Al Qaeda's increased relevance throughout ungovernable areas of Islamic nation states continues to beg the question of how to counter their increasing influence. One recent incident provides insight into this transnational movement's demise. The Anbar Awakening occurred in the al Anbar province of Iraq and was a defection of Sunni Muslim Iraqis against an al Qaeda in Iraq reportedly representing them. Throughout this study I will use qualitative and quantitative data to argue that violence and control along with nationalism, religion, political legitimacy, financial incentives, and military resources offer insight into how al Qaeda lost its relevance in Iraq. I argue that these variables will lead to their demise throughout the rest of the Islamic world as well.