Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Al-Qaida has recruited an estimated 40,000 fighters since Sept. 11, 2001, when the Osama bin Laden-led extremist group attacked the United States, according to the not-for-profit Council on Foreign Relations.

Despite a United States-led global “ war on terror" that has cost US$5.9 trillion, killed an estimated 480,000 to 507,000 people and assassinated bin Laden, al-Qaida has grown and spread since 9/11, expanding from rural Afghanistan into North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, the Gulf States, the Middle East and Central Asia.

In those places, al-Qaida has developed new political influence – in some areas even supplanting the local government.

So how does a religious extremist group with fewer than a hundred members in September 2001 become a transnational terror organization, even as the world's biggest military has targeted it for elimination?

According to my dissertation research on the resiliency of al-Qaida and the work of other scholars, the U.S. “war on terror" was the catalyst for al-Qaida's growth.

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(Reuters) - An Iraqi-Canadian man was sentenced to 26 years in prison by a federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday for his role in orchestrating the April 2009 truck bombing of a U.S. base in Mosul, Iraq, that killed five soldiers, officials said.

Two Iraqi police officers also died in the explosion.

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REUTERS/Ahmed Kingimi

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - At least 30 people have been killed in a triple suicide attack in northeast Nigerian state of Borno, state emergency officials said on Monday, in the biggest mass killing this year by suicide bombers.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

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(Facebook via New York Daly News)

A would-be Islamic terrorist, busted for a plot to hurl grenades into the multitudes of Times Square tourists, pondered blasting the new World Trade Center with a massive rocket launcher, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

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An Army veteran was indicted by a U.S. grand jury on Wednesday for allegedly plotting an improvised explosive device attack in Long Beach, California, in retaliation for the March shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Justice Department announced.

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ISIS

DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Three prison guards and 29 inmates were killed in a prison riot in Tajikistan that the government blamed on Islamic State militants.

Tajikistan's Justice Ministry said the riot broke out late on Sunday in the prison in the city of Vakhdat, 10 km (six miles) east of the capital Dushanbe, as militants armed with knives killed three guards and five fellow prisoners.

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