While US airstrikes that killed top commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan mean further losses for al-Qaeda, the current political conditions in Iraq may favour its resurgence.
Those conditions include a deadlock in the outcome of the electoral process, and a Shiite-dominated alliance that many Sunni Arabs perceive as exclusionary.
The increasing marginalisation of the Sunni Arab Sahwa (awakening) Councils could also lead to reversal of their anti-Qaeda policy.
Nouri al-Maliki, Iyad Allawi, and other leading politicians have warned against a return to political violence if they are denied power.
For their part, the Sahwa commanders have warned that security conditions could easily slip back to those of the notorious 2006-2007 period, if they are not fully reintegrated into the Iraqi system.
To discuss the presence and the future of al-Qaeda in Iraq, we are joined by Raanan Gissin in Tel Aviv, a former senior advisor to Ariel Sharon, and Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of al-Quds al-Arabi in London.
This episode of Inside Iraq can be seen from Friday, July 16, at the following times GMT: Friday: 1730, 2230; Saturday: 0300, 0830; Sunday: 0600, 1230; Monday: 0130.
Source: Al Jazeera