Osama bin Laden's Death--How Will His Followers React?
The test now will now be whether bin Laden's death will lead to a decline in hostilities between his supporters and Western countries, or whether it could galvanize some of his followers.
[Black Star News Editorial]
Finally, after more than 10 years, Osama bin Laden has been killed by United States special forces inside Pakistan, President Barack Obama disclosed on Sunday night, adding that he had ordered the operation.
His capture or killing had eluded U.S. administrations since after 9/11 in the early part of George W. Bush's first term.
Bush vowed to capture or kill bin Laden; it remained a futile promise and became a quest and source of great frustration throughout his administration. Osama bin Laden featured prominently during the 2008 campaign, with Senator John McCain famously vowing that he would climb into every cave in remote parts of Afghanistan until he found bin Laden.
The test now will now be whether bin Laden's death will lead to a decline in attacks against Western targets by his supporters, and less hostilities. or whether it could galvanize some of his followers. It's also unclear whether, and to what extent, bin Laden had been protected by the Pakistani political and military establishment--and whether there might be a backlash between those who harbored him within Pakistan, and those who joined the U.S. in the operation leading to his death.
The U.S. had for long complained that Pakistan was not doing enough in fighting al-Qaeda, especially on its common border with Afghanistan. U.S. officials even accused Pakistan of protecting bin Laden.
Something also worth watching is the impact on al-Qaeda supporters in eastern Libya. Theyare currently allied with the Benghazi insurrectionists, France, the U.K., and the U.S. in the war against Muammar al-Quathafi.
Will the al-Qaeda elements continue their alliance with the Western-backed Benghazi forces?
It remains to be seen.
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