Though the perpetrators have not yet been identified, the latest terrorist attack in Syria suggests that the non-violent and insurgent strands of the uprising could both be overtaken by a campaign of indiscriminate violence.
Osama Bin Laden's death has only marginally diminished the threat from Al-Qa'ida: underscoring the symbolic relevance, rather than the strategic significance of his demise. The challenge emanates from dispersed, unconnected networks and a pernicious ideology which - though marginalised in the Arab Spring - still has potency in certain dispossessed quarters.
The attack marks beyond any doubt seepage between Pakistan’s political and security woes. Serious doubts must now shroud the practical feasibility of Pakistan holding its parliamentary elections in three months time.