On Sunday, 1 May 2011, Bin Laden was finally killed during a gun battle with US Special Forces, according to press reports
. Bin Laden was shot in his chest and head twice before dying. Bin laden and his al-Qaeda operatives became famous for their terrorists operations on Western targets worldwide. Analysis of Al-Qaeda’s objectives, al Qaeda’s roots, Bin Laden’s leadership, and his death indicate that future terrorist attacks are coming to North America, Europe, and Israel.
Analysts assess that terrorist attacks will increase in the US and elsewhere worldwide because of the killing of bin Laden by US Special Forces operating in Pakistan. Terrorism experts make several judgments related to al-Qaeda’s strategy against America. First, al-Qaeda operatives may seek to strike American citizens living in major cities, remote regions, harbors, airports, and seaports. Second, they may continue entering the US through America’s southern border. Third, they could continue acquiring more weapons of mass destruction (WMD) such as chemical, biological, and dirty nuclear (NBC) weapons to execute lethal attacks on their Western targets. Fourth, they will attempt to permanently destroy the positive relationship existing between the US and Pakistan by increasing anti-Americanism and Islamic radicalism within Pakistan and elsewhere. Additionally, they will probably attempt to assassinate President Barack Hussein Obama in retaliation for the death of their charismatic leader.
Al-Qaeda means the base in Arabic and it is a terrorism global network created to conduct holy wars against non-Muslim nations. Al-Qaeda’s roots can be traced to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when thousands of Muslims, including bin Laden, joined the Afghan resistance forces. The 10-year war was a rallying point for Muslim extremists worldwide. The group knows no national boundaries, though certain nations, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, were known to be al-Qaeda strongholds. Led by the elusive and charismatic Bin Laden (1957-2011), who was a wealthy Saudi exile, the group conducted terrorist training programs in several Islamic nations and it was funded by Muslim loyalists worldwide.
Osama Bin Laden
Before his death, Osama bin Laden was the primary person in charge of Al-Qaeda, which remains a broad-based Islamic extremist movement caught up in many terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other Western nations. He was the son of a wealthy Saudi family. He joined the Muslim resistance in Afghanistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion of that country. He became enraged at the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War and, through a network of like-minded Muslim militants he formed al-Qaeda and launched a series of terrorist attacks.
Under bin Laden’s direction, al-Qaeda attacks included the bombings of the World Trade Center in New York City during 1993 (injuring US civilians), the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 (killing 258 people and injuring 5,000 people), and the U.S. warship Cole in Aden (killing and injuring US military personnel), Yemen, during 2000. As a self-educated Islamic scholar, bin Laden issued several legal opinions calling on Muslims to conduct jihad against the U.S., and during 2001 a group of militants under his instructions launched the 11 September, attacks, which led to the deaths of approximately 3,000 people. The U.S. subsequently demanded bin Laden’s extradition from Afghanistan, where he was sheltered by Mullah Omar’s Taliban militia army. Following the collapse of the Taliban, bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda operatives went into hiding and departed to Pakistan, where he was sheltered and probably protected by the Pakistani government. Portions of al-Qaeda’s operatives re-establish themselves in Yemen.
Bin Laden’s Death
Finally, Bin Laden’s death means that he will be worshiped as a Muslim martyr by militant Sunni Muslims worldwide. His death will ignite the Islamic fever to encourage Sunni Muslims worldwide to conduct jihad against the US, Israel, and the European community. Al-Qaeda’s patience reminds analysts that it is only a matter of when and where al-Qaeda will make its next major strike against the “infidels.”
Middle East Conflict: Fourth Edition; Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D.; 2008.
Middle East Conflict: Second Edition; Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D.; 2003.
Middle East Conflict: First Edition; Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D.; 2000.
The Middle East; Craig S. Davis, PhD; 2003.
Understanding Islam; Yahiya Emerick; 2002.
U.S. Military History; John C. McManus, PhD; 2008.
World History; Timothy C. Hall, M; 2008.