In the war against al-Qaeda, the “battle for Muslim hearts and minds,” is over and al-Qaeda has lost, according to Jon B. Alterman, Director of the Middle East Program at CSIS. In his February edition of Middle East Notes and Comment, Alterman acknowledges the group continues to “threaten Western interests, and the organization and its affiliates are likely to do so for some time.” However, he argues that:
After almost two decades of trying, al-Qaeda’s thirst for anarchic violence has failed to inspire the multitudes. Instead, authoritative clerics have picked apart al-Qaeda’s theology and removed the cloak of divine approval that the organization had appropriated. Even some leading jihadi clerics, such as Sayyid Imam al-Sharif (also known as Dr. Fadl) have repudiated al-Qaeda’s views. To be sure, there are still clerics who support al-Qaeda, but they are a shrinking and increasingly isolated minority.
Click here for Dr. Alterman’s Middle East Notes and Comment.