Category Archives: Abu Sayyaf

Jihad Escalates in the Philippines

Philippine Boxer Manny Pacquiao

Philippine Boxer Manny Pacquiao

by Christopher W. Holton

Here at Terror Trends Bulletin, we have periodically reported on Jihadist groups and activities in the Philippines. This is a theater in the global jihad that is largely ignored by the so-called “mainstream” media.

Over the past week, a Canadian hostage has been murdered by Abu Sayyef jihadists and now we have the revelation that the group plotted to kidnap prominent citizens, evidently to impress the Islamic State.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino highlighted the advancements of Abu Sayyaf, a local extremist group, saying that its fighters had planned to kidnap his sister Kris and boxing star Manny Pacquiao. Aquino also added in a statement that he was “appalled” by the beheading of Canadian citizen John Ridsdel on Monday by Abu Sayyaf militants, believed to have taken over 20 other foreigners hostage.

http://www.ibtimes.com/abu-sayyaf-fighters-planned-kidnap-boxer-manny-pacquiao-philippine-president-benigno-2360302

Report: Islamic State Affiliate Abu Sayyaf Expanding Operations

Abu Sayyaf pledging allegiance to the Islamic State

Abu Sayyaf pledging allegiance to the Islamic State

posted by Christopher W. Holton

Back in August of 2014, a senior leader of the Philippine Jihadist terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Not surprisingly, now there is evidence that the organization is expanding its operations in the Pacific Rim area…

As the rest of the world grapples with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), their latest attacks on Paris, and what some commentators are calling the Global Jihad Insurgency, Philippines-based Islamic militant group the Abu Sayyaf may be spreading its own unwanted tentacles.

That message was clear following a leaked memo from within the Malaysian police published by the news portal Malaysiakini detailing how the Abu Sayyaf has established cell networks in East and West Malaysia, which were prepared to carry out terrorist-styled attacks.

This is unusual as the Abu Sayyaf – who have been widely, and justifiably, vilified as thugs – have largely kept their operations in Basilan, Jolo  and surrounding islands, spilling into the Sulu Sea and only sometimes into nearby Sabah, since the group’s inception in 1991. Operational cells in Kuala Lumpur would indicate a major expansion of its operations.

If the Abu Sayyaf is spreading its wings as an ISIS proxy into Malaysia, a Muslim country with secular pretensions, then fears that the militant insurgency — which dominated the region’s political landscape in the first decade of this century — is making a resurgence will be realized.

Just last week Malaysia’s defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said he and other Malaysian leaders were on an ISIS hit list.

As a paramilitary group, the Abu Sayyaf has sworn allegiance to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has outlasted its contemporaries, is well armed, and can make bombs. And that is exactly what ISIS needs if it is to pick-up from where JI and JAT left off in the push for a Southeast Asian caliphate, not unlike the one it seeks in the Middle East.

http://thediplomat.com/2015/11/has-a-philippine-militant-group-gone-regional-amid-islamic-state-fears/

 

 

US Army Issues New Shoulder Patch for Campaign Against “ISIL”

By Christopher Holton

The US Army has issued a new shoulder patch for the slightly more than 3,000 troops who President Obama has decided he can spare to fight the world’s most dangerous Jihadist entity, the Islamic State, which the US federal government still insists on referring to as “ISIL,” despite the fact that there are now Jihadi groups from West Africa to the Philippines that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Nothing illustrates better the institutional denial that we are saddled with as a nation in our fight to save Western civilization than our federal counter terror bureaucracy’s slavish attitude toward outmoded views on the threat from Jihad…except maybe the new shoulder patch that is the subject of this post. Here it is:

New US Army shoulder patch. Note absence of anything identifiable with the US Army or the United States of America

New US Army shoulder patch. Note absence of anything identifiable with the US Army or the United States of America

Now compare the US Army’s shoulder patch to those of several known, prominent Jihadist groups…and prepare to be repulsed…

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group

 

Jemaah Islamiyah in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia

Jemaah Islamiyah in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia

Abu Sayyef Group in the Philippines

Abu Sayyef Group in the Philippines

Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and India

Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan and India

Boko Haram in Nigeria and west Africa

Boko Haram in Nigeria and west Africa

Al Shabaab in Somalia and east Africa

Al Shabaab in Somalia and east Africa

Al Qaeda. Remember them?

