Research Paper Abstract

Following the terror attack in 2001, Al Qaeda was the primary focus of national security in America, although overtime, ISIS continuously grabs national headlines. While focus has shifted to ISIS, Al Qaeda has begun to re surge among the distractions, especially overseas. Both groups have somewhat similar ideologies and goals making it difficult to conclude which group poses a more significant threat internationally, and in the United States. In order to analyze the risk of each group, comparisons will be drawn between the development of each group, the nature of terror attacks from each group, profiles of the recruits, and the leadership. It will also be important to explore the range and mechanism of networking each group has throughout the world, their access to funding and weapons, and the sustainability of the two groups. Considering the combination of these several factors, American security should ultimately re-focus on Al Qaeda, because its ability to network through relationships rather than force and its sustainability create a more dangerous threat than ISIS. Analyzing the nature of the threat that both ISIS and Al Qaeda pose is significant to national security, as there is only limited funding and manpower and focusing on the wrong threats may allow America to fall into potentially avoidable traps.

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