The massacre in Houla, Syria, over the weekend pushed Russia to finally denounce the atrocities there. But Moscow also warned that the regime of Bashar al-Assad faces threats from Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's future in Syria depends on how Sunnis there respond to foreign jihadi fighters.
The record shows that some radicals can be persuaded to give up the gun when inducements and local conditions are right. The Pentagon recently spent $4.5 million to find out more.
No group has claimed responsibility for today's bombings in Damascus that killed at least 40 people, but an Al Qaeda-inspired group has claimed similar attacks in the past.
On the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, defense analysts say that there are plenty of reasons to think that a resurgence of the perniciously resourceful Al Qaeda is not out of the question.
While his murderous ideology persists in pockets of the Middle East and beyond, Al Qaeda as it was understood after Sept. 11 has failed.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called on all parties in Syria to stand by the cease-fire, which has been repeatedly violated by both the government and the opposition.