Islamic State and jihadist propaganda more broadly resonate with Westerners, making the threat of inspired attacks in the West by homegrown violent extremists an enduring challenge for police and intelligence agencies.
Pennsylvania [US], February 23: The global jihadist movement will continue to present a significant threat in 2022, according to terror assessments by American security experts, which acknowledged the threat despite less bandwidth amongst the international community than it did during the peak of the Islamic State.
In an analysis titled "Trends in Terrorism: What's on the Horizon in 2022?" the US-based security experts said jihadist organizations would further decentralize over 2022, the byproduct of a successful counterterrorism campaign by the US and its allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Writing for the American think tank Foreign Policy Research Institute, Senior Fellow of National Security Program Colin P. Clarke said Islamic State fighters and their families still housed in detention camps and prisons throughout Syria are a lingering security challenge.
"In early November, Kurdish forces foiled an Islamic State prison break attempt in Deir Ezzor. This method has helped the Islamic State reinforce its ranks at various points and become a more central pillar of its operational focus in the coming year," he said.
Moreover, Islamic State and jihadist propaganda more broadly resonate with Westerners, making the threat of inspired attacks in the West by homegrown violent extremists an enduring challenge for police and intelligence agencies, the report said.
According to the paper published by Clarke, the Islamic State has shifted resources and attention to its affiliates and branches elsewhere to remain relevant. In 2022, Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) and Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) will be among the "most lethal Islamic State affiliates", continuing a trend from 2021.
The American think tank noted that jihadist groups with links to the Islamic State have steadily gained momentum throughout sub-Saharan Africa. ISCAP's branch in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed responsibility for attacks in Uganda. "At the same time, the Islamic State franchise in Mozambique (also known as ISCAP) conducted cross-border attacks into Tanzania."
Following more than two decades of fighting the global war on terrorism, Clarke said the US and its allies are shifting attention and resources to great power competition, drawing down forces from dangerous hotspots, and leaving local and host nation forces responsible for countering terrorists and non-state armed groups.
"Washington is looking to move on from the Global War on Terrorism and put an end to the 9/11 era, as the pendulum swings from a focus on non-state actors back to nation-states. But, the enemy always gets a vote, and the psychological impact of terrorism will keep it as a front-burner issue for the foreseeable future," he added. (ANI)