The Al-Qaeda (AQ) and its adherents and affiliates across the globe continue to pose a serious threat to the national security of United States, and its allies. The international community has significantly degraded the core leadership of Al-Qaeda, and this has resulted in the evolution of this group. Pakistan leadership losses, compounded by instability and weak governance in the Northwest Africa and the middle East, have spurred the decentralization of the this movement and resulted in its allies and affiliates’ networks becoming increasingly autonomous in their operations. Over the past decades, there has been an emergence of more intensive and dynamic Al-Qaeda affiliates and other similar-minded groups, especially Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somali, and Northwest Africa (“Country Reports 2013”, 2014). Notably, Syria, Sudan, and Iran have been identified by the US government as countries whose governments provide support activities that pertain to international terrorism. According the US Department of State, Iran is a major supporter AL-Qaeda as well as its affiliate groups providing training, financial support, and refuge for these terrorist groups.
It was designated as a state sponsoring terrorism activities in 1984, and has since continued its terrorist-related actions to date (“Country Reports 2013”, 2014). It has been noted that it has supported Palestinian terrorist groups, notably at Hizballah, Gaza, Lebanese, and other groups in Iraq and the entire Middle East. In 2014, Iran increased its support to militia men in Iraq, one of which forms the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO); this was in response to the incursion of Islamic State in Iraqi and Levant (ISIL) into Iraqi (“Country Reports 2014R...
21;, 2015). There are different ways by which Iran has sought to propagate terrorist activities.
Today and in the past, Iran has tried to smuggle weapons to terrorist groups in Palestine especially in the region of Gaza. Although its supporting goals were mainly focused towards the Middle East-based terrorist groups, it has widened its sphere of influence to Africa, Asia, and to some extent, Latin America (“Country Reports 2014”, 2015). Moreover, it supports terrorist groups by creating instability in the Middle East and providing intelligent operations cover. Mainly, Iran has accomplished its terrorist support agendas through Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), a primary mechanism of the regime that is used to cultivate and support terrorist in other countries (“Country Reports 2014”, 2015).
Syria is a vital causeway for Iran in its supply route of it chief beneficiary, Lebanese Hizballah, which is also an important pillar in its ‘resistance’ front. Iran in 2014, continued to provide financing, training, arms, and facilitating Iraqi Shia and Afghan fighters which has resulted in the death of more than 191, 000 people in the regions of Syria, based on UN annual estimates((“Narcotics Control Reports”, 2016; “Country Reports 2014”, 2015). Publicly, Iran has admitted that it sends IRGC members for an advisory role to Syria. There are reports emerging from media sources that some of the militia members are part of the IRGC-QF trained to participate in operations of combat. Similarly, in Iraq, regardless of its commitment to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran has increased funding and training to Iraqi Shia militia affiliates due to ISIL’ advance into regions
Essentially, Iran has provided a wide range of support to terrorist groups in form of funding, training, and weapons especially to Jihad affiliates in Palestine and Iraqi. Historically, it has been characterized by its government’s public support of Al-Qaeda and other affiliated groups. It has provided training outside Iraq as well enrolling facilitators that provide intelligence advisory services. In addition, it helps terrorist groups in the manufacture of sophisticated improvised explosive-designed devices. Undeniably, Iran remains a nation of proliferation concern despite multiple endeavors by the US and the UN to suspend its highly sensitive nuclear programs.
- Country Reports 2013. (2014). http://www.state.gov/. Retrieved 19 May 2016, from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/239631.pdf
- Country Reports 2014. (2015). http://www.state.gov/. Retrieved 19 May 2016, from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/239631.pdf
- Narcotics Control Reports. (2016). State.gov. Retrieved 19 May 2016, from http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm