Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Potential for Further Insurgency

Despite the fact that the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) group has lost ground in Iraq, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. With the overthrow of a militant party, another threat emerges and keeps the cycle of violence moving. If IS dismantles, the 28-year-old son of Osama bin Laden is likely to capitalize on the vacuum and unify terrorists around the globe. The son of Osama’s third wife Hamza bin Laden who is called as the “crown prince of jihad” will carry much weight among al-Qaeda.
Hamza pays homage his father and his elder brother Khalid in an audio released in August 2015, and asks militants around the world to “strike from Kabul to Baghdad, from Gaza to Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv”. After a year, he said, “If you think you will not be held accountable for the crime in Abbottabad, you are mistaken.”
It is feared that the credibility of Hamza bin Laden, whose name is put on the blacklist of “international terrorists” by the US State Department, will be used by the masterminds who are orchestrating the ongoing war and militancy. Similar to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader, Hamza will be a pawn in the political game to continue the proxy war.
The credible individuals among terrorist networks are potential threats and might change into monsters that would be able to menace the world. For instance, the Taliban’s leader Mullah Omar, who started his militancy with a small bunch of local seminary students, led a regime for almost five years, Osama bin-Laden established al-Qaeda in 1988, and al-Baghdadi led the IS group, all of which sent threat to the world and inflicted heavy casualties on many nations and irreparable loss upon human societies. Up to now, the world suffers from these groups and the ‘war on terror’ which began to respond to the September 11 attack came to stalemate.
Underestimating the potential threats and small movements led to deadly and destructive issues. The aforementioned three groups that came to existence with incredibly small movement sought to pursue their political objectives through instigating sectarian violence. In other words, their ideological conflicts changed into political and full-scale war that engaged the entire world.
To view the casualties of the war, noncombatants sustained heavy fatalities from both sides, i.e., militants and anti-terrorist air strikes. For instance, the UN said in July that there have been 70 percent more civilian casualties in Afghanistan from American airstrikes in the first six months of 2017 than in the first half of 2016. In Iraq and Syria, at least 55 percent of all civilians killed by airstrikes since the air war began in August 2014. When the US President Donald Trump vowed in his speech two weeks ago to “lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field,” he signaled that he endorses further harm to noncombatants. On the other hand, a number of civilians lose their lives in terrorist attacks and suicide bombings on day-to-day basis in many parts of the world. The rights and dignity of people are violated on the grounds of their races and religions. 
It is self-explanatory that terrorist networks wage war under sacred terms and the violence-oriented individuals, mainly those who live in tribal belts, fall for their bogus claims which are tinged with religious charms. Ideological war is believed to be the deadliest in human history. The aforementioned groups operated under the mask of religion and religious ideology and, therefore, lasted for years. They colored their deadly war with religious sanctity so as to instigate public sentiments and justify their harsh practices. Now Hamza, the son of al-Qaeda’s spiritual leader, seeks to capitalize on the charisma of his father and will continue the religious war ushered in by Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the radical mainstream will toe the line in this regard.
It is really tragic to see that the militants, who operate under sacred terms, close their eyes to the fact that non-combatants are the sacrificial lamb of war and militancy. The greater tragedy is that this bloodshed is carried out under religious sanctity. Hence, to put an end to this war, the world will have to figure out and eliminate the masterminds behind the scene, the potential threats, and the root causes of militancy. But if this mysterious hand which facilitates the war is not cut, militancy will continue unabated. It is also worth saying that with potential threats such as Hamza bin Laden, there is also potential for the establishment and emergence of other groups similar to IS and al-Qaeda.
After all, the vacuum left by the IS militants in Iraq or Syria should not be allowed to be filled by a similar group or else it will undo the struggles made for combating terrorism. Undoubtedly, terrorist networks, with any ideologies or political objectives, menace the world and spill the blood of men, women and children indiscriminately. Since the world is embroiled in this issue, counterinsurgency is in need of a global campaign.