Ali Soufan Quoted in Politico Magazine: Is Trump Fighting Terrorism?
June 5, 2017
By: Daniel Benjamin
Donald Trump came to the presidency on a wave of overheated rhetoric about the terrorist threat, the failures of his predecessors, and promises, as he said in his inaugural address, to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.” Four months into his term, and on the heels of Saturday’s terrorist attack in London, which killed seven and injured dozens in the third attack in Britain in three months, it’s worth asking: Is Trump actually delivering decisive counterterrorism?
… in Yemen, as the International Crisis Group and others have pointed out, the civil war has given Al Qaeda a major boost such that the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda “is stronger than it has ever been.” We’re not talking about growth at the margins. As counter-terror expert Ali Soufan and others note, the group’s numbers are climbing into the thousands. The centrality of conflict as a driver of extremism can hardly be overstated. This is why fighters from the small Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, where Russia has fought repeated campaigns, are among the most numerous in Syria. The fighting in their homelands and repression has radicalized young men en masse …
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