Are the signs of increased violence in Pakistan/Afghanistan a sign hat AQ is on its last legs, and that they have lost their grip in the Arab world? Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, thinks AQ is on the ropes:
Yes, al Qaeda had little or no connection to Saddam Hussein's Iraq - but the terrorists chose to declare that country the main front in their struggle with the Great Satan. Bad investment: Their behavior there was so breathtakingly brutal that they alienated their fellow Muslims in record time.
Fighting enthusiastically beside the once-hated Americans, Iraq's Sunni Muslims turned on the terrorists with a vengeance. Al Qaeda's response? It kept on butchering innocent Muslims, Sunni and Shia alike. Iraq exposed al Qaeda as a fraud.
Where do Osama & Co. stand today? They're not welcome in a single Arab country. The Saudi royals not only cut off their funding, but cracked down hard within the kingdom. A few countries, such as Yemen, tolerate radicals out in the boonies - but they won't let al Qaeda in. Osama's reps couldn't even get extended-stay rooms in Somalia, beyond the borders of the Arab world. [....]
Al Qaeda isn't fighting to revive the Caliphate these days. It's fighting for its life.