The long slide to oblivion for al Qaeda and its fellow travellers...
by Peter Petterson
It has been stated in various news reports that the US Obama administration is feasting on and heralding the psychological impact on al Qaeda of the loss of Osama bin Ladin. Can you blame them for what is a huge impact on international terrorism, because despite claims to the contary, he continually had his fingers in the pie in planning future terrorist attacks.
The US vast intelligence analysis machine will gorge themselves on the extensive material Osama bin Ladin left behind. The mine of digital information he gathered in his years at Abbottabad reveals him as not being remote and irrelevant as many claimed, but actually meticulously connected to the al Qaeda rank and file and still determined to destroy the US and its western allies.
While he may have been deluded about US society, he was endlessly inventive with schemes to throw it into chaos; he may have thought US society was still struggling with the aftermath of 9/11, not realising it had moved on and had developed defensive capabilities such as the special forces attack that eliminated him.
The US has much to learn and digest about Bin Ladins future plans, including attacks on its domestic rail network in future months. Al Qaeda may not have lost its head, but certainly its brain.
The US will expect more of what has happened in recent days, suicide bombings that killed 80 and injured more than a 100 in Pakistan, and claimed by the Taleban as revenge for bin Ladin's assassination, because that is what it was in reality. Ten years late many would claim!
He may well be a martyr for al Qaeda's cause, but I feel its the beginning of a long slide to oblivion for radical Islam. The message coming out of the number of uprisings against dictatorial regimes is for democratic change, not widespread Islamic jihad and the implementation of Sharia regimes.
•Bin Laden death photos: Suit filed to see them (msnbc.msn.com)
•Porn found in bin Laden lair, officials say (msnbc.msn.com)
•NBC News: US interviews bin Laden widows (msnbc