Following the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001, the US launched its war on terror. With the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq two years later in 2003, the US aimed to eliminate the leadership of Al-Qaeda, the militant multinational Sunni Islamist organization, and tackle the growing threat of Islamic extremism at its root. Despite the aims of both invasions, Islamic terrorism dramatically increased during the western occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, which had created ideal conditions for the further radicalization of local Muslims. The occupation also provided a training ground for terrorists and an ideal environment for the perfection of terrorist devices such as car bombs. In 2003 there were 19 instances of car bomb attacks in Iraq, which increased to 204 just four years later in 2007. In addition to Islamic terrorism, other notable groups like the FARC Communist guerrillas of Colombia carried out a number of deadly attacks within their own spheres of operation.
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