Bottom line? The threat is getting worse.
For instance, for the year 2013, the State Department estimated that terrorist attacks jumped more than 40 percent globally while RAND's Seth Jones asserted in The Wall Street Journal that the number of jihadists worldwide hovered around 100,000.
Those figures from last year are jaw-dropping - but from the looks of it, the situation isn't getting any better this year.
Let's start with Syria. What began as part of the peaceful "Arab Spring" movement against the dictator in Damascus, Bashar Assad, a few years ago has morphed into a violent "Islamist Spring" campaign that has set the country aflame.
The three-plus year civil war has emerged as an magnet for Islamist extremists from across the globe bent on joining the latest militant jihad.
Indeed, there may be some 12,000 foreign fighters from 80 countries in Syria, some of whom have joined up with al Qaeda-associated groups like the al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to Bloomberg.
In addition to the bloodshed that has taken the lives of more than 150,000 people so far and displaced millions more, these foreign fighters are being schooled in the terrorist "dark arts" on the Syrian battlefield.
But it'd be a mistake to think the threat is simply "over there."
The director of National Intelligence has told Congress that al Qaeda terror groups in Syria have built camps to train "recruits" to return to their native lands and conduct attacks.