The global threat forecast for 2019

Islamist terror groups continue to dominate the threat landscape, but ultra-nationalist politics also creates new risks.

ST ILLUSTRATION: MIEL

The global terrorist and extremist threat is likely to rise this year with the United States retreating from the epicentres of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria. President Donald Trump's announcement to withdraw from Syria and draw down from Afghanistan will allow both the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda to rejuvenate.

As of now, ISIS has not been defeated and is in a phase of re-adaptation and global expansion through decentralisation. To survive in Iraq and Syria, the group has established clandestine and underground structures. Moreover, ISIS ideology is still intact and continues to be propagated. In the provinces, groups, networks, cells and personalities that pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are radicalising Muslims and conducting attacks.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2019, with the headline The global threat forecast for 2019. Subscribe