Death of Osama bin Laden
The 2nd of May 2011 AD
Nearly 10 years after the 9-11 atrocity America finally caught up with Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad, only a short drive from Pakistanís capital Islamabad. The location and the custom-built compound in which he lived raise a number of questions that the Pakistan government or at least its security services will need to answer.
A child of wealth, Saudi-born bin Laden became at first an ally of the West, a prominent figure in the Mujahideen fight against Soviet control of Afghanistan. But it was inevitable that his zealotry would find a reason to turn on his one-time supporters. In the late 1980s he formed al-Qaeda, a new approach to terrorism: it provided or provides funding and other aid to those planning terror attacks in line with its own views. The Luxor Massacre was one such enterprise.
The name al-Qaeda became known world-wide with the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York and the concurrent attack on the Pentagon in Washington which it is thought to have organised. Thousands died; America was stunned that its home soil could be thus defiled.
With the deadly raid on his compound by US Navy SEALS America can hope that the threat against it has reduced or will do so. Time will tell if the demise of Osama bin Laden is in turn a death-blow for his al-Qaeda network or the spark for a resurgence of terror attacks; the end of a vicious and violent episode; or a rallying call for new recruits to prolong it.
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