A new study from George Washington University on the affiliation of terror suspects within the United States over the last five years found that despite official emphasis being almost exclusively on ISIS, they only account for roughly half of the suspects in question.
The study revealed that the “other half” of the suspects were either unaffiliated or linked with over a dozen different groups, many of which identify themselves as rivals of ISIS, including a number of al-Qaeda affiliates and allies.
The study also identified US suspects from the Islamic Jihad Union, the Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, the Taliban’s affiliate Ansar-ul Mujahideen, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Ansar Dine, and Lashkar-e Taiba, along with Somalia’s al-Shabaab.
The report warned it was dangerous for the US to highly prioritize a single group when so many suspects are not only from unaffiliated factions, but even from overt rivals. Indeed, even as the US has continued to arrest al-Qaeda suspects, the formal focus on al-Qaeda’s forces in places like Syria has died down to the point that the Obama Administration is treating them as a de facto ally.