Terrorism: The Threat Persists

  • 14 July 2010

Two explosions that struck innocent civilians in the Ugandan capital of Kampala on Sunday afternoon, causing the deaths of 76 people and injuries to many more, form the latest evidence that blind and unscrupulous terrorism is still threatening us with its malicious plans and actions. It is true that the ideology of terrorism has suffered telling blows and that its exponents have lost many that played critical roles in the planning and execution of criminal operations in various places around the world, yet there is ample evidence that terrorism continues to remain a threat to everyone, and that its elimination still remains a far-fetched goal, that requires more effort and coordination between different countries and concerned organizations with the world’s security and stability. Evidence confirms that terrorism is currently going through the stage of “mutation,” similar to what the virus of an epidemic undergoes when it transforms to produce a “mutant form”, with features and characteristics that are entirely different from the original virus, but have a more virulent strain than the original and the same applies to today’s terrorist organizations. The assimilation of small terror outfits under the Al-Qaeda umbrella is not the sole purpose of the ‘terror mutant’ organizations, but there is also an attempt to mobilize local terrorist groups in different countries and to rouse dormant cells into the fold of the premier terror organization. Al-Qaeda has developed different tactics and ways, regardless of ethics and humanitarian considerations. The world was surprised when it used children and women suicide bombers, and even the use of animals for its bombing operations.

Transition from “local” impact to a “global” reach has become the illicit dream of many extremist organizations in the world that compete with each other in the killing of civilians, and the targeting of women, children and the poor. These outfits have become Al-Qaeda’s subsidiaries in counties like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere. The crimes of these organizations have become more difficult, as has been confirmed by experts and specialists, and as is reflected by events that everyone witnesses on a daily basis.

Indicators confirm that Al-Qaeda is no longer an operational, tactical and financial organization as it was years ago, but it still remains a danger to security, especially in light of the deteriorating security situation around the world. The organization is by no means close to its demise, as terrorism remains a volatile phenomenon that is able to absorb shocks and setbacks.

International efforts of the past nine years in combating terrorism shows that the top rung of Al-Qaeda leadership has either been killed, captured or are under a siege in remote mountainous areas. However terrorism can mutate and small organizations could forge new cells for Al-Qaeda to carry out its abominable plans, which implies that the entire world still needs to confront this constant challenge to its security and stability.