Daily Beast foreign news editor Chris Dickey told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that despite claims to the contrary, the global jihadist ideology is alive and well.
Dickey's comments came after former CIA analyst, New America Foundation fellow, and Huffington Post contributor Philip Mudd went on a tirade against Wolf Blitzer's assertion that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was still effective at disseminating propaganda.
Hold on a second, let's remember 13 years ago: I spent time watching the U.S. government fight the Qataris for how much air time they would give to Zawahiri or Bin Laden," "Today, Zawahiri can't pay to get on al Jazeera. I think the fight against al Qaeda is underestimated. We've made a lot of progress. The franchises have been damaged by America. If you look at polling data in the Middle East, people don't respect the message anymore. I think we're in a better place ideologically.
When asked if he through the U.S. had a responsibility to apprehend Zawahiri, Dickey responded, "Oh hell yeah."
"Although Phil seems to think that the ideology is now defunct, in fact, it's very much alive," Dickey said.
"ISIS has simply taken the old ideology of al Qaeda a couple of steps further. In fact, I think that Al-Zawahiri is sitting somewhere, probably in Pakistan, perfectly content to issue a statement and feel that he's the idealogical tone-setter for global jihad."