Bill Roggio is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and editor of FDD's Long War Journal. He tells American Family News that Russia's continued military assault on Ukraine has placed the topic of terrorism on the "back burner."
For example, he points out that some high-profile terror groups lie have continued their "ebb and flow" of operational existence while the world is distracted by Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
"The Taliban and Al Qaeda achieved a major victory in Afghanistan, as the country is now a safe haven for these groups and others," he points out. In addition, the Islamic State – an adversary of the Taliban and Al Qaeda alliance – is estimated to have a couple thousand fighters in the South Asian country. "They don't control territory, but they are carrying out terror attacks," he states.
The FDD senior fellow considers the Islamic State and Al Qaeda (with its allies) to be two of the most prominent competing jihadist organizations around the world. In Africa, for example, Al Qaeda and ISIS are frequently conducting attacks.
"Jihadism is spiraling out of control in Africa," according to Roggio. For emphasis, he points out that Al Shabaab, a branch of Al Qaeda, persistently launches deadly attacks in Somalia; that ISIS is increasing its bloody assaults in Nigeria; and that both terror groups are present in Mali, where French forces are pulling out.
"Parts of [that] country could easily be under control in the next year or two," he warns.
Deadly commitment, dangerous innovation
The terrorism expert explains why the world has witnessed the resurgence of terror groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
"They're persistent and [they] stay in the game," he warns. "[While the West operates on] timelines of election cycles, [jihadists] operate on decades or generations."
Roggio continues: "Even when [terror organizations are] defeated on the battlefield, they regroup and lick their wounds to come back again and again, because they are committed to their fight."
According to the FDD senior fellow, the jihadists' goal is to establish a global Islamic caliphate – and the West has historically stood in their way. But Roggio questions the resolve of the Biden administration in keeping the world safe from such organizations.
As countries like the United States and France "disengage" from a lot of the theatres around the world, he warns that terrorism will "continue to fester and grow."
And while Roggio acknowledges America's homeland defenses have improved since the 9/11 terror attacks, he remains deeply concerned what they may be plotting for their next line of attack on the West.
"These groups are innovative," he emphasizes. "No one would have thought box cutters and airplanes would have rocked the country like it did."