Countering the Global Islamist Terrorist Threat

Barry Desker, Arabinda Acharya
2006 Korean Journal of Defense Analysis  
Worldwide terrorist attacks since September 11 suggest that the threat from Islamist terrorism is far from being over. This is despite the arrests and elimination of a significant number of leaders, both of Al Qaeda and its associated groups. With the loss of its leadership, Al Qaeda has become more dispersed and more difficult to predict and preempt. More significantly, Osama Bin Laden has become a beacon for jihadi insurgents everywhere. On the other hand, the use of overwhelming force in the
more » ... elming force in the global war on terror is counterproductive. A militaristic approach has further radicalized the Islamic world, increasing the ranks of the jihadis. Similarly, the U.S. invasion of Iraq exacerbated Muslim resentment and nourished those forces, which the world community wishes to undermine and destroy. Terrorists have a powerful advantage: they need to succeed only occasionally; but as defenders, the global community needs to be successful always. This article argues that failure to understand the Islamist terrorist threat in its entirety and to deal with the threat poses significant danger-not only for the United States and its interests, but also for the international community as a whole. Islamist terrorism represents a global ideological battle. It is a battle of hearts and minds. As ideology is at the centre of the current wave of Muslim terrorism, it is necessary to undercut the appeal of radical Islam. This involves empowering moderate Muslims to counter the influence of the radicals. No single country can do this alone.
doi:10.1080/10163270609464099 fatcat:rxlouaonlfh37of53i5chmw76i