Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Dead

This afternoon's breaking news story was about the death of al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. The details - less important to many - seem to be:

 The US and Bin Laden had declared war on each other, particularly after the terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. Since August 2010 the US has been gathering, and verifying, intelligence about the whereabouts of Bin Laden. The US sent in helicopters and troops to Abbotabad, not far from Pakistan's capital Islamabad. Special Forces troops were lowerd to the ground, and Bin Laden, his son, and 2 other men were killed. Bin Laden has been buried at sea, in a method that conforms to Islamic custom. It was all over in about 40 minutes, according to some news reports.

So much for the facts.
  • Will Bin Laden's death make a difference? It has lifted the spirit of America & its people, many of whom rejoiced in New York, and Washington. To terrorism? Probably not, especially if Bin Laden had a succession plan. Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahri, reputed to have planned significant terrorist attacks could possible take over. Also, al Qaeda is not just one organisation - there are 'branches' in other Islamic countries, with their own leaders; it is known to have influenced other terrorist attacks, including the Bali bombings in Indonesia.
  • Will al Qaeda still be active? Yes. But despite the bleatings of leaders under pressure from popular uprisings in Egypt, Lybia, Yemen, and other Islamic countries, these uprisings are not al Qaeda's doing. No-one, in or out of, those countries beleives that. They are popular uprisings by people seeking freedoms, justice and democracy, all of which are an anathema to terrorists.
  • Did Bin Laden die a martyr's death? His followers and some analysts would have us believe so. But there is another possibility. Bin Laden could have realised the raid was likely to capture him, and determined that he would not be captured, interrogated, and tried for crimes against humanity. In effect, he could have decided to commit "suicide by cop". Islamic law, and Quranic writings, seem to say that a person commiting suicide cannot enter paradise! If Bin Laden determined to die, even by "suicide by cop" then he will go to Jahannum, Islamic hell.