- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 4, 2014

An new report by RAND Corp. released Wednesday finds that the number of Islamic radical groups operating in the world has skyrocketed since 2010.

The study’s author looked at “thousands of published primary source documents, including public proclamations and internal memos written by senior operatives from al Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” the security website Defense One reported Wednesday.

RAND Corp. concluded that there has been nearly a 60 percent increase in the number of Islamic radical groups over the last four years and a 300 percent jump in the number of attacks perpetrated by al Qaeda and its affiliated groups.

An image provided by RAND Corp. on its Twitter feed asserts that there were roughly 950 attacks by Islamic radical groups in 2013.

“Based on these threats, the United States cannot afford to withdraw or remain disengaged from key parts of North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia,” report author Seth Jones said in a provided statement, Defense One reported.

Critics of the study note that many of the attacks appear to be “regionally focused,” Defense One reported. Mr. Jones countered that the ideology shared by these Islamic radical groups is alive and well — and still very much a threat to the United States.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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