How the Death of a Mega Terrorist Affects Jihad

In the context of the “Arab spring,” bin Laden’s killing is another major setback for the jihadist strategy in the Arab world.

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May 25, 2011 10:52
4 minute read.
Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden cartoon 311 (do not publish again). (photo credit: AVI KATZ)

 
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THE TARGETED ASSASSINATION OF OSAMA BIN Laden in Pakistan in early May will not stop Islamist terror. In the short term, it could actually spark an escalation in the form of a string of attempted revenge attacks. But in the longer term, the impact on international terror could be significant.

True, on both the operational and PR levels bin Laden had not been active for years. In 2005, he handed the leadership in the key Iraqi and Levant (al-Sham) theaters to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who played a major jihadist role until his assassination by the Americans a year later. Moreover, for years bin Laden’s deputy, the Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been the real strategic engine behind what remains of the crippled al-Qaida hard-core.

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