Osama Dead. Are we safe now?


Osama's Death: Symbolic victory for Justice! (Image Courtesy: AP/Getty Images)

“Justice has been done,” President Barack Obama announced in a press conference and declared the success of the US army which managed to kill the most dreaded terrorist of the world in a military operation in the city of Abbottabad in Pakistan. The mastermind of 9/11 terror strike, who defied all the efforts by world’s strongest army and the intelligence for more than 9 years, was the most wanted terrorist of the world and his death has brought cheers to many. Ecstatic celebrations in US were reported even though it was late in night in the country when the  biggest news of this year broke. Not just for the US, people of most of the countries may feel relieved now as the elusive Al Qaeda leader met his end.

Osama was found in a luxurious mansion

But the incident raises a few telling questions. It is said that the information about this US operation was not shared with the Pakistan authorities. U.S. officials said that Pakistani authorities were told the details of the raid after it had taken place. Why the US army did not trust the local authority for helping in the operation? The Pakistan has also raised the question of sovereignty and dubbed this attack as a threat to the its sovereignty. Effort seen as to counter the criticism of hiding Osama. Again the city of Abbottabad is around 100 km away from the Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad. It is indeed interesting that Pakistani agencies claim that they had no idea about Osama’s presence in an urban area so near to the capital. General Pervez Musharraf has expressed his surprise over the news that Osama was in Abbottabad. Can the Pak intelligence be so inept? Or did Pakistan hide Osama in its own territory as speculated by experts? Whatever may Pakistan’s response be, there is obvious cloud over Pakistan’s credibility. This may also strain its relationship with the US. This also substantiate India’s age old allegations against the Pakistan that its soil is used by the terror organistations growth. The most notorious terrorist of the world was able to defy the US administration for 9 years and 7 months and now if he is found in Pakistan, it can’t be believed that Pakistan had no clue about Laden’s movements. Sudden arrest of Osama’s six children, two wives in Pakistan after Osama’s death also gives credence to the allegations that Pakistan was very much aware about Osama’s place. It is anybody’s guess that Osama survived for all these years thanks to the Pakistan army patronage.

But the bigger question is: are we any safer after Osama’s death? Is this the end of Jihad? Will there be no more killings of innocents  in the name of holy religious war? The answer may not be a very positive one. True, this symbolic victory will go down in the history as an golden moment in the counter-terrorism operation. But is it going to help in the long run? Perhaps not. World terrorism scenario had already moved on beyond Osama. Al Qaeda’s succession plans were ready much before. New terrorists have already assumed the leadership role. Ayman al-Zawahri, Ilyas Kashmiri and many others have risen in last few years to take it from Osama. It is noteworthy that Osama’s health had kept him away from the intense planning and execution of Al Qaeda’s plans. He was not so active for last several years but the terror activities hadn’t slowed down. It was because Al Qaeda was already on its future game plan as they had realised that they had to move beyond Osama in near future. In that context, Osama’s killings may not be anything more than closure for the 9/11 and other attack victims. In fact, as I am writing this news of Taliban leaders threatening revenge for their leader’s death is coming. Killing of Osama may also act as a catalyst for the violence mongers instead of a deterrent. It was being reported for few years that Osama and Al Qaeda had some bigger plans in the pipeline and it won’t be surprising at all if Al Qaeda expedites those plans.

Terrorism has grown to such an extent that it is almost impossible to contain it at this point. Though the end of Osama has given us a reason to feel good, practically it will not help the anti-terrorism cause in the long term. No, we are still not safe. 😦

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5 thoughts on “Osama Dead. Are we safe now?

  1. Hi,
    You have tackled a very important issue through this post. The question of terrorism is however, just the tip of the ice berg. Am jot a big fan of conspiracy theories, but at times we should hear them out…
    Its a fact that America helped Mujahideen against USSR.
    Operation Northwood was targeted against its own people.
    US has promoted the idea of “good taliban” and “bad taliban”… basically, a taliban that listens to US and one that doesn’t!
    US isn’t against dictatorship unless there is a mass revolution, or the situation becomes unsuitable to US… we all know about saddam hussein, and more recently, Hosni Mubarak.
    Why are there still troops is Afghanistan and Iraq if Osama was in pakistan and US intelligence knew about it?
    The point is, Osama died because he had become inconvenient… even crusades weren’t a religious war after all! It doesn’t mean the end of terrorism… “ideologies”, religious or otherwise can never generate such huge destruction or followings unless backed by money and state support. We are living in an era of state sponsored terrorism, and well… the Indian government should do a rethink as far as salwa judum is considered.

  2. I am actually skeptical on Barack Obama’s words “Justice has been done”. It is not possible, Pakistan not knowing Osama was hiding in a 5star luxurious mansion.

  3. You have raised a very valid point. Terrorism doesnt end just coz osama is gone. but the most famous face of terrorism has fallen only to yield they way for new ones.

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