Osama bin Laden, the infamous mastermind responsible for the harrowing attacks of 9/11, was fatefully brought to justice five years ago today. While President Barack Obama’s Operation Neptune Spear forever rid the world of al-Qaeda’s destructive leader, Bin Laden’s vitriolic and deadly ideals still thrive to this day.
A resolute President Obama declared on May 2, 2011, “For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.”
However, with the proliferation of terror cells such as ISIS and a reported al-Qaeda regrouping, the world has seen no respite from the fundamentalist violence that Bin Laden epitomized. In fact, a palpable spike in terrorist activity has arisen in the half-decade since Bin Laden’s Abbottabad death.
The Recent Rise of Terror Through ISIS:
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) traces its origins to 1999. From 1999 until February 2014, ISIS or ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) was aligned in radical worldwide jihad with Bin Laden’s former cell, al-Qaeda.
In a continuance of Osama bin Laden’s hatred of western culture, ISIS has committed several highly-visible acts of atrocity to inspire mass fear. According to CNN, since 2014, ISIS has claimed direct or indirect responsibility for upwards of 70 attacks in over 20 countries, not including Syria and Iraq.
These acts of violence have left approximately 1,200 people dead, while at least 1,700 have been injured. ISIS’ most recent strike saw the militant group capture over 300 cement factory workers and contractors in Syria. It was reported on April 8, 2016, that ISIS massacred at least 75 of those individuals.
The United States and its allies have attempted to dismantle the destructive terror cell, although ISIS’ roots appear firmly planted. After claiming responsibility for the March 22, 2016, Brussels bombings, which killed 32 and injured 300, Bin Laden’s ideology looms stronger than ever.
Regarding the recent Brussels mayhem, reports indicate ISIS fighters opened fire inside a busy airport before several militants detonated explosive belts. Meanwhile, a coordinated attack transpired at the Maalbeek Metro station. ISIS’ reasoning for such violence against the Belgium nation included the country’s participation in “the international coalition against the Islamic State.”
Although no longer affiliated with ISIS, Osama bin Laden’s former insurgency group, al-Qaeda, is apparently pulling itself back together following Bin Laden’s death. After enacting a number of loosely confederated 2015 strikes in Karachi, Islamabad, and Tunisia, intelligence reports indicate al-Qaeda’s re-emergence is taking an even deadlier shape.
According to ABC News, “This is the phase where al Qaeda wants to do a maximum number of operations and to show to their actual and potential supporters that al Qaeda is not dead, Al Qaeda is still active. Al Qaeda still retains a capability to conduct operations. So al Qaeda will do its best to strike a target to make its presence felt.”
In regards to the restructuring of Bin Laden’s former terror cell, former CIA Agent Robert Baer opines, “Intelligence agencies do much better against hierarchies, against government structures, anything that’s organized, an organization that keeps accounting, keeps lists of members, because you can go after the central information system, “Now apparently there isn’t one.”
This al-Qaeda rebirth, combined with ISIS’ burgeoning threat upon the word stage, is cause for great concern. It’s also proof that even five years after Osama bin Laden’s death, his presence looms larger than ever.
[Photo by Getty Images News]