The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism was put into place after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when supposed acts of war were committed against the United States. At that time, the United States, together with their Coalition partners, determined that there was a need to fight back and hold the perpetrators accountable in a manner that would work to prevent the recurrence of similar atrocities in the future.  

To date successes in the War on Terror include our accomplishment in depriving al-Quida of their previously safe haven in Afghanistan since Afghanistan’s new democratic government has become a part of the coalition against terrorism. Of other importance to our goals is that most of those responsible for the September 11 attacks have been captured or killed including Khalid Shaykh Muhammad (the plot’s mastermind and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (the group’s operational commander in Iraq). 

These successes have been made possible by the cooperation of many countries that were a part of the problem prior to September 11 but that are now a part of the solution. With the assistance and cooperation of these other nations, we have been able to fight terrorism through government enforcement of policies against terrorism, shared intelligence and diplomatic maneuverings. The success of these joint force maneuvers has been evidenced by our shared goals that have disrupted several planned attacks since September 11. Additionally, the U.S.’s unprecedented international campaign to fight the deliberate targeting of innocents has received growing global support in combating terrorist financing making it harder, costlier, and riskier for al-Quida and related terrorist groups to raise and move money.  

Sadly, however, America is still not safe as terrorist networks today are more dispersed and less centralized making them more dependent on smaller cells inspired by a common ideology and less directed by a central command structure. These small cells have already shown that they can effectively achieve their goals through successful attacks from Bali to Baslan to Baghdad. Given their successes, Americans should not become apathetic to existing dangers as terrorists have openly declared their intention to acquire weapons of mass destruction in order to inflict even more catastrophic attacks against the
United States and her allies. One arena that we have yet to control is the internet where conspiracy between terrorist groups is possible and enables them to communicate, recruit and train their co-conspirators without risk of personal contact.

Today’s terrorist enemy continues to be an updated, altered al-Quida network that has modified their ways of doing business making it essential that the United States monitor this transnational movement of extremist organizations which share a desire to exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends. As I have often said, it is not the Muslim people in general but the Islamic Radicals who fuel their radical ideology with a false belief that the United States is the cause of most problems affecting Muslims today while hoping to garner support for their terrorist and violent methods. On a common note it is these same radicals that seek to create and exploit a division between the Muslim and non-Muslim world and within the Muslim world itself. They believe that by distorting the idea of jihad, they can hope to expel Western power and influence thus enabling themselves to establish their own regimes that will include a violent, intolerant government that would rule with the iron hand of the Taliban denying their citizens all political and religious freedom. So where do we stand today. We are safer than we were before the World Trade Center bombings of 2001 but we are nowhere as safe as we would like to be. That being said it is imperative that people continue to live their lives without fear of what could happen but might not ever occur; otherwise, those who wish to control us using fear have won without firing a single bullet. [tags]War on Terror, al-Quida, terrorist, terrorism. Reign of Terror, Muslims, National Stratdgy on Terror, Terror cells, terror network,[/tags]