From 9/11 to the Arab Spring

The combined effect of intelligence operations, drone attacks, transformations within jihadi ranks, and the Arab Spring has thwarted Al Qaeda's power. While some fragments of the group will probably survive, because they are embedded more deeply within particular localities, Al Qaeda as a global threat is probably finished.

CAIRO – Al Qaeda’s operating environment today is vastly different from the one in which it launched its most notorious operation, the 9/11 terror attacks. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda’s founder and charismatic leader, was killed by United States Navy Seals in Pakistan in May. Three brutal Middle East dictatorships were removed this year – two by unarmed civil-resistance tactics and one by a NATO-assisted armed rebellion. Drone attacks have eliminated many of Al Qaeda’s most experienced commanders, including, most recently, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.

Has militant jihadism failed, placing Al Qaeda’s survival in doubt?

Jihadism is a modern revolutionary ideology which holds that political violence is a theologically legitimate and tactically efficient way to effect socio-political change. Terrorism dominated the armed activities of many of the groups that subscribe to this worldview, including, of course, Al Qaeda.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/2p5wkkd;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.