The threat of suicide bombing attacks against Americans in the Middle East is imminent, as several Islamic leaders and officials have called for retaliation against U.S. forces in the aftermath of the targeted strike of Qassem Soleimani.
As the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) recently revealed, the Roznama Ummat, an Urdu-language daily in Pakistan, has stated that the targeted strike against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani could be repaid in Afghanistan. As reported in the Ummat article, the Afghan Taliban and other terror groups, who are closely tied to the media outlet, have publicly declared their intent to recruit “thousands of volunteers” to seek retribution against U.S. armed forces personnel in Afghanistan.
At the same time, a Twitter post by a security official for Iranian-backed Hezbollah Brigades (aka Kata’ib Hezbollah, KH) has also called for volunteers to engage in suicide bombing attacks against American armed forces in Iraq. Abu Ali al Askari’s statement on social media not only seeks Quranically-endorsed vengeance for the death of Quds Force commander Soleimani, but also for KH Secretary-General and Popular Mobilization Committee Deputy Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
In addition, U.S. interests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been threatened by several Shi’ite jihadi militias following the deaths of Soleimani and his entourage. A joint statement released by the ad-hoc coalition states:
“America, the country of arrogance, and its stupid president Trump have perpetrated a great and treacherous crime by assassinating the jihadi warrior and great commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force, as well as the great jihadi warrior Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy head of the PMF, along with many other commanders and jihadi warriors of the resistance axis.”
In their statement, the coalition also announces that “we view all [U.S.] interests, and presence in Bahrain, as legitimate targets for us, and we will play a role and take a position in avenging the precious blood of the righteous martyrs…”
Meanwhile, in Lebanon, the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published a map of “possible targets,” including the locations of American military troops in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the Gulf, Turkey, and Jordan. A companion editorial by Ibrahim Al-Amin also proclaimed, “all American presence in our countries must be swept away.”
In yet another call for retaliation, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, also a globally designated terrorist organization, has called for a “New War,” and asked for Shiite forces — including suicide bombers — to attack the assets and bases of the U.S. military throughout the Middle East.
Established by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah is a highly-sophisticated organization with thousands of highly-trained operatives – and is no stranger to suicide bombing attacks. The groups is calling on allies of Iran to start working toward retaliation for Soleimani.
In a display of solidarity, leaflets to recruit suicide bombers are even being distributed at the private (prestigious) Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran.
It is also important to note another ally to Iran is the Taliban, which continues to slap America in the face during the ongoing “peace talks.”
Since the Taliban’s primary goal is the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the official name of the Taliban government), it shares a common purpose with Iran – the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from their respective regions.
In that respect, a large global-level coalition known as Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has already published a 20-page Code of Conduct, outlining the group’s intentions of attacking targets – particularly military related – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, while also calling for increased attacks on both active-duty and off-duty soldiers in these countries, as well as in America and other parts of the world.
As tensions continue to rise in the Islamic World, and the U.S. continues to come to terms with the renewed energy of global jihad, which has shifted further and further east (through the gateway of Iran), it can be determined that Iran-supported coalitions like AQIS can essentially provide an endless supply of fighters. There is a direct connection between terrorist groups and proxies which arcs through the entire Indian subcontinent, across the Middle East, continues all the way to Lebanon, and down into Africa.
The capital city of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, is Zahedan, which is located near a tri-border area connecting Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is a primary funnel point for terrorists traveling east and west – including the suicide bombers from the Indian subcontinent who have heard the call to fight against U.S. armed forces in the region.
It is imperative the United States takes each of these threats – particularly the threat of suicide bombings – at face value, while asking not “when will it occur,” but “how soon will it occur,” and to prepare accordingly, with the help of our allies in the region, such as India.
The question of “how soon will a suicide bombing attack be attempted against the U.S. military in the Middle East?” is answered in view of two important variables. One is motivation and the other is operational capability. When both variables are present, a suicide bombing attack becomes imminent.
Time and time again, the Taliban and Hezbollah have demonstrated the operational capability to conduct “successful” suicide bombing attacks across the Middle East. Taking into account the numerous statements made by leaders and officials of multiple terrorist groups following Soleimani’s death, there is already more than enough motivation and Quranic authorization to “justify” carrying out additional attacks – even here in America.
Philip B. Haney, a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and author of “See Something, Say Nothing,” contributed to this article.