According to an article by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark published in The Atlantic on November 11, 2017, including interviews with al-Qaeda members and bin Laden’s family reveal a pact that allowed the group to prepare for its next phase.
The authors begin by saying that “The last Islamic State redoubts have been falling in quick succession in recent weeks, with the U.S.-backed coalition taking the caliphate’s self-declared capital of Raqqa last month, and then Syrian forces reclaiming the strategic oil city of Deir al-Zour.” And go on to warn, “ …while the group’s experiment in a statehood built on rape, slavery, and execution nears its end, an older terror front has been quietly reconstituting itself.” And point out that “against all odds, and despite the most costly counter-terrorism campaign ever waged by the West, al-Qaeda has flourished—its comeback assisted by a remarkable pact with Iran.”
The article reveals information ranging from documents obtained from Osama bin-Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan to their painstaking research and interviews over the course of five years around the globe.
Their article ends by concluding “only 400 strong when the Twin Towers fell, damaged by the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and then later overshadowed by ISIS, al-Qaeda now, with its leadership split between Iran, Pakistan, and Syria, has quietly rebuilt itself to the point of being able to call on tens of thousands of foot soldiers. Melding with anti-Assad forces, reducing its volubility, and toning down the barbarity associated with it during the Zarqawi years, a reformed al-Qaeda found in Hezbollah and the Quds Force a model for how it might now evolve.”
Their article deserves great respect since it clearly outlines the interwoven relations of radicalism utilized by states and governments in their proxy wars for their ulterior motives.
Ismail Saymaz, a writer and columnist in the Turkish daily newspaper, Hurriyet, has recently published a book on ISIS in Turkey, going back in time all the way to the early days of their formation, exploring their roots and web of connections in radical religious groups across Turkey. In his book, he also points out that radicalism finds fertile grounds among disenfranchised youth, puritan Sunni congregations mostly in the east and southeast of Turkey as well as Syrian refugees.
Recent reports by the Turkish National Police and Gendarmerie point out that together with Human Trafficking organizations, there have been several lines of transit established for terror organizations of all ideologies going through Turkey, Ukraine, Greece and Italy all the way to Central Europe and beyond.
Counter terror units in all European countries are making an effort to differentiate between genuine displaced people and refugees and terrorist sleppers but it is certainly not an easy task.
Billions of Euros have been earmarked for internal security, the fight against terror and the integration of refugees, however, unless the root causes are not accurately and clearly identified and solved at source we may yet see another wave of terrifying events with innocent lives lost.