Tags: Al-Qaida | Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Zuhdi Jasser

Experts: Terror Groups Come and Go, Jihadism Rages On

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 07:51 PM

Talking about Middle East terrorist organizations in terms of who's up and who's down misses the point that Islamist extremism motivates them all — and it isn't going away, two veteran watchers of the region told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"Al-Qaida is actually on the rise and ISIS may be on the decline, but the bottom line is radical Islam and its permutations," Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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Jasser and fellow guest Joshua Katz, a former counter-terrorism adviser to Congress, were reacting to a recent article in The Huffington Post asking, "Is Al Qaeda in Decline?"

Jasser said that whatever one calls the organizations spreading terror, and wherever they operate, they "are all manifestations of the same disease."

Katz said that even if these groups sometimes clash among themselves, "they're not going to cancel each other out."

"There's always in-fighting here," he said, "and this is a problem with radical Islamic groups. At times they fight against each other. Other times they work with each other. And they're very opportunistic. They're going to do whatever it takes in order to achieve their own individual goals."

But there is conflict in Afghanistan between the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS), which is seeking to expand beyond its base in Syria and Iraq, said Katz, and ISIS forces are attacking Taliban members and recruiting them forcibly under penalty of death.

"This is an ongoing feud for power and for land," he said.

Jasser said the context for the violence is the aftermath of the "Arab Spring," a regional democratic uprising that he said the U.S. failed to properly support.

The region is on fire today "because we've not been involved, because we've not had a strategy," said Jasser.

Instead, he said, the U.S. has allowed "the most evil [countries] in the world — including Iran, the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia, the Qataris, Russia and others — to fuel radicalization and movements that are really against us."

The result is "an open season," he said, "a pandemic against Christians, an exodus of Christians from the Middle East, and an open season in Syria against Sunnis who are against the regime.

"Everywhere you look, there's more death and destruction from radical Islam than we've ever seen before," said Jasser.

Neither guest agreed with President Barack Obama's assertion that the world is a safer place now than in the past.

"I remind people that there actually is probably less war and less violence around the world today than there might have been 30-40 years ago," the president told Chris Matthews of MSNBC in an interview that aired on Tuesday.

Katz zeroed in on the word "probably."

"That's political speak for, 'I can really say anything I want and get away with it,'" said Katz.

"We are not safer — the world is not safer," said Katz. "There's not a decrease in violence, and the world is more chaotic in part because of our lack of leadership around the globe.

"By taking us out of that role, we've really created all this chaos that's going on, not only in the Middle East but around the world."

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Talking about Middle East terrorist organizations in terms of who's up and who's down misses the point that Islamist extremism motivates them all — and it isn't going away, two veteran watchers of the region told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
Zuhdi Jasser, Joshua Katz, jihadism, radical, islam, rages, evil, violence, lack of, US, strategy
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2015-51-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 07:51 PM
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