May 3, 2011
The world became a better place on Sunday. Or did it? As people around the globe reacted to the death of Osama bin Laden, I simply wondered “What’s next?”. While I was (and am) glad that bin Laden had finally paid for his crimes, I was also very cognizant that al Qaeda still stood. Osama bin Laden was simply the face of the terrorist organization. His value in 2011 was in the fact that he was still alive and (arguably) free. His actions on September 11, 2001 had gone largely unpunished. Terrorists the world over looked to him as proof that you could take a shot at America and live to brag about it. That ended on Sunday.
But as anyone that tends a garden knows, when you pull one weed…two more will soon pop up. Bin Laden was largely a figurehead in the al Qaeda of post-9/11. He was not so much a leader as he was an inspirer. His effectiveness as a field general diminished as his flight from justice became paramount to the cause. The men that continued to wage war on anyone that thought differently are still out there. They sit in hovels and shacks assembling bombs, loading guns and plotting our demise. Their “leader” is dead and they will waste no time in attempting some form of retribution.
I would like to think that this death would force the rest to take measure of their hate. But that simply is not going to happen. It will just strengthen that hatred. It will amplify the shouts of “American infidels!”. Even if those shouts are nothing more than whispers meant to be inaudible to our listening technology and deep-cover agents. I suspect that the al Qaeda recruitment will flourish, just as our own armed services saw on September 12, 2001.
Osama bin Laden is dead! Al Qaeda is alive and well. Who will be the new face of terror.