The nature of the terrorist threat has evolved over the course of the past several years. While the threat posed by al-Qa’ida with its centralized, hierarchical terrorist command structure has now diminished, largely as a result of leadership losses suffered by the AQ core, other violent extremist groups have emerged.
Groups that have become active in places like Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Somalia are mainly localized, but some pose a threat to Western interests in Europe and the United States, and we take these security concerns very seriously. Lately, the most visible manifestation of terrorism in the West has come in the context of so-called "lone wolf offender attacks," as we saw in the case of the terrorist assassinations at the Paris publication Charlie Hebdo.
Only by working together can the international community successfully counter groups like these, said Tina Kaidanow, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Take ISIL, for example. “We have worked to build an effective anti-ISIL coalition, a coalition that is clearly crucial because the fight against ISIL is not one the U.S. can or should pursue alone. More than sixty partners are contributing to this effort, which is multi-faceted in its goals – not only to stop ISIL’s advances on the ground, but to combat the flow of foreign fighters, disrupt ISIL’s financial resources, and counteract ISIL’s messaging and undermine its appeal…” said Ambassador Kaidanow.
The United States believes a successful approach to counter terrorism must revolve around partnerships. Effective partnering means identifying governmental, non-governmental, and multilateral actors overseas that can make a difference in this battle against the most salient terrorist threats facing the international community.Partners come with various capabilities and varying amounts of political will, so cultivating them is not just a matter of diplomatic engagement, but also means working with them to develop the technical and practical skills needed to counter terrorism within their borders and beyond.
“The threats we confront are serious and far-reaching, and it will take considerable time and effort to develop the partnerships and institutional components we need to address them,” said Ambassador Kaidanow. “Nevertheless, we believe this is the most effective and sustainable approach to a complex and enduring challenge.”