Al Qaeda. Remember them?

The Taliban

The Taliban

HAMAS

HAMAS

And the granddaddy of them all...The Muslim Brotherhood

And the granddaddy of them all…The Muslim Brotherhood

If you’re wondering what the HELL is going on here, you’re definitely not alone.

The Philippines: Another Jihad the World is Ignoring

Philippine island of Mindanao, site of bloody Jihadist insurgency

Philippine island of Mindanao, site of bloody Jihadist insurgency

Not a week goes by these days in which we are not reminded that there is a global Jihadist insurgency. It is not homogenous; the various Islamic insurgent groups are not united. But they do all possess the same basic goal: to see to it that allah’s law rules supreme on earth.

Yes, we’re in a world war. Our enemies know it, but we continue to deny it.

For example, the Jihadist insurgency in the southern Philippines, which has been going on for many years, continues to flare up periodically. It’s a bloody war that most of the world knows nothing about because the Western media rarely reports on it.

The Philippine government made the mistake of entering into a truce with the Jihadist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) almost a year ago. (Please, no stupid jokes about this savage group’s acronym.)

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and flag

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and flag

Right from the start, a breakaway Jihadist faction, the Boro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), continued waging Jihad despite the truce. In addition, in the latest outbreak, members of the MILF were reportedly involved.

Boro Islamic Freedom Fighters jihadis

Boro Islamic Freedom Fighters jihadis

It all started when Filipino police conducted a raid looking for Malaysian bomb-maker and Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir. (Jemaah Islamiyah is a third Jihadist organization based out of Malaysia.)

3

Also known as “Marwan,” Zulkifli bin Hir is believed to have conducted bomb making training for yet another Jihadist group, Abu Sayyaf. The U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for him. He is believed to have been hiding in the Southern Philippines since 2003.

Abu Sayyaf flag...look familiar? It should.

Abu Sayyaf flag…look familiar? It should.

zulkifli+hir-500x335

Anyway, the operation did not go well unfortunately. Depending on whose numbers you use, somewhere between 37 and 64 Filipino police officers of the elite Special Action Force were killed in the operation and an unknown number of others may have been captured.

e8dc36cf03bd5d64aacbc98ffacc83e3.png.200

“This is the single-largest loss of life in recent memory to our security forces,” Interior Minister Mar Roxas said at a televised press conference.

Only 11 Jihadis were killed, 6 BIFF and 5 MILF, and none are believed to have been bin Hir/Marwan.

The Philippine armed forces are now being reduced to calling on the Jihadists to release any prisoners they may have taken.

The operation took place in an area controlled by the MILF. The fact that BIFF Jihadis were also operating in the area and the fact that the Philippine police suspect that a notorious, most wanted Jihadi is hiding out there tells us all we need to know about the worth of the so-called truce.

The Philippine government has joined its European and American counterparts in going into full-blown denial about the apparent failure of its truce with the Jihadists.

JIHAD ISN’T ALL ABOUT ISRAEL

By Christopher Holton

If you listen to some political pundits on both sides of the aisle, you might get the misimpression that Jihadists target America and America is viewed negatively in the Islamic world because of our support for Israel.

The problem with that line of thinking is that ignores some 1400 years of Islamic doctrine.

Each Jihadist terror organization around the globe has a specific goal in mind and that is the formation of an Islamic state ruled by Shariah.

This is very important to understand because this is a common goal of all the major Jihadist organizations across the world. It is shared by Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Lashkar e Taiba, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and others and transcends any localized disagreements over borders and pure politics.

Israel could evaporate tomorrow and the overriding goal of the formation of Islamic states ruled by Shariah would not change a bit.

