Reports of Osama Bin Laden’s death this week have been cause for celebration and much relief for many around the globe this week. Bin Laden was reported as having been found and killed by US Ground Forces in a mansion in Northern Pakistan this week. The search for the architect of the 9/11 bombings has spanned over 10 years and cost the US thousands and thousands of dollars and manpower in the ‘war on terror’. His vendetta against the West historically transformed US Foreign Policy and international security across the world for over a decade. Bin Laden’s capture ends a tireless search in what President Obama calls ‘A significant achievement for the US’ in the war on terrorism.
Bin Laden’s death raises many questions about the Pakistani government’s involvement with Taliban leaders and their connections with Al Qaeda, something that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had publicly commented on, this time last year. Strained relations between Pakistan and the US will now be thrown into the spotlight, as inquiries will be launched to investigate who has been responsible for concealing Bin Laden’s whereabouts for the entire duration of the manhunt. Although many have been quick to turn Bin Laden’s death into a Republican/Democrat partisan trophy, the fact remains; a impassioned unit of believers now without their leader are quite unlikely to give up on their ‘great commission’ without him. Certainly nurtured by their founder, there is no doubt that over the last decade for it’s insiders, Al Qaeda’s belief system has taken on a life of it’s own. As evidenced by ethnic population waves in Europe, such expressions of jihad and religious extremism are no longer limited to membership with Al Qaeda, having decentralized itself geographically and organizationally. Global Jihad has gained more followers since the turn of the millennium than at any other time previously since the group’s inception; it should shock no-one that Al Qaeda’s motives are not to disband but to simply change tactics. The question remains, how will the West recalibrate it’s plans to defeat Al Qaeda and on a wider scale, extremist terrorism as a whole?
No Americans were killed in this week’s reported mission to capture Bin Laden at the Abottabad compound.