Fighting terrorism is one of the few foreign policy issues that unites Democrats and Republicans, though of course both are quick to point fingers at any perceived failures or lapses. Yet America’s and the world’s leaders often do not recognize that the jihadist movement today is in flux, and the threat it poses differs dramatically from the 9/11 era.
Despite Bin Laden’s death in 2011, the extremist group Al Qaeda has since survived and, some argue, continued to thrive. The effort and resources Bin Laden invested into Al Qaeda fortified its foundation, making it difficult, if not impossible, to disband or weaken the group after his death. But how did the terrorist group come to be what it is today?