Osama bin Laden is Dead

Chris Blackburn

Chris Blackburn

Chris Blackburn is a political analyst and writer based in the UK. He worked as a junior team member for the US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (Intelcon 2005), which was organised by Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick; who were both members of the US National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission).

He’s dead. May 2ndwill be a day which is ingrained in world history. Osama bin Laden was involved in major terrorist atrocities throughout the globe. He has finally been silenced; almost a decade after the 9/11 attacks. We should applaud the courage and professionalism of the United States forces for being able to track down and plan the assassination of the perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks. The audacious helicopter attack and Special Forces raid on bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan has shown that armed with excellent intelligence- justice can be swift.

Al-Qaeda and its associates have been dealt two potentially lethal blows in the last few months. The first being the Arab Spring; the popular movement for democracy and dignity in the Middle East. The second major blow being the arrest of high-value operatives from Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The popular revolutions in the Middle East have sucked the life out of the Jihadi movement. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have tried to get support from Muslim populations, but they never wanted to connect with radical Islamism when it acted as a political movement. The people certainly didn’t support Islamism as a jihadi movement. The clash of civilisations didn’t occur. Bin Laden’s real support was largely synthetic, in the eyes of Western media who hyperventilated when looking at Pew polls from the Muslim world. In reality the support was actually quite small. However, his impact on international relations and events was immense. Jihadi violence continues to box well above its political weight.

State support for the bin Laden networks shouldn’t be overlooked. The Pakistani lobby in the US and Europe are already playing down Pakistan’s culpability in sheltering bin Laden. Their spinning will mainly fall on deaf ears in future. Husain Haqqani, the Pakistani Ambassador to the US will feel ostracised and his lobbyists, which are made up of ex-CIA figures, think-tanks and former US diplomatic staff; will feel very dejected in the Beltway in Washington D.C. The inability of the majority of terrorism experts to link al-Qaeda to a wider state intelligence and political networks has been a major problem which has often affected policy. Pakistan is, and always was, the main epicentre of global terrorism and President Obama’s national security team has been vindicated this week.

The Indian government officials and opinion makers, who are accused of a natural bias against Pakistan, have often claimed that former Chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence Hamid Gul and others in the Pakistani security establishment have been sheltering bin Laden and his associates. It is still early days, but they appear to have been vindicated. They told us so. Wikileaks’ Gitmo Files has also showed us the duplicity and cowardice of the Bush era for failing to take Pakistan to task even when they covertly labelled Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as akin to a terrorist organisation. President Obama should be applauded for publicly challenging the cowardice of the Bush national security team and the diplomats under them.

In light of the democratic revolutions in the Middle East the Muslim Brotherhood has taken a major blow to its status. Osama bin Laden and leading figures in al-Qaeda were members of the supposedly ‘moderate’ Islamist fundamentalist group. The Muslim Brothers mainly recieve public backing for being an opposition movement to the corrupt regime of former President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians had only two choices, but now Mubarak has gone things have changed.

The Muslim Brothers will become ostracised because they played little role in the peaceful uprisings in Tahrir Square. They missed their opportunity to seize the moment because they are out of step with the national psyche and the immerging body politic in the Middle East. However, they still have immense financial backing from rich Gulf States and is increasingly receiving overtures from Turkey.[1] They will have to conform to a new political landscape in Egypt. They will have little choice but to moderate and start providing real answers to social, economic and cultural problems.

The second major development which effects al-Qaeda and global jihad is the capture of Umar Patek, an Indonesian who is linked to the Bali bombings in 2002. Patek was also linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah/Kompak network in Southeast Asia.[2]A network which we’ve previously wrote about in-depth. It was setup by  the late Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden. Muslim Aid UK and al-Haramain, two Islamic charities helped to provide logistics and cover.  The network has connections in Pakistan and Western Europe. Patek was arrested in Abbottabad, the same town which Osama bin Laden has now made infamous, in January earlier this year.

Tahir Shehzad was also arrested in Abbottabad. He is an al-Qaeda facilitator in same area; working in a post-office in Abbottabad.[3]He is a Pakistani national. It must be pointed out that Pakistan authorities successfully arrest the pair through careful intelligence work which came from a CIA tip-off. Shehzad is believed to have been one of the major links which helped to lead to the arrest of Patek and the final US assault on Osama bin Laden. I’m guessing that the international media, Australia especially, will soon begin to focus sharply on Umar Patek and his ability to evade capture since 2002. The reaction of the Pakistani and Indonesian governments to these developments will be crucial to understanding the development of the modern jihadi phenomenon.

The evidence that bin Laden was sheltering in the heart of Pakistan raises more questions than answers. Pakistan’s long-term support for al-Qaeda and their control of the Afghan-Arabs should be put under greater scrutiny especially its role in supporting global jihad in the Balkans and Central Asia during the 1990s. Bin Laden came to Afghanistan in 1996 and took over Pakistan’s international brigades in the following year. Bin Laden’s interference in Pakistani elections in the 90s must also be looked at in greater detail. The duplicity and claims for Pakistan’s strategic depth should now cause the country great embarrassment. Pakistan runs on conspiracy theories. It will be interesting how far-right media personalities try to spin the news of bin Laden being killed in a Pakistani garrison town.

Monday was a great day for countering the threat of revolutionary Islamism. It will make the world safer in the long run, not just because Osama bin Laden is dead, but it raises serious question about Pakistan’s continuing support for the development of the Afghan-Arabs. Haqqani and Hekmatyar’s network are both believed to be controlled by the ISI. They have enjoyed support since the early 1970s when they raged against Pakistan’s enemies in Afghanistan years before the Soviet invasion. Pakistan moderates who are challenging the likes of Hamid Gul, the former DG-ISI need direct Western help and our direct moral support. Pakistan for all its faults has the right to become a good democracy and allow its citizens to live with peace and dignity.

Monday, May 2nd2011 is the day when the court of international opinion helped moderate Pakistanis tip the balance with enough evidence to successfully start to tackle dark forces inside their country. It was the day Pakistan is hopefully going to start its own revolutionary summer. It’s going to be bloody as Jamaat-i-Islami and other al-Qaeda linked political parties have been calling for a counter-Islamic revolution which is an anti-thesis to the majority of Pakistan’s citizens’ hopes. But, with former Pakistani President Musharraf saying that the raid on bin Laden was a, “violation of Pakistani sovereignty, our sensitivity,” it’s obviously going to be an extremely long road. But, one of the major leaders of jihadi terror has been stopped. A good development.


Chris Blackburn is a political analyst and writer based in the UK. He worked as a junior team member for the US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (Intelcon 2005), which was organised by Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick; who were both members of the US National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). He then went on to become a track leader for the Intelligence Summit 2006, which focused on the deteriorating security situation in Bangladesh and South Asia. Chris has briefed journalists on extremist movements and terrorism. He has also worked with productions teams from BBC’s Panorama and Channel 4’s Dispatches. He has also written for David Horowitz’s Frontpagemag.com, The Spittoon, The Weekly Durdesh and others.

8 Responses to “Osama bin Laden is Dead”

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    K Ali

    Mr Riki, why shouldnt you prove that he is still alive?

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    I am glad that he finally has been taken out. A murderer and a terrorist like him came to South Asia as a mercenary to promote his version of perverted Islam. He killed innocent people in thousands at will while he himself bred many children from multiple wives. