Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Al Qaeda without bin Laden

"Despite nearly ten years of war, Al Qaeda is stronger today than when they committed the attacks of 11-S," writes Leah Farrall, a leading specialist in jihadi terrorism in the journal Foreign Affairs March- April. "Because, since he left Afghanistan for Pakistan's tribal areas, has established regional groups in the Arabian Peninsula and franchises in Iraq and the Maghreb, has many more members have a greater geographic reach and has gained influence and ideological maturity that it lacked a decade ago.

" If Farrall was right a month ago, nothing changes substantially with the death of Osama Bin Laden in the early hours (Madrid time) on Monday, May 2, in a three-story residence, with no internet or phone, with very few windows, walled and protected by barbed wire, some fifty miles from Islamabad.

The operation, led by the director (for a few days, apparently, because soon replace Robert Gates in front of the Pentagon, perhaps as a reward) of the CIA, Leo Panetta, and executed by special units of the SEAL Team Six, born of information obtained in August 2010 from a mail tracking bin Laden and the testimonies of some prisoners at Guantanamo.

In February, according to the Associated Press, citing CIA sources, Obama gave absolute priority to the surveillance operation suspicious house in a residential area near the Pakistan Military Academy and the homes of several generals of Pakistan. After five meetings of the National Security Council, on 29 April approved the intervention.

At 3.45 hours of Monday morning, Paris time (six less than in Washington), when the White House spokesman, Dan Pfeiffer, sent to major U.S. media the message "go to work", the founder of Al Qaeda was already dead, but Obama still took two hours to write and tell the world the good news.

Bin Laden's death is a great victory for the U.S. and its president, Barack Obama, who, since his election, turned the hunt for Bin Laden and changed his top priority, according to this objective, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The death of Bin Laden and the rapid disappearance of his body reduces the risk of his followers to become a martyr or try to secure their freedom through kidnapping or threats spectacular.

If Pakistan, as it seemed at first hour, was not informed of the details of the operation, would have further evidence of bad relations between the two allies, despite the billions in aid that Pakistan receives U.S. military. The place where Bin Laden was located and cleared increased suspicions that have been protected by some of the Pakistani secret services.

Is now accelerate and facilitate contacts between the Afghan government and the Taliban? Will Obama easier re-election in 2012? It is too early to answer all these questions, but certainly will be hampered to a greater or lesser extent by the death of Bin Laden. "It's not the end," Obama said, recalling the promises of his predecessor, George Bush, in the hours following the 11-S to "do justice" to the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks.

"We must remain vigilant (...) The U.S. is not at war with Islam, because Osama Bin Laden has never been an Islamic leader, but a criminal (...)". With one or other leaders, perhaps with more intensity in the coming days, weeks or months, Al Qaeda, Obama hinted-multiplied their attacks and we must be more vigilant.

He added that Bin Laden died in a shooting which claimed the life also mail the leader of Al Qaeda, his brother, one of 17 children and a woman terrorist. In the hours after the operation, Pakistan's GEO network aired footage of the burning house. A photo of the supposed corpse of Bin Laden, very distorted, published in the early hours by some media was removed immediately from circulation and could official sources confirmed that bin Laden really appropriate.

Obama promised to respect the Islamic tradition in the treatment of the corpse of the enemy number 1 in the U.S., but early in the morning, the U.S. ambassador in London said the body had been thrown into the sea. If you have not been fully clarified what happened with the corpse of Hitler, all caution on this information is low.

"It ends a chapter, but still the game," Obama said in his message to the world. In the best analysis I know of the roots of 11-S, 'Searching for the roots of 9 / 11', become an excellent documentary by CNN forced every year to see my students, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman compared to Bin Laden and his number 2, the Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri, with Trotsky.

Lenin disappeared from Al Qaeda, the more likely your attempt Trotsky happen with a message of hope to his followers in the coming hours. For Washington and its allies, the most important thing is not what we say today, tomorrow or in a few days Al Zawahiri, but what do the young Stalin on the loose from Indonesia to Morocco, and thousands of believers jihadists.

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