With the killings of Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda operatives, the core of the terrorist organization is crumbling. This, however, does not mean the end of the organization, or terror attacks in their name.
Al-Qaeda inspired groups, especially al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are the most prominent threat remaining of the once structurally sound terrorist organization. AQAP is based in Yemen, and has managed to take over significant territory in the southern part of the country, mostly due to the political instability in the country that weakened the ability of the central government to combat this growing menace.
Most experts believe that the main cause for the rising momentum of the al-Qaeda offsets was due to, ironically, the Arab Spring uprising. The Arab Spring is the series of uprisings by the people of Arab nations that have chosen to speak out about their respective governments and establishments. Most of the uprisings are in a sense “good” because they promote the freedom of the people.
Unfortunately though, these uprisings weaken the ability of these nations to stop or fight rebel groups of any sort, and those with a violent nature bent on stopping western influence are no exception.
The U.S. State Department’s annual terrorism report warns that "Many countries across the region experienced increased instability as a result of the events of the Arab Awakening, and some terrorists attempted to exploit this situation. Multiple terrorist organizations displayed the capability and intent to strike at targets across the region and to garner influence in states undergoing political transitions."
So while the base of al-Qaeda crumbles, their ideology and establishment lives on.
Labott, Elise (2012, September). State Dept: As core weakens, al Qaeda affiliates are top terror threat. http://www.cnn.com. Retrieved September 4, 2012, from http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/31/state-dept-as-core-weakens-al-qaeda-affiliates-are-top-terror-threat/?iref=allsearch