United Airlines Flight 175 flies low toward the South Tower of the World Trade Center, shortly before slamming into the structure. The north tower burns after an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York City, on September 11, 2001. (Reuters/Sean Adair)
Joby Warrick and Greg Miller, Washington Post: Fifteen years after 9/11, the jihadist threat looms larger than ever across the globe
Nine days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President George W. Bush stood before Congress to outline a two-pronged response to history’s deadliest terrorist act: dramatic improvements in security at home and an all-out assault against what he called a “fringe form of Islamic extremism” at war with the West.
Fifteen years later, the first goal arguably has been met, as Americans by almost every measure are safer today from another 9/11-scale attack than in 2001.
Yet the struggle to defeat the global network of violent, rabidly anti-Western jihadist groups has recorded fewer successes. Indeed, the problem appears to have grown bigger.
The al-Qaeda organization once led by Osama bin Laden has been decimated and is no longer capable of orchestrating a sophisticated, trans-national plot on its own, terrorism experts say they believe. Al-Qaeda’s branches in North Africa and Yemen also have been weakened by Western military strikes and ongoing fighting with rival factions.
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WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction .... this threat is going to still exist long after I have past from this world.