Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 19th, 2017

The Imminent Resurgence of Al-Qaeda

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The Imminent Resurgence of Al-Qaeda

Following the decline of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qaeda is likely to extend its reach. Osama bin Laden’s son Hemza bin Laden threatens through video clip to revenge his father’s death urging the militants to continue their insurgency with greater force. The schism between the Taliban and al-Qaeda has been bridged. Both warring parties will keep on their acts of horror and terror in the region.
One of the main reasons behind the Taliban’s persistent refusal to peace talks is believed to be its alliance with Haqqani network and al-Qaeda, who is still reeling from the death of its spiritual and political leader Osama bin Laden, the person behind the 9/11 attack on Twin Towers. Now the time is ripe for political masterminds to capitalize on Hemza bin Laden and pursue their sinister objectives via reinforcing militancy.
It is widely believed that the current insurgency whether in Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan is proxy war rather than ideological one. For instance, if warring parties were not bestowed safe havens or financial supports, they would not be able to continue their insurgency for years. Moreover, the Taliban, in Afghanistan, are involved in smuggling drugs as the ISIL was smuggling oil from Iraq, which are systematic crime. Hence, the militant fighters act as Mafia masking their ominous objectives in the frame of ideology. In short, the escalated insurgency is backed by political masterminds and invisible hands or simply by members of criminal groups such as Mafia.  
Being debased in the eye of the world in the wake of its unsavory practices, the ISIL group is losing ground in Iraq and Syria. The ISIL militants perpetrated every possible crime: raping women under the mask of religion, slicing the throat of children, beheading men before the eyes of their families, and destroying ancient monument and cultural heritage – which will be recorded as shocking deeds in the history and have revealed their real face.
Despite the debacle of ISIL in Iraq and Syria and the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, though it is not confirmed but his absence indicates his death, the death knell for terrorism is not marked. After the fall of their regime, the Taliban have continued insurgency up to now although forming a civil society void of violence and terror was the dream of Afghan nation and state. The ISIL guerilla fighters will continue terrorist attacks in Iraq and Syria and other parts of the world.
If the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIL amalgamate their forces – which is not impossible – insurgency will mount to a greater extent. Now it is too early to celebrate the defeat of ISIL since its footstep is heard in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has its individual loyalists in many parts of the world.
The decline in insurgency should be celebrated when the sanctuaries of militant fighters are destroyed and they would no more be able to orchestrate large-scale attacks against any nations or countries.
What if al-Qaeda is organizing an attack similar to September 11? With the persistent political turbulence and the issue of ISIL which absorbed the world’s attention, al-Qaeda must have been garnering financial supports from Arabic countries; extending their radical ideology in seminaries, and recruiting people with poor or criminal backgrounds. This pregnant silence is likely to be the harbinger of an escalated militancy that will be carried out by al-Qaeda. Some political pundits are of the view that al-Qaeda has the potential to carry out an attack with the same nature as 9/11, but they will not do it to be immune from the world’s attack. Based on this view, al-Qaeda group is moving very cautiously.
With the ISIL’s decline, the world will have to combat al-Qaeda and the Taliban with all their roots so that there will be no room for their resurgence as strong groups. The threat of Hemza bin Laden should not be underestimated. The Taliban have been told a thousand and one time either to choose peace table or military deal. The former has been refused up to now.
To sum up, region will be prone to escalated insurgency for many reasons: First, although the ISIL lost its territory in Iraq and being defeated in Syria, it has gained firm foothold in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Second, al-Qaeda will resurface with stronger force. Third, the Taliban are most likely to continue their acts of terror being deaf to the constant calls for negotiation. Rather than the war of faith, analysts believe that it is the war of drug or the war of oil or simply proxy war since there is no unanimous agreement for combating terrorism or devastating their hotbeds and financial supports. The bulk of militants come from poor or criminal backgrounds masked with ideological or religious façade. Do you not think that peace talks will jeopardize their self-interests? Indeed, they show no tendency to be restricted within the frame of law being banned from smuggling drug or oil, satisfying their carnal desires in legal way, and respecting people’s life and liberty.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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