Fawaz Gerges on the Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

Fawaz Gerges gives a history of al-Qaeda, showing its emergence from the disintegrating local jihadist movements of the mid-1990s-not just the Afghan resistance of the 1980s. In The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, he reveals that transnational jihad has attracted only a small minority within the Arab world and possesses no viable social and popular base. He also describes how the democratic revolutions that swept the Middle East in early 2011 show that al-Qaeda has no influence over Arabs' political life. Gerges argues that the West has become trapped in a "terrorism narrative," but that Al-Qaeda is no longer a serious threat.