2009 was the first year since The 9/11 that Islamic terror organization, linked to Al Qaeda or inspired by Global Jihad, failed to carry out even a single successful terror attack in the Western Democracies. In that prospective the success of the so called Western World to contain the Islamic terror, to monitor and, eventually, to cut the link between Islamic terror organization and the Western hemisphere is a success of 100%. The Jihad turned to be mainly an internal conflict in the Muslim World in which Muslims killed Muslims in their thousands in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The success was obtained through cooperation between intelligence services, improved border control, technology and mainly experience and awareness. The physical presence in Iraq and Afghanistan attributed only little, if at all, to the achievement.
All those Muslim countries are very violent for decades and suffer from bloody internal conflicts for dozens of years and it seems that Jihad is more an excuse rather then the cause of violence.
On the other hand Europe and USA are facing a growing threat of spontaneous Islamic home grown terror. Dozens of plots were foiled, mainly in UK and USA, which began as a local enterprise of individuals or small groups. Indeed the only casualties of Jihadi terror in the Western World during 2009 were the 13 killed by Maj. Malik Hasan in Fort Hood, on 11/05/2009. Adding the number of few hundred soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, relative to the 700 millions living in the Western Democracies, the Islamic terror became more an economic burden then a real, tangible threat to public safety such as car accidents, youth and knife crimes, drunkenness, drugs and organized crime.
Ironically the home grown terror is, most of all, motivated by the presence of mainly Christian forces in Muslim countries. NATO-ISAF in Afghanistan or USA forces in Iraq and the ongoing civilian suffering of Muslims related or attributed to the Western Powers.
USA established a successful tactic of fighting terror through a combination of Intelligence, operational abilities, technology, military and economic aid and cooperation with locals without unnecessary friction and visible continuous presence in the region and the tremendous burden of conquering the population. Conquering the local population resulted in with negative consequences of popular insurgency against the uninvited invaders.
The last attack on Al Qaeda stronghold in the Yemeni Abyan province, on 12/07/2009 (see – Abyan 12.17.09), the Barawe Raid in Somalia, on 09/14/2009, in which two senior Al Qaeda figures, including Saleh Ali Nabhan, were killed, or the UAV missile attacks in Waziristan, in which senior Al Qaeda and Taliban commanders were killed during 2009 (see – Ladha 08.05.09), are good examples to a cheap efficient tactics to fight terror without the tremendous burden of conquering the population.