Professor Audrey Cronin [pictured above] encourages Western nations to focus on the "plentiful weaknesses" of al-Qaeda.
Bin Laden has been weakened by allied military action in Afghanistan and tighter surveillance of international money transfers. More significant in the longer term is the criticism voiced within Islamic circles about the morality of what he is doing. Cronin argues that the best counter-terrorist policies are "those consciously synergistic with a group's natural tendency to implode."
A government's top priority should be "not to win people's hearts and minds, but rather to amplify the natural tendency of violent groups to lose them."
The eclipse of al-Qaeda does not mean that it is no longer a threat. Nevertheless, the Islamic world is turning against it.