Rise of Terrorism Critical for Arab Region

  • 30 April 2007

Many indicators reveal that terrorist groups and organizations, with Al-Qaeda at the forefront, have recently been more active in western and eastern Arab countries, despite the clampdown in the security, financial, political, and religious spheres. After Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the terrorist bombings in Algeria and Morocco, Saudi Arabia recently declared that it had foiled a major terrorism operation planned by Al-Qaeda, which aimed at targeting various sites both inside and outside the Kingdom. This suggests that a wider terrorist conspiracy is being hatched against all the countries of the region, without exception. It also shows  that terrorism is constantly mutating, changing and proliferating. This presents a huge challenge to Arab security forces and demands greater cooperation and coordination for confronting a “new wave of terrorism.” This new threat is targeting the security and stability of the countries, and is threatening their economies. Experience around the world shows that no country, irrespective of its capabilities, can confront the danger of terrorism on its own, as the planning of these criminal acts transcends boundaries. Terrorist groups, particularly Al-Qaeda, now operate at regional levels.

The Arab world has suffered from terrorism throughout its history, but the most bloody and violent phase was the one following the war in Afghanistan, and the return of “Arab Afghanis” to their countries where they caused major disturbances. The Arab region is now having to endure the bane of “returnees from Iraq”, people who fought the war against the United States in Iraq and have started returning to their countries, full of hatred and the will to spread general chaos. Al-Qaeda is spreading its tentacles throughout the region and is posing a threat similar, if not greater, for Arab countries who suffered after the return of “Arab Afghanis.” This necessitates great degree of alertness and awareness, and a clear realization of the gravity of the situation.

What happened in Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia recently has rung alarm bells throughout the Arab region, and has issued a warning over an impending security threat. This situation requires concerted efforts not just by security forces, but also the religious, media, cultural and other powers.