Those who blame Jihad on Israel need to ask themselves some important questions:

  • Did ISIS wage Jihad in Iraq and Syria to establish an Islamic state ruled by Shariah law because America supports Israel?
  • Did the Jihadist terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria kidnap 300 young girls this spring because America supports Israel?
  • Did the Taliban seize power in Afghanistan in 1996 to establish an Islamic state ruled by Shariah law because America supports Israel?
  • Did the Jihadist terrorist group Al Shabaab attack the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2013, killing 67 innocent civilians, because America supports Israel?
  • Did the Jihadist terrorist group Lashkar e Taiba launch terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in 2008, killing 154 innocent civilians because America supports Israel?
  • Did the Jihadist terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah bomb resorts in Bali, Indonesia in October 2002, killing 202 innocent civilians because America supports Israel?
  • Did Chechen Jihadist terrorists massacre 334 people, mostly school children, in Beslan, Russia, because the US supports Israel?
  • Did Jihadist terrorists with the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) detonate a bomb in Marrakesh, Morroco in April 2011, killing 17 innocent civilians, because America supports Israel.

Of course, the answer to each and every one of these questions is no and the questions and answers prove a point. Jihad is truly global. Tragically, it is one of the most successful “exports” in the world over the past decade.

None of the regions mentioned above have a thing to do with Israel. Most don’t have anything to do with America.

The doctrine behind global jihad is over a thousand years old. In other words, the jihadist doctrine has been around far longer than America has even been in existence.

The Jihadists are not motivated only by our actions. They don’t just react to what we do. They have their own reasons for waging violent Jihad which have nothing to do with America, Israel or anything that you or I have any control over.

The quicker our politicians—both Democrat and Republican—gain a full understanding of this, the better.

AP: Islamic State and Al Qaeda Reach Accord

ISIS-Global-Conquest-Map1-450x251

The Associated Press is reporting that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have reached an accord after a summit meeting in northern Syria.

This is a very bad development, but not unexpected. Abu Sayyef in the Philippines, Boko Haram in West Africa, Al Shabaab in East Africa, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula all already pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Just this week, Egypt’s most dangerous Jihadist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, also joined the Islamic State. In addition, 5 prominent Taliban leaders also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

We are now seeing the dream of the Caliphate being realized by Jihadis worldwide. Far from having them “on the run,” they are making strides and unifying, fighting in more places with more fighters than at any time in the past several hundred years.

Half-hearted measures, micromanagement by unqualified politicians and a Vietnam-style strategy of gradual escalation are sure to fail and, unlike the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, today’s Jihadist enemies are already in our midst and plotting to attack us here.

Meanwhile, our irresponsible, feckless leaders focus on fringe pet issues of the Left rather than real national security issues, sitting by as the Islamic State spreads its violent Jihad from the Philippines to Libya and Nigeria.

Our children will pay the price for such horrible, misguided policies, which amount to perhaps the biggest strategic blunder in American history.

 

Abu Sayyaf Joins the Islamic State

At what point does Obama’s so-called “jayvee” become enough of a threat to mobilize action to put them down?

 

Hostage Status Update from IntelCenter

 

James Foley, held hostage in Syria since November 2012 by an as yet unknown gunmen who captured him near the Turkish border

James Foley, held hostage in Syria since November 2012 by as yet unknown gunmen who captured him near the Turkish border

IntelCenter is an invaluable resource for information and updates on Jihadist terrorism. We highly recommend their services:

http://www.intelcenter.com/

Their latest email bulletin included this update on hostages held by Jihadist terrorists around the globe, in places like Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Syria, Mali, Afghanistan, Niger, Iran and Iraq. The overwhelming majority of hostages are Western; 8 are Americans:

