Fight Against Terrorism 'Must Come From Within Muslim Communities,' Analyst Says

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While it has been revealed that the Al-Qaeda terrorist group has cells in over 80 countries around the world, Radio Sputnik discussed the issue of tackling terrorism with security analyst and political commentator Dr. Manoj Joshi.

It is a very difficult task to dismantle the terrorism threat in the contemporary world, as many members of terrorist groups have "self-radicalized through the Internet," a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, Dr. Manoj Joshi, said, adding that this trend is likely to continue.

According to the analyst, the elimination of terrorism "has to be done cell by cell," and must, first of all, come from within the Muslim communities.

"One of the things that we have seen is that this is something, this phase of terrorism, has a certain relationship to certain radical ideas in Islam. So, it must be worked out through those societies, in those societies," the expert said.

In his opinion military solutions might be efficient, but will help only in the short run.

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"But if you want a sustainable, long-term solution, it is something which has to come from within those societies. I don't think, no matter how much external action there would be, all you will be able to do is to really control it up to a point. But to eliminate it completely, I think it has to come from within," Joshi stated.

According to the expert, the people most susceptible to terror propaganda are basically those who feel most constrained in their society. This trend is especially evident in the West where many migrants live in isolated groups, Joshi argued.

The analyst noted that some of the countries "that have in fact a very substantial Muslim population" do not have a high level of radicalization or terrorist incidents involving Islamists.

"I think essentially the reason is that the population feels that it has sufficient space, space in which it is not being constrained. In many of the Western societies there is a problem that many of the Muslim communities, migrants, are going to ghettos — either physical ghettos, or mental ghettos. And there is a problem of trying to deal with them," Joshi concluded.

Earlier, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told the Arguments and Facts newspaper that the Al-Qaeda terrorist group has cells in over 80 countries in the world.

The official noted that the outreach of the extremist group extends to the United States as well as Canada, adding that terrorist leaders formed secret cells in various countries once they realized that their groups are threatened with elimination in the zones of their former dominance.

The statement reflects the data of the Global Terrorism Index that suggests that terrorism continues to spread to a growing number of nations. The Index, published in November, stated that 77 countries experienced at least one death from terrorism in 2016, with Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan remaining the top five countries most affected by terrorism.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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