IS THIS END OF TERRORISM?
A book Inside the Kingdom written by Carmen Bin Laden, former sister in-law of Osama Bin Ladin few years after the 9/11 terrorist attack sponsored by Osama was insightful on who the terrorist killed this week was. Carmen was married to Yeslam, the 10th son of the Bin Laden family. That means he was like seven notches higher than Osama, the 17th son in a family where the father had over 50 of them. Yeslam, a businessman after the family line married Carmen, a Swiss woman, who lived in the Bin Laden family home for years.
Her narrative is that since she was part of the family, she knew everybody and studied everybody, including Osama. She described him as a giant, with a high frame and standing tall. Before Carmen left Saudi Arabia prior to their divorce, Osama's fourth wife who she said was in her 20's had sired seven boys for the man who would later turn international terrorist. That means Osama must have had at least 15 children then.
The evolution of Osama by her story, an event she witnessed, started in 1979 after the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The incident was a wake up call for the Arab world to rally round Afghanistan and excise them from the hands of Russia.
Osama, a passionate Arab irredentist keyed into the project and was one of the major volunteers from Saudi who fought in the war. He returned to a heroic welcome back home and somehow got drunk from the euphoria of the new-found hero's status. He pushed his luck further by fighting the government of Saudi in more ways than one over their policy and position on the Iraqi/Iranian war. At this time, he had started seeing himself as a kind of messiah of the Arab to some extent and would dabble without let in any controversy in line with his passion for an Arab that should exist without any intimidation from another world.
That led to his ouster and exile into Sudan where he started training jihadists and Islamists for his personal benefit of amassing power.
Carmen noted in her book that the day the 9/11 attack came and immediately she heard the name Bin Laden as being the mastermind, she knew instinctively that Osama had done his worst. That was the journey of the man born into wealth and royalty into the other side of life.
But the 9/11 incident was just the culmination of his earlier foray in the world of terror over years. That was about 22 years after his involvement in the Afghan/Russian war. At 44, he gave the world a shock, and at 54, he paid the price after hiding for ten years. The hunt for Osama took the US10m budget to equip the Navy SEAL elite force that hit the hit man. But beyond the snipers gunning down Osama, the US security had been taking on and taking apart the Al-Qaeda force in instalments. The final push hit home with the killing of the main man this week.
From very reliable sources, the US security put in just everything to silence its major enemy. They knew from time that killing Osama would be a strong point in registering her strength in facing up to the Osama and Al-Qaeda threat.
It did not come easy as the 9/11 Gitmo detainees squealed and gave out facts that led to the commencement of the manhunt that lasted 10 years and ended in Pakistan.
Ab initio, they never underestimated the worldwide security implications of the killing or assumed that Al-Qaeda and its international terror campaign would end as Osama is silenced.
Issues touching on Osama and the west have always had the coloration of race and religion. That is why it took so much trouble of burying Osama and the procedures they announced they adopted in the burial to reflect religious tenets. On a candid note, it would not have mattered much how Osama was buried because he was a confirmed and acclaimed terrorist involved in an act that led to the death of thousands of citizens. Terrorism is international crime and a crime against humanity at the same time.
Shredding Al-Qaeda ranks
The man that his contact led to Osama's assassination is his right hand man and a powerful Al-Qaeda operative, a Kuwaiti born agent of the terror group known as Osama's courier.
Faced with the most severe manhunt in counterterrorism in the past 10 years, the Al-Qaeda has managed to survive through propaganda even when in hiding. It has been its strong point, but international intelligence believes that with the decimation of its leadership base and the clipping of the wings of Osama, who has been the source of inspiration and financing, there is very little left of the group. It is possible the body exists more in name and through the propaganda mill than in action.
A phonecall in August last year by the US elite security squad to Sheikh Abu Ahmed, the courier, led to the tracking down of Osama. That in itself is a sign of a major crack in the ranks of the terror group. And because US had been on the project, it had in the past killed so many notable Al-Qaeda men in the course of cleaning up the blood they spilled on 9/11.
The facts reveal that Al-Kuwaiti, as the courier is known acted a mole for the US security forces to hack into the ranks of the Osama group as a trusted insider, and that link at last paid off as his facts led to Osama's killing.
A web positing said that: 'Since 9/11, intense pressure has been placed upon this core organization by the U.S. government and its allies. This pressure has resulted in the death or capture of many al Qaeda cadres and has served to keep the group small due to overriding operational security concerns. This insular group has laid low in Pakistan, and this isolation has significantly degraded its ability to conduct attacks.
The Al Qaeda core group not only has been eclipsed on the physical battlefield, over the past few years it has been overshadowed on the ideological battlefield as well.'
The backlash effect
The US intelligence no doubt will never see the end of Osama as the end of terrorism or Al-Qaeda. With the religious and race affiliation and undertone on which it projects its ideology, the body must have gone beyond an individual called Osama.
While Osama remained in hiding, the group still struck on July 7, 2005 at the heart of London where it killed over 52 persons and destroyed trains.
On December 25, 2009, the Nigerian youngster, Abdulmuttalab who was caught with an explosive on an aircraft headed for Detroit USA was linked with the Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
The belief is strong that the body exists in so many Islamic nations where it even poses a threat to the governments run by Muslims.
With the delay in the release of the pictures on the assassination of Osama, it is clear that the US understands that the assassination might trigger negative security and terrorism, threats and it decided to feel the pulse of the Arab world before acting further. The burial of Osama, according to US at a place that would not avail people (followers) the opportunity of worshipping him was a smart step in security checks.
So far, it has been divided opinion by mostly the Arab nations on the development. Some hail, while others curse USA
'Khaled Batarfi, a childhood friend who spoke to one bin Laden family member, said they hoped that the killing would not trigger retaliation by al Qaeda or its allies', said a web news report.
'The general mood in the family is that this was a page of history that has closed and that family members hope there will be no violent responses,' Batarfi said in Jeddah.'
Already, some key officials of the terror squad are listed as successors of Osama, yet with a high price on their part to pay before the whole world that views Al-Qaeda as anti-people.
It said further: 'Undoubtedly, there were jihadists planning attacks on the United States before the death of bin Laden, and there are jihadists planning attacks today. However, these individuals probably would have carried out this planning and any eventual attack – if possible – regardless of bin Laden's fate. Will groups conducting future attacks claim they were acting in retribution for bin Laden? Probably. Would they have attempted such an attack if he were still alive? Probably.'
But on a general strong scale, the killing of Osama has sent a strong statement to his group - stay out of trouble because US won't stop at anything to flush out terrorists. It would make them also know that US can assert its powers and tentacles worldwide to catch those that cause them sleepless nights.
For now, Osama could be dead, but the threat to international peace by terrorists would have waned and whittled down, but might still be far from being crushed.