• French national Tanguy Moulin-Fournier held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French national Albane Moulin-Fournier held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier family uncle held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 5, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 8, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 10, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• French Moulin-Fournier Child, age 12, held hostage in Cameroon/Nigeria for 20 days
• Canadian Jernoc Wobert held hostage by ELN in Colombia for 1 month, 21 days
• Austrian national held hostage in Yemen for 2 months, 18 days
• Finnish female national held hostage in Yemen for 2 months, 18 days
• Finnish male national held hostage in Yemen for 2 months, 18 days
• French national Francis Collomp held hostage by Ansaru in Nigeria for 2 months, 20 days
• American journalist James Foley held hostage in Syria for 3 months, 17 days
• French national Alberto Rodriguez Leal held hostage by MUJAO in Mali for 3 months, 19 days
• Ukrainian journalist Anhar Kochneva held hostage by Abu Husayn Squadron in Syria for 4 months, 27 days
• American journalist Austin Tice held hostage in Syria for 6 months, 26 days
• Canadian Astrid Shel held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Canadian Korat Sadazi held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Filipino Glenn Costes held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Norwegian Stephen Denis held hostage in Somalia by al-Shabaab for 8 months, 11 days
• Saudi diplomat Abdullah Mohammed Khalifa al-Khalidi held hostage by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen for 11 months, 11 days
• German/American Michael Scott Moore held hostage in Somalia for 1 year, 1 month, 18 days
• Australian Warren Richard Rodwell held hostage by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Philippines for 1 year, 3 months, 6 days
• Swedish national held hostage in Mali 1 year, 3 months, 14 days
• Dutch national held hostage in Mali 1 year, 3 months, 14 days
• British national held hostage in Mali 1 year, 3 months, 14 days
• French national Serge Lazarevic held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Mali for 1 year, 3 months, 15 days
• French national Philippe Verdon held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Mali for 1 year, 3 months, 15 days
• Spaniard Blanca Thiebaut held hostage by al-Shabaab in Somalia for 1 year, 4 months, 26 days
• Spaniard Montserrat Serra held hostage by al-Shabaab in Somalia for 1 year, 4 months, 26 days
• American aid worker Warren Weinstein held hostage by al-Qaeda in Pakistan for 1 year, 6 months, 26 days
• Canadian tourist Colin Rutherford held hostage by Taliban in Afghanistan for 2 years, 4 months, 7 days
• French national Marc Feret held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• French national Thierry Dole held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• French national Daniel Larribe held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• French national Pierre Legrand held hostage by al-Qaeda Maghreb (AQLIM) in Niger for 2 years, 5 months, 23 days
• American soldier Bowe Bergdahl held hostage by Taliban in Afghanistan for 3 years, 8 months, 11 days
• Brit Murray Watson held hostage by al-Shabaab in Somalia for 4 years, 11 months, 10 days
• American Robert Levinson held hostage in Iran for 6 years, 2 days
• German Sinan Krause held hostage by Arrows of Righteous Brigade in Iraq for 6 Years, 1 month, 5 days
• South African Johann Enslin held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• South African Hardus Greef held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• South African Callie Scheepers held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• South African Andre Durant held hostage in Iraq for 6 years, 3 months, 1 days
• American Jeffrey Ake held hostage in Iraq for 7 years, 11 months
• American Dean Sadek held hostage by 1920 Revolution Brigades in Iraq for 8 years, 4 months, 9 days
• American Aban Abdel Malek Mahmoud Elias held hostage in Iraq for 8 years, 10 months, 8 days

America’s Bureaucratized Counterterror Apparatus At Work

America is hamstrung in its efforts to defend itself from Jihadist terrorists by a remarkable denial in law enforcement, homeland security, intelligence and military circles as to the nature of our enemy and the threat we face.

This stems partly from political correctness and ignorant assumptions about our enemy and his doctrine.

But it also is the result of effective influence operations run by the Muslim Brotherhood to control how we ourselves describe our enemies and speak about our enemies. This has reached the point at which the Obama administration has openly embraced the Muslim Brotherhood overseas in nations like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and, evidently, Syria.

Muslim Brotherhood front groups, like Hamas-tied CAIR, ISNA and the Muslim Students Association, all of which were named unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terrorism financing conviction in US history, and have been shielded from prosecution by Eric Holder, have tremendous influence in the Obama administration, to the point that we now know that, despite the fact that the FBI felt compelled to cut off all relations with CAIR, for example, Obama White House officials have met with CAIR hundreds of times over the past 3 years.

