The U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan Has Emboldened Islamist Radicalism across the Globe

Aug. 26 2022

A year ago today, amid the shambolic American retreat from Afghanistan, a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport killed 170 people, thirteen of whom were members of the U.S. military. Soon thereafter, the Taliban gained control of Kabul, and reimposed its rule on most of the country. This, writes Jonathan Schanzer, is but one example of how the American withdrawal encouraged jihadists—both near and far:

Afghanistan is once again a safe haven for al-Qaeda, as evidenced by the American operation that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s commander. Just after the withdrawal last year, the Middle East was rocked by yet another Gaza war, with Hamas showering more than 4,500 rockets on Israel. Earlier this month, the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad picked another fight with Israel, raining down another 1,000 rockets on the Jewish state.

Islamic State may be weakened in Syria and Iraq, but a faction in Congo is active. The jihadist group has conducted two prison raids in the last year.

Elsewhere in Africa, the al-Qaeda affiliate group al-Shabaab attempted an incursion into Ethiopia. The group remains active in Somalia. Here at home, Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage last week as he prepared to deliver a lecture.

Jihadists have become emboldened by America’s ignominious defeat in Afghanistan. And they appear to be mounting a global offensive. Just like they did back in 1989.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Jihadism, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria