December 1, 2011:
The current round of Islamic radicalism and terrorism got started in the 1970s, and one of the goals was to establish Islamic states. That is, religious dictatorships where the only law is Islamic scripture and senior clerics to interpret exactly what the Holy Koran meant on a specific matter. Oddly enough, one of the first of these Islamic states to be established is the only one still in business. The Iranian Islamic Republic was created in 1979. Although most Iranians have come to regret voting in this Islamic government, the senior clerics have been ruthless enough to keep themselves in power ever since.
Other Islamic states have been less successful. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was established in 1996 by the Taliban. It lost control of the country in late 2001 when the United States intervened on the side of anti-Taliban rebels. The Taliban fled to Pakistan, where the leadership still resides, and continues to claim that they are still in business.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Islamic radicals sought to establish an Islamic State of Iraq. One was declared in October 2006, but it controlled only a small part of the country and even that was gone within two years.
In Pakistan, the local Taliban established the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan in 2006. The Pakistani Army soon invaded and occupied South Waziristan, but stayed out of North Waziristan on the understanding that there would be fewer terrorist attacks in Pakistan. That has not worked out as expected.
In Russia, largely Chechen Moslems established the Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus in 2007. This Emirate is still technically active, but not in any one place as the Islamic radicals that support it are constantly being chased by local and federal Russian police and paramilitary troops.
The Islamic Emirate of Somalia was created in September 2008. The Islamic terrorists still control much of southern Somalia, but are losing ground to attacks by Somali government and clan militias, AU (African Union) peacekeepers and troops from Kenya and Ethiopia. In addition, there is a secret (but well known) CIA base outside the capital (Mogadishu) as well as French and American special operations in Somalia's northern neighbor Djibouti.
The Islamic Emirate of the Sahara was established in 2010) by remnants of defeated Algerian Islamic terror groups, and a few Islamic terrorists from other North African countries. These guys now sustain themselves smuggling cocaine and hashish from areas south of the Sahara Desert and into Europe. The emirate is secondary to the smuggling operation.
In April 2011, some Libyan Islamic radicals declared the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in parts of eastern Libya. This one appeared to be more press release than reality.
In May, 2011, in Yemen, al Qaeda declared the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in the southern Abyan province. The province was in chaos at the time, and still is. Government forces, and pro-government tribes have been attacking al Qaeda forces there ever since.
The survival of the Iranian Shia Islamic Republic has angered the Sunni radicals (like al Qaeda, the Taliban and several Pakistani groups), who believe Shia are heretics. In turn, the Iranian Shia clerics believe their success indicates that the Shia minority of Moslems should control the holy places in Arabia (Mecca and Medina). This would have to be accomplished over the dead bodies of the Saud family, and many other Arabs. Thus the growing fear and alarm among Arabs about what Iran might do.