Opinion / Wang Hui

Double standards hinder fight against terrorism

By Wang Hui (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-21 07:41

Double standards hinder fight against terrorism

Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, a leader of the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda (AQAP), speaks as an image of brothers Cherif Kouachi (rear L) and Said Kouachi (rear R), who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attack, is seen in this still image taken from a social media website on January 14, 2015, which purports to show Al-Qaida in Yemen claiming responsibility for the attack on the French satirical newspaper.[Photo/Agencies]

On Jan 14, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, primarily operating in Yemen, claimed responsibility in a video for the terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that killed 12 people on Jan 7. Although countries such as the United States were cautious about holding the terrorist group responsible for the rampage, the world should be on its guard against the prospect of al-Qaida regrouping, as it would pose new challenges to the international fight against terrorism.

As US officials are not convinced that the Paris attacks were directed from abroad, this suggests al-Qaida Yemeni affiliate's claim may be only a "showing off". Yemeni officials said one of the Kouachi brothers, who conducted the Charlie Hebdo attack, had travelled to Yemen for military training in 2011.

Since the Afghanistan war broke out, al-Qaida forces in the Central Asia country have been defeated and driven apart. Their remnants have taken advantage of political unrest in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya to regroup and spread their influence.

And with al-Qaida losing its dominance in the jihad movement, new jihadist militant groups have begun to run rampant. Africa now has more terror hot spots, such as Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia, Kenya and Niger, than any other continent.

The rise of the Islamic State group is the most astounding in this ill trend as it appears to be more ferocious and aggressive than al-Qaida. The IS also has an ambition to establish a state. It has seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, declaring a "caliphate" and imposing its harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia.

These terrorist groups incite religious extremism, solicit funds, recruit followers and plot terror attacks via social media as well as combine their activities with drug trafficking, armed smuggling and organized crime.

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