The Arab Spring and Homeland Security

by Nadav Morag, Ph.D., CTU University Dean for Security Studies
The recent sectarian violence in Egypt between Muslims and Coptic Christians as well as the ongoing instability in Syria and Yemen underscore a trend with possible homeland security implications for the United States: increased lawlessness in the Middle East may provide more operational space for Al Qaeda-affiliated groups.
Yemen is already known to be a hotbed of Al Qaeda activity.  US military aid to Yemen has been on the rise for a number of years and the US relies on the support of the Yemeni government and security forces to operate against Al Qaeda cells in the country.  Unfortunately, that country is on the verge of civil war and significant swaths of its territory are no longer under the control of the Yemeni government.
Egypt, which is the largest Arab country with the strongest military, has been in limbo since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in February of this year.  Peripheral areas of the country, particularly the Sinai Penninsula, have seen an upsurge in activity by a range of radical organizations including Al Qaeda affiliates, Hamas and Hizbullah.
While anti-Qaddafi fighters in Libya have succeeded in overruning virtually all of the strongholds of the old regime, there are significant questions as to whether the new Libyan government can effectively control the country's territory.  Moreover, Libya reportedly had an active non-conventional weapons program and it is not clear as to what might have happened to Libyan chemical and biological weapons (Libya had in its possession an estimated 9.5 tons of mustard gas) and whether or not such weapons could end up in the hands of Al Qaeda affiliates.
Finally, the growing unrest in Syria may eventually lead to a long and bloody civil war in that country that could lead to large parts of it being ungoverned and ungoverened spaces are a natural incubator for groups such as Al Qaeda.  Syria too, possesses significant quantities of chemical and biological weapons that could potentially end up in the hands of terrorist organizations.
In short, the United States will need to gear up to ensure that the process of halting liberalization occurring in much of the Arab World will not translate into attacks here at home.

*The the views expressed in this article are the views of Dr. Morag, and do not represent the views of CTU, or any other organziation.

Copyright © 2016 Colorado Technical University (CTU). All rights reserved. No information may be duplicated without CTU's permission. The CTU logo is a registered trademark of Career Education Corporation. CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Programs vary by location and modality; see catalog for details. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. See the Accreditation & Licensure section for information on the agencies that approve and regulate the school's programs, including relevant complaint procedures here. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures below.

Privacy Statement Legal Terms and Conditions Student Disclosures Sitemap Student Safety Contact Us

 (855) 230-0555

Terms and Conditions By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive text messages from Colorado Tech via its mobile text message provider.  You may opt out of receiving messages by texting the word STOP to 94576, or simply reply with the word STOP to any text message you receive from Colorado Tech. While CEC or its mobile text message provider will not charge end users for receiving/responding to promotional messages, depending on the terms of your mobile phone plan, you may incur a cost from your mobile service carrier to receive and respond to any promotional text messages (standard messaging and data rates/fees and other charges may apply).  Charges will appear on your mobile phone bill or will be deducted from pre-paid amounts.  Current participating/supported carriers are: Alltel, AT&T, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, Element Wireless, Golden State Cellular, iWireless, Metro PCS, Nextel, nTelos, Plateau Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Viaero Wireless, Virgin, and more.×