According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), al Qaeda’s senior leaders are strengthening the al Qaeda “network’s global command structure.” Meanwhile, the Islamic State “still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.” Both groups maintain worldwide networks or affiliates, branches, and supporters.
On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes “inter-state strategic competition” from China and Russia over “terrorism.” In many ways, the strategy makes sense. However, the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda has not been eliminated. The jihadists are fighting around the globe, everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 204 former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent “activities.” The number of ex-detainees on the US government’s recidivist list has steadily grown since an estimate was first made public in June 2008.