For the past several years, Americans have heard that the Al Qaeda threat has diminished significantly and the terrorist group is on the run. However, this rhetoric being quoted by politicians isn't the entire story. In fact, the membership of Al-Qaeda is actually growing, and the threat of the terrorist group doing something is still present. As usual, you shouldn't believe everything you hear.
It has been two years since the Iraq war ended and this week, there was confirmation from the state department that Iraq was receiving help from the US in the form of drones and advanced weaponry to fight the threat of Al Qaeda.
Even though the government has assured Americans countless times that the terrorist group has been severly compromised by conflicts and strikes from the U.S., the truth is, that Al Qaeda membership has grown significantly in the past few years, and they have taken over even more areas of the Middle East as well as in North Africa. This information comes from top level experts and intelligence personnel inside the U.S. government.
Why officials want to keep Americans in the dark, or at least misinformed about Al Qaeda size and activities aren't clear. It could simply be to avoid the paranoia and mistrust that have been a trademark of American life in recent years. It isn't clear at this time just how much the U.S. suspects or knows about Al Qaeda movements and plots.
After the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of Navy SEALs in 2011, drones were used to take out even more of the most wanted terrorist cells along the Afgan-Pakistani border. However, the group continues to thrive in Egypt, Libya Iraq, eastern and western Africa and the headquarters are located in Yemen.
Although Al Qaeda communications have been obtained by the U.S. there have been no specific naming of targets, but the activity definitely points to the group actively plotting, and so the danger level remains high. There is no question that the Al Qaeda threat remains. Those headquarted in Yemen are capable of conducting attacks and particularly good at "taking down aircraft" according to analyst Seth Jones of Rand Corp.
Gabriel Legend is a political and current events contributor for Gather News. He also writes horror fiction. If you enjoy Gabriel's articles, please share them using the links. Follow Gabriel on Twitter (@GabeLegend).