Muslims whose world-view has become so prevalent that it's now clearly main-stream.