Osama bin Laden is dead. The Middle East is in chaos. And radical Islam is floundering
For a time after 9/11, bin Laden was riding high. Destroying 16 acres inManhattan and hitting the Pentagon won al-Qaeda even more admiration from the Arab Street, hidden cash donations from sympathetic petrol-sheiks, and bribe and hush money from triangulating Middle East dictatorships.
But now bin Laden and most of his henchmen of a decade ago are dead, like the bloodthirsty Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed by American forces in Iraq. Or they were captured, like the 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan. Or they are in hiding, like Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the increasingly irrelevant blowhard al-Qaeda information minister.
What caused al-Qaeda's steady decline? There are a lot of reasons.