Bin Laden the Lonely Terrorist

Sayyid Imam al-Sharif, also known as Dr. Fadl, one of the top spiritual leaders of al-Qaeda and similar groups, has seen the writing on the wall and has jumped ship. He is viciously condemning al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and especially his former BFF Ayman al-Zawahiri. Breakups are never easy, and this one is no exception.

Al-Sharif even makes this gut punch of a statement: "Every drop of blood that was shed or is being shed in Afghanistan and Iraq is the responsibility of bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers." Al-Sharif further condemns Muslims who move to the West, taking advantage of its accommodating ways only to "betray them, through killing and destruction."

He has claimed that Ayman al-Zawahiri was once a hired agent of the Sudanese government, tasked with carrying out ten terrorist attacks against Egypt, and has branded Zawahiri as a serial liar about this and other issues. Al-Sharif's condemnation of Zawahiri is particularly significant, as he was one of Zawahiri's mentors as he climbed into the terrorist hall of fame.

Zawahiri has responded to al-Sharif's criticisms and attributed them to being tortured in the Egyptian jail where he currently resides, but al-Sharif is widely viewed as a theological expert among the jihadist community. The degree of al-Sharif's leadership role in Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Zawahiri's original place of employment before the group joined with bin Laden's forces, is contested, but there is no doubt that his street cred far surpasses that of Zawahiri.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute's analysis, al-Sharif's new book says that Allah allows Muslims to be defeated when they are disobedient. Al-Sharif indirectly ties al-Qaeda's inability to defeat the non-Muslim militaries to God's disapproval of them. He also says that the Muslim world's misery is its own doing and not to be attributed to the U.S. or even Israel.

"Allah, may He be praised, says that the Muslims' misfortunes are because of themselves, and bin Laden and al-Zawahiri say they are because of America. Let the Muslims consider who they are going to follow: Allah, or bin Laden and al-Zawahiri?" he writes. He further says that al-Qaeda has caused more Muslim refugees and casualties than the United States or even Israel.

This doesn't mean al-Sharif is a moderate, peace-loving Muslim. He simply argues that violent jihad should be temporarily suspended because the conditions are not favorable and that al-Qaeda's methods, such as targeting civilians, are un-Islamic. His bold attack on al-Qaeda, though, highlights the depth of rejection al-Qaeda is feeling from the Muslim population, even those among the extremist community.

Al-Qaeda has done the United States a favor by convincing the Muslim masses that their activity is un-Islamic, and those who follow bin Laden cannot count upon the divine intervention of an approving God to help them defeat the Western imperialists and Muslim apostates.

Al-Qaeda's fall from grace and rejection by their fellow radical Muslims provides us with an early glimpse as to how the war on terror may ultimately end. Radical Islam will suffer a death by a thousand divisions, breaking and dissolving into countless pieces due to the intolerance and extremism that define them.

Sure, radical Sunnis and Shiites cooperate against common enemies, but their alliance cannot be permanent. Each defeat they suffer will cause a blame game as to who violated Allah's will, and their demoralized followers will question whose side God is really on. In the end, it will be radical Islam's own uncompromising nature that will cause it to inadvertently commit suicide.