CAIRO, August 25, 2014 – The Arab countries in the Middle east reacted with both hope and concern as President Barack Obama dispatched air strikes to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Obama’s shift from using soft power to military power represented positive change to many in the Arab World. However, the new terrorist threat presented by ISIS requires more than simple military intervention.
The term “terrorism” is becoming more and more complicated. According to a report by Bruce Hoffman published in Terrorism Studies, 2012:
“The main challenge for the radical jihadist movement today is to promote and to ensure it’s durability as an ideology and concept. It can only do this by staying in the news. New attacks are therefore needed to maintain their relevance as a force in international politics and to enhance their powers of coercion and intimidation”.
Thus, “terrorism” should not be seen from the narrow scope of Israeli/Palestinian conflict or the Sunni/Shia struggle in Arab countries. Instead, analyst must attempt to understand the threat of the new face of jihadists’ legendary advancement in the form of savage gangs and the massacres against towns, cities whether in Iraq, Syria, Libya or North Africa.
Failure of the world to understand jihadist threats will leave nobody safe, whether in the Arab world or the Western world.
Indeed, the jihadist forces at the heart of the Arab world is an alarming threat to almost all countries. Shamefully, international efforts to curb terrorism proved worthless, especially during the last few years.
Syria is an excellent example of this Western neglect.
Failure of governments and national integration in Iraq is another form of failure. Arab countries such as Qatar that once funded such “jihadists” terrorists’ organizations in order to spread terror and fear across borders are now regretting such support.
Those jihadists are now knocking at Qatar’s door. They know that such new form of terrorism will not discriminate or spare anybody.
What worsens the situation is the fact that Arab armies are technically unprepared to confront hordes of suicide bombers. They are unprepared to face a rapid deployment of jihadist armies that might possibly target vital sites.
Obviously, jihadist mythology is attracting more volunteers and seems to be appealing to more and more multinational mercenaries. During the last few months, the world witnessed the nightmarish stories of ISIS, DAESH and their massacres, which did not spare even children or old women.
They destroyed towns and homes as well as historical sites in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
The international community must unite in a serious, concerted effort to combat the new form of terrorism.