Here?s a little-known weapon in the war against Islamofascist terrorism: theological debate. A judge and Islamic scholar in Yemen is visiting al Qaeda prisoners and challenging them to justify their behavior according to God’s word as revealed to the Prophet. If they can?t ? make that when they can?t ? many of them appear to give up terror.

The coolest part:

Some freed militants were so transformed that they led the army to hidden weapons caches and offered the Yemeni security services advice on tackling Islamic militancy. A spectacular success came in 2002 when Abu Ali al Harithi, Al Qaeda’s top commander in Yemen, was assassinated by a US air-strike following a tip-off from one of Hitar’s reformed militants.

Dialogue is no substitute for intelligence, espionage, spreading freedom with missionary zeal, setting a good example at home, punishing killers, and taking vigorous military act when necessary. But it is a good complement.