Next 48 to 72 Hours Could be Like a Roller Coaster Ride on the Terror Front but 2018 Will be Worse
As we come up on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, security forces have heightened security in New York, Las Vegas, London, and Paris to deter terror attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) and potentially al-Qaeda and their supporters. There have been a plethora of ISIS threats, plots and attacks that have caused Western governments concern ahead of this year’s holiday period. We have witnessed the botched ISIS-inspired suicide bomb attack on a walkway below the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal that injured five. An ISIS-inspired gunman went after police in the Pennsylvania state capital just before Christmas and was killed by police when they returned fire. We have seen a driver of a vehicle attack a crowded shopping area in Melbourne Australia injuring 18 people who claimed to be motivated by the mistreatment of Muslims around the world and chanted Allah. Then a bomb exploded in a supermarket in St. Petersburg that injured a further 13 innocents.
In London we have seen two men arrested for an ISIS-Inspired Christmas terror plot and, in the United States one man was detained by the FBI for a Christmas Day terror plot in San Francisco. In France, a man and woman have been detained for an ISIS-inspired plot to kill French soldiers, and in German a ‘lone wolf’ has been arrested for a plot to ram a vehicle into a Karlsruhe. There have been dozens of arrests in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia of suspected ISIS militants as they look for a new home in Africa and or Asia for the next Caliphate. Further a field in Afghanistan 41 people were killed and dozens more injured in an ISIS-directed attack on a Kabul Shia cultural center and this morning ISIS terrorists attacked a Coptic Christian Church in Helwan, Egypt, killing 15 people. Let's not forget about the almost daily attacks on Israelis that go virtually unnoticed in the Western press. Given events, the competition between al-Qaeda and ISIS for market share, the return of ISIS fighters and their families home to Western countries, and the sheer fact that the threat has grown so-large with potential lone wolves, let alone hardened fighters, attacks are expected to increase in 2018 and not decline.
Sadly, Western government’s security and intelligence forces have limited resources, and they can only be in so many places at once to protect society from another terrorist outrage and there are other threats to national security that require attention like North Korea, Iran, China, and Russia. Some 300 British jihadis are believed to be hiding in Turkey. The German domestic intelligence service has warned that ISIS returning families are just as dangerous as the men that they supported abroad in war, and in fact women are stepping into the breach for their detained and arrested husbands. We have seen ISIS growing in support across North Africa on Europe’s ‘doorstep,’ found that half the attacks carried out in Egypt are from foreign fighters, and witnessed the emergence of the first ISIS video published in Somalia calling for attacks on Westerners. We have cognitive dissonance in Western governments, like the Trudeau government in Canada, that would like to ignore the threat or even try to cozy up to the terrorists and their supporters for political favor.
The next 48 to 72 hours could be a real ‘roller coaster’ ride of terror plots and attacks, but 2017 is going to be quiet compared to what comes next in the new year 2018.
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