One year after
But that doesn't mean America and its allies can afford to let their guard down. Despite its losses, al-Qaida remains a resilient adversary committed to survive its founder's demise, and its more recent offshoots in
Though bin Laden's second-in-command and successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has managed to elude the drones hunting him, the relentless attacks have forced al-Qaida's remaining senior officials in Pakistan to spend so much time in hiding that they may be increasingly out of touch with the movement they purport to lead. Meanwhile, the group's willingness to kill fellow Muslims in the name of global jihad has tarnished the al-Qaida brand in the Islamic world, even as democratic revolutions in the Mideast offer a political alternative to terrorist violence.
Yet though bin Laden himself is dead, the radical philosophy of hatred for the West he espoused lives on, not only in terrorist groups that openly pattern themselves on al-Qaida, such as
No such doubt surrounds the intent of avowed al-Qaida emulators such as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which has been tied to two of the most recent failed attacks on U.S. targets. In 2009, the group dispatched the so-called underwear bomber in a failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, and the following year it tried to send bombs through the mail to Chicago addresses. Last year, a
Much of the discussion surrounding the anniversary of bin Laden's death, however, has focused not on national security but on politics. President Barack Obama has made his decision to launch the mission that killed bin Laden a part of his re-election campaign, and