Osama bin Laden is dead. The fallout from 9/11 remains with us for some time to come. Yet there is no question that this is a major victory for the struggle against the global jihad movement.
The attacks on America on that awful day augured in what some call an age of terror (notwithstanding that jihadist terrorists had already been taking high-profile pot-shots at Western targets for several decades). That does not end with the arch-terrorist's untimely (yet long overdue) demise at the hands of American special forces. And the jihadist movement, of which Al Queda is now only a well-branded segement, will continue to pose lethal threats to NATO soldiers and innocent defenseless civilians alike.
But Osama bin Laden's death does have consequences. His audacious and horrific exploits captured the imagination of millions of psychotics from Illinois to Islamabad. After nearly a decade of evading capture or death, bin Laden had become a near-mythical symbol of resurgent and unstoppable holy war. A bullet-ridden corpse is all that remains of this internationally-renowned thug. This fact can't help but demoralize some of its more grounded adherents -- at least, those jihadists who may have thought that they could...More >>
The Propagandist Magazine Editor Jonathon Narvey calls Osama bin Ladens death is "a major victory for the struggle against the global jihad movement.” Indeed, it is an important measure of counterterrorist strategy to kill the eminent ideological figures. That said, we should not overestimate the operational role of terrorist leaders.
Al-Qaida can be translated as “operational basis” or “foundation”. It also translates as “guideline” or “method”. The organization has very much changed since 9/11 from a monolithic terrorist organization with an identifiable leadership and chain of command into an amorphous “franchise company” (h/t Bruce Hoffmann) of ideologically determined partly autonomous cells.
Hoffmann presents some reminders of the West's bad record in tackling operational role of terrorist networks in “The National Interest”:
In 2004, the Israelis delivered a one-two punch against Hamas’ equivalent of Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, when they killed in succession Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and leader of Hamas, and then a month later Abdel Aziz Rantisi, his deputy and successor—yet Hamas is stronger today than it was seven years ago.
That doesn´t mean we have not reached an important goal. But there may be new...More >>
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory. Hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky, the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground, black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon, the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
And yet, we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world, the empty seat at the dinner table, children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father, parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11th, 2001 in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.
On that day, no matter where we came from, what god we prayed to,...More >>