Contrary to the understanding of some pundits, the death of Osama Bin Laden is not going to bring peace to the world. Considering that Al Qaeda is the mother ship with many tentacles, it is not hard to see that there could very easily be renewed terrorist activity in many countries.
The manner in which the operation went down is interesting, almost like something from a James Bond film, except that the Bond villains do not normally use their wives as a human shield like the coward Osama Bin Laden. It took something like six months, after the US learned of the verification of the compound before the signal was given for this action. It was a covert action, where the Pakistani government was not informed that it would take place. The operatives were 24 Navy seals plus CIA agents. Several women and children were taken into custody. Also killed in the raid was one of Bin Laden’s sons, as well as at least two of his aides and couriers. However, I wonder if it was possible for this to have happened a lot sooner. Did they really need another 6 months to take this action? If word had reached the ISI that the Americans had found Bin Laden, do you think that he might have remained in that compound? Does anyone really believe that the Pakistani military did not know that Bin Laden was in their midst?
India reacted by stating yet again that Pakistan authorities must have known of his presence. India has remained a constant critic of the role of the Pakistani authorities in acts of terrorism, especially after the Mumbai massacre carried out by a group with links to Al Qaeda. You can read more at this link.
The reaction in the streets of Saudi Arabia is mixed for example, with some expressing that they considered Bin Laden to be some sort of hero. Online there are jihadists who are vowing and plotting revenge. Indonesia is bracing for more terrorism. One of the disciples of Bin Laden, Abu Bakr Bashir is currently on trial for his own terrorist activities. In case you did not know, Abu Bakr Bashir is a Yemeni imam who has been behind the increase in terrorism in Indonesia and is widely seen as the mastermind of the Bali bombings. He was not found guilty for his involvement but he spent too short a period in jail. He then went back to his training camp activity, that has since led to an upsurge of bombings in Indonesia. The Indonesian group Jaamat al Islamiyah (I think I have the correct name) is a part of the Al Qaeda network. In India there is a group with a similar name. The Mumbai massacre was carried out by a Pakistani (and American) group associated with Osama Bin Laden. There are also groups in the Philippines with the same links to Osama Bin Laden. In Africa there is a similar story.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has welcomed the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden. Something like 224 people, mostly Kenyans were murdered in the twin bombings at US embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania. The al-Shabab militant group which controls much of southern Somalia is closely linked to Al Qaeda.
The BBC news reports that in Africa there is much cheering of the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. Kenya’s Prime minister Raila Odinga is amongst those hailing the death of Osama bin Laden:
“Osama’s death can only be positive for Kenya, but we need to have a stable government in Somalia,” Raila Odinga told Reuters news agency.
“The loss of its [al-Qaeda’s] leader may first upset the movement but then it will regroup and continue.”
On the other hand, the leader of Al-Shabab is vowing revenge with “destructive explosions”. Yet some Somali women’s groups are thanking the US because they say that he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of women and children in the country of Somalia, especially in Mogadishu.
Tanzania’s Prime Minister said that the news was a relief but the fight to bring the perpetrators to justice is far from over.
Another Al Qaeda linked group has been operating in north and west Africa and has staged attacks on Algeria, Niger and Mali. It is possible that they will be out for revenge.
The Prime Minister of Mali made the following comment:
Mr Maiga also said that he hoped Bin Laden’s death would make negotiations currently going on to free five western hostages held by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb easier, as some hostage-takers have previously referred mediators to Bin Laden.
The Australian ABC has a video report from a correspondent of Al Jazeera at this link. I think that it is worthwhile watching the interview and getting an idea about reactions to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Certainly you will find that the gathered crowd behind the correspondent is not raging but just standing around. Please not that he mentioned that there has been a report of a bombing attack in the nearby SWAT valley. He also mentioned that thousands of Pakistanis have died at the hands of these terrorists (yet the government has been sheltering them). Here is a link to a good BBC report. Please note the comment from the Pakistani soldier. At a guess I think that he is an Islamist. Also note the number of men in the village that wear those white garments. Here is another BBC report that addresses the issue of what lies ahead.
At this link the Pakistan Taliban is vowing revenge for the death of Osama Bin Laden stating that the Pakistani President Zardari and the army will be their first targets and America will also be a target. Keep in mind that there are a lot of Pakistanis in the USA, just like there are a lot of Pakistanis in Australia.