World View: Threat of Widespread Terror Network Grows as U.S. Leaves Afghanistan

World View: Threat of Widespread Terror Network Grows as U.S. Leaves Afghanistan

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Egypt, Hamas, Israel cooperate as Sinai becomes more volatile
  • Threat of widespread terror network grows as U.S. leaves Afghanistan

Egypt, Hamas, Israel cooperate as Sinai becomes more volatile 

Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula region, where the borders of Gaza, Israel andEgypt all converge, is becoming an increasing threat to Egypt, becauseof Bedouin unrest and jihadist terrorism. Tensions have been high inthe Sinai since six Egyptian policemen and a soldier were kidnappedten days ago by a Bedouin tribe allied with al-Qaeda linkedterrorists. The hostages were finally released on Wednesday, butthere’s no guarantee that there won’t be more kidnappings, andMorsi has announced that there will be a new military operationin the Sinai to arrest the kidnappers. 

When the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi beause presidentof Egypt in July of last year, the leaders of Hamas rejoiced. WhenHamas was formed over 30 years ago, it was actually an offshoot of theMuslim Brotherhood. And now, with a Brotherhood candidate in power inEgypt, Hamas foresaw a new era of freedom and joy for the residents ofGaza, after years of alleged oppression by the Israelis. Well, likeso many other hopes and dreams in people’s lives, this one didn’t turnout the way they had hoped. Morsi’s relations with Hamas officialshave been quite frosty and, in particular, Morsi suggested that Hamasor other Gaza militants might have been responsible for the jihadistmurder, in August of last year, of 16 policemen and soldiers inEgypt’s Sinai, where the borders of Gaza, Israel and Egypt allconverge. Morsi sternly warned Hamas, “May God help you if we findyour fingerprints on what happened in the Sinai.” Those suspicionswere renewed by last week’s Sinai kidnappings, and Hamas scrambled toassure the Egyptians that it had nothing to do with them. 

Remarkably, the terrorists in Sinai are accomplishing something thatany “peace process” had failed to do: Bring about cooperation amongIsrael, Hamas and Egypt in fighting a common enemy. Al-Monitor and Jerusalem Post

Threat of widespread terror network grows as U.S. leaves Afghanistan

The jihadist network in Kazakhstan, inspired and financed by al-Qaeda,the Taliban and the Caucasus Emirate, has shifted from a loosegrouping of largely autonomous militias into a unified movement thatthreatens not only Kazakhstan but all of Central Asia. Islamistgroups in Kazakhstan are seeking to form an independent jihadistnetwork like the one that exists in Russia’s North Caucasus and thento pursue the establishment of a sharia state. That the goals of theKazakhstani and North Caucasian groups are so similar reflects theinfluence of North Caucasus terrorist Said Buryatsky, who visitedKazakhstan between 2004 and 2006. Buryatsky’s ideas are featured onmany radical Islamist websites even now, and are often reflected inthe thinking of Salafi groups in Central Asia. 

According to an analysis by Russia’s military intelligence agency, theGRU, the withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan in 2014poses a “serious challenge to international stability” and increasethe threat of terrorism and religious extremism: 

A diversified terrorist network, including suicidebomber training camps has already been established in the countryand the Taliban has close links with foreign terrorist structureswhose militants, having gained combat experience in Afghanistan,could be sent to other hot spots across the world.

Combined with the rise of militias in Central Asia, as well as thedisintegration of Syria, al-Qaeda linked groups could use force toestablish “a global caliphate” from Morocco to Malaysia. Jamestown and Ria Novosti

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