So, while the DHS pats down little old ladies and toddlers in airports, they are in TOTAL denial as to the war we are in.

Individuals like John Brennan, Eric Holder and Paul Stockton, who can only be described as bureaucratic train wrecks, control our policies and prevent America from ever being effective in coming to terms with the threat from violent Jihad, which is based in the doctrine known as Shariah.

I urge you to view the short videos below. I do not like terms like, “violent Islamic extremism” or “radical Islam,” but they are a far sight better than the terms our bureaucratized counterterrorism apparatus uses to describe the threat.

The fact of the matter is that America and the West is confronted with a global Islamic insurgency. Like all insurgencies, this one is mostly political, not military, though it does have a military/violent component. This is born out in the fact that large, global Islamic organizations that claim to be peaceful, such as Hizb ut Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood and Tabligi Jamaat have the same goals as terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, HAMAS, Lashkar e Taiba, the Taliban, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Abu Sayyaf, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Jemaah Islamiyah.

These goals and this insurgency are anchored in Islamic doctrine, known as Shariah. This does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists or Jihadists, but there is no denying that the doctrine exists and has existed for many years. The fact is, most Muslims do not adhere to this doctrine some are unaware that it even exists. But unfortunately that cannot be said to delegitimize the Shariah doctrine that brings us violent Jihad and a global Islamic insurgency designed to bring about supremacy of Islam worldwide.

Thanks to our own ignorance and the influence operations of the political wing of the global Islamic insurgency (especially the Muslim Brotherhood in America), we have become willfully blind to the threat. We need no further evidence than the disgraceful  bureaucrats in the three videos below:

Combative, willful denial of the threat we face

So, the Obama State Department declares the “War on Terrorism” Over

Late last week a State Department spokesman uttered “The war on terror is over.”

That utterance was followed  up by President Obama’s surprise trip to Afghanistan (“coincidentally” on the anniversary of the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, or so we are told…). While in Afghanistan, Obama gave a political speech aimed at folks back home in America in which he echoed the sentiments of his State Department spokesman in essentially declaring Al Qaeda beaten.

Before we deconstruct this politically motivated fantasy, we should probably point out that we are not now, nor were we truly ever engaged in a “war on terrorism.” We don’t want to belabor the point because many observers have pointed out this reality over the years. Terrorism is a method, not an enemy. As the late philosopher and columnist Jeff Cooper said shortly after President Bush named this struggle the “war on terrorism:” “Give us an enemy we can shoot at, Mr. President.”

But it was not to be. Obama stopped referring to the war on terrorism as soon as he came into office, his administration floating the term “overseas contingency operations” instead.

That drew instant and widespread ridicule and we haven’t heard the term mentioned much since it was originally floated after Obama got into office.

We should have paid closer attention. This wasn’t just about changing names. This was about ending the war effort. The goal in changing the name was to prepare the American people for an end to the war. Obama came into office knowing he was going to end the war–unilaterally. The fact is, the war and the threat of terrorism don’t help liberals get elected. There was a reason why the word “terrorism” was never uttered at the 2004 Democratic National Convention when the Democrats nominated Senator John Kerry.

The DNC did the polling and the focus groups and found out that the issue was a loser for them. Ever since, the hard left has been hell bent for leather on ending the war effort.

Obama’s State Department spokesman claimed last week that “since most of Al Qaeda’s is now dead” Islamists have other places to turn for legitimate inclusion in the political process.

There is so much to comment on here that we hardly know where to begin.

First of all, most of the original members of Al Qaeda were dead before Obama even got into office. Most estimates were that some 75% of Al Qaeda’s leadership had been killed or captured in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. The killing of Osama Bin Laden just over a year ago likely did not add much to the operational degradation of Al Qaeda. Despite claims to the contrary, it is highly unlikely that Bin Laden still exercised operational control over Al Qaeda around the globe at the time of his death. So, this is hardly a new development as the Obama State Department spokesman implies.

We now know from seized documents and from former intelligence operatives that Bin Laden had, for years, limited his communications with the outside world, including Al Qaeda, to a single human courier. There is simply no way he could possibly have maintained operational authority or control over the organization in such circumstances.

This suggests that his death did not add substantially to the degradation of Al Qaeda’s operational capability.

Bin Laden was barely involved any more. He wasn’t even in a position to raise money–his chief role for years in the past. Nor did he find it necessary to issue frequent videotaped messages to his followers or to the world at large, something he took great pride in doing earlier in Al Qaeda’s war against the West.

Because of this, Bin Laden’s death cannot be accurately  described as ending Al Qaeda. Perhaps we are on the cusp of defeating Al Qaeda in the Afghan-Pak theater of operations, but that is not due to Bin Laden’s death. Bin Laden’s death was in reality a byproduct of the campaign against Al Qaeda in that region over a period of years, starting way back in 2001.

Moreover, Al Qaeda globally is far from finished. The organization has evolved into an umbrella group for Jihadists around the globe. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is active in Africa. Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula is locked in an active, violent insurgency in Yemen. Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s successor and always the organization’s ideologue, is still at large. His Jihadist brother, released from prison in the so-called “Arab Spring” is back in operation in Egypt.

Then there are the Al Qaeda affiliates that don’t identify themselves as Al Qaeda, but certainly operate in a similar fashion. There’s Aby Sayyaf in the Philippines, which has kidnapped and murdered Americans in the past. There’s Al Shabaab in Somalia, which recruits heavily from the Somali refugee community here in the USA. There’s Boko Haram, which is making life in Nigeria a living hell for Christians. There’s Jemaah Islamiyah in Malaysia and Indonesia, which has attacked Westerners, including the 202 deaths in the Bali, Indonesia bombing in 2002. And of course, the Taliban themselves, who are allied with Al Qaeda and gave them a launching pad for operations in the 1990s.

All of these organizations still exist. We are told now that Bin Laden did not have a high regard for these affiliates, but that doesn’t necessarily make them any less of a threat.

But let’s not forget the Jihadist terrorist organizations that operate and who are not overtly aligned with Al Qaeda. These serve as a reminder that the enemy isn’t just “Al Qaeda,” despite what the Obama administration wants you to believe. We should not take too much comfort in the fact that most of these organizations operate overseas and don’t regularly target Americans. They don’t view Americans any differently than they view other Westerners or kafirs.

There is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, which, like Abu Sayyef, has targeted Americans in the past. There’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the horrific Mumbai attacks in 2008. Keep in mind that LeT used an American to conduct reconnaissance for that operation and their captured literature showed plans to target the American homeland. There are the Islamic Jihad Union in Uzbekistan and Jaish-e-Mohammed in Kashmir. There’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has known operatives in the US. And, along those same lines, we have HAMAS, which currently only targets Israel, but which has an extensive network in the US.

Most ominously, given the threat from Iran, is Hezbollah, described by more than one US official as the “A” team of terrorism. Congressional investigations estimate that they have thousands of supporters and hundred of operatives here in the US. A very recent report indicates that Hezbollah has a network centered on Shia mosques here in the US as well.

But this all misses the basic point. We are on the receiving end of a global Islamic insurgency. It’s not a homogenous insurgency by any stretch. Many of the insurgent groups are completely unrelated and some even hate each other. But they are all united in one goal: establishment of Islamic rule under Shariah law.

This war did not start on September 11th, 2001, with Al Qaeda’s attacks on the US homeland; it had been raging on a lower level overseas for decades. And the war will not end with the death of Osama Bin Laden, or the outright defeat of Al Qaeda, or the inevitable NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The declaration of victory is purely for domestic political consumption, which is very sad and dangerous indeed.

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Center for Security Policy Vice President Christopher Holton is available for speaking engagements on the subjects of terrorism, terrorism financing, Shariah, Shariah-Compliant Finance and Jihad. For more information, contact him at chris@christopherholton.com

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