ISIS has claimed it was behind the attack on a leading hotel in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, earlier this week. The hotel was one of the few remaining western hotels, catering to foreign nationals. An American and a Frenchman were amongst the nine who were killed.
The attack shows that ISIS is now operating in Libya, a long way from home.
The three major terror threats right now are ISIS, AQAP and Boko Haram.
ISIS, having established a rudimentary caliphate over parts of Syria and Iraq, now calls itself IS (Islamic State) reflecting its new status as a country. It is even negotiating with Jordan, a neighboring country, over the fate of a Jordanian prisoner and a Jordanian pilot captured by IS. There is the possibility of a proposed exchange of prisoners. They also hold a Japanese journalist and are threatening to behead him at the time of writing.
AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) staged the Paris attacks. Some terror experts say this is the most dangerous group and the biggest threat to the West, including the United States. The terror group emanates from Yemen, home of Osama bin Laden. Yemen’s pro-American government has just fallen, replaced by a group loyal to Iran, a Shi’ite theocratic republic. This strengthens Iran at the expense of the US. AQAP is Sunni and will likely continue uninterrupted, safe in its own territory in the splintered nation.
Boko Haram may seem disconnected but operates over an increasingly wide area. It has the same aims as the other two, the downfall of the West and a rejection of all things western.
In addition to the three groups mentioned, there is also the Taliban, which continues to stage terror attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A Taliban attack on a school in December killed 148, mostly students.
Smaller groups like the Nusra Front also operate.
The Economist magazine (page 26, January 17th issue) showed there were 17 significant terrorist attacks by these groups in a one-month period (December 15th – January 13th). The total number of deaths is hard to determine as statistics from some areas, especially Nigeria, are unreliable. But a low estimate for the period totaled 528. During this one-month period there were terror attacks in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. They included suicide bombings and gun attacks.
This is a global conflict, which will affect every nation on earth.