2005: Another Deadly Year in Islamic Terrorism
Posted: March 7, 2006
Islamic terrorism continued to be a primary concern for governments around the world in 2005, as terrorists intent on establishing religious rule and driving foreign influences from Muslim lands killed hundreds of civilians and military personnel.
Islamic terrorists were particularly active in the Middle East, where Iraq remained a hub of terrorist activity and Egypt suffered the deadliest terror attack in its history. Some Islamic terrorist groups also began to expand their operations to neighboring countries such as Jordan and Israel.
South Asian Islamic terrorist groups, particularly those fighting over Kashmir, expanded their scope of activities in this historically volatile region, conducting attacks in areas previously untouched by Islamic terrorism.
Western Europe also experienced an escalation in terrorist activity, as the continent suffered the first suicide bombings in its history. European law enforcement agencies, however, also registered a number of victories in 2005, foiling planned terror attacks and arresting a large number of terrorists in their respective countries.
Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups continued to be responsible for many of the world's deadliest attacks in 2005. These groups claimed responsibility for devastating attacks in England, Egypt, Jordan and Indonesia. Perhaps Al Qaeda's foremost affiliate, Al Qaeda in Iraq, launched nearly daily attacks on various targets in Iraq, including the nascent Iraqi police forces as well as U.S. soldiers. The group's leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has become one of the most influential terrorists in the world and has indicated that he plans to strike targets outside Iraq.
Other significant trends in 2005 included electoral successes of terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the increasing use of the Internet by terrorist groups to communicate, train, spread propaganda and plan attacks.
Although law enforcement and intelligence agencies successfully foiled a number of potentially deadly attacks and arrested top terrorist leaders, many Islamic terrorist organizations were able to continue and even increase the frequency and severity of their attacks in 2005.