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Monday, 3rd May 2010

New ASP Report Shows Declining Levels of Islamist Terrorism since July 2009

New ASP Report Shows Declining Levels of Islamist Terrorism since July 2009
Source: American Security Project

Today, the American Security Project released the mid-year update to their annual “Are We Winning?” Report, which showed a marked decrease in Islamist terrorism in the last two quarters of 2009 outside of the on-going conflict theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though Islamist terrorist incidents still remain at historically high levels, the decrease at the end of 2009 was the largest since 2004, when National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) started tracking Islamist terrorist incidents. The report, authored by ASP Senior Fellow Bernard Finel and Researcher Germain Difo measures America’s progress in the fight against terrorism according to metrics that are designed to be both reproducible and objective.

According to the report, much of the decline in Islamic terrorist incidents is due to decreasing terror incidents in Pakistan. Though there have been several high profile attacks in Pakistan, Islamist terrorism in that country is down 60% from the first six months of 2009. This decline is likely due to increased military pressure by the Pakistani military on radicals within that country. In addition, the report found that Al Qaeda is increasingly marginal to the broader radical Islamist movement, and remains under significant pressure due to drone strikes and other forms of military pressure. This continues to demonstrate the tactical effectiveness of military counter-terrorism activities, though according to Senior Fellow and report author Bernard Finel, “it is unlikely that military pressure alone will provide a long-term solution to the terrorism challenge. We should be cautiously optimistic about the ability of military efforts in areas such as Pakistan and Afghanistan to dislodge some terrorist groups and keep them on the run. But there is still a significant chance that terror groups may rebound.”

+ Full Report (PDF)


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