…what does al-Qaeda really fear? What they fear is being marginalized. They can only continue to obtain recruits, raise money, and move about as long as they maintain support in Muslim countries, both active and passive. They fear not another American invasion of a Muslim country, but an American foreign policy that makes them less relevant. They fear a decline in anti-American sentiment. They fear Muslim publics that don’t hate America quite as much, and so are unwilling to tolerate extremism in their midst. They fear losing their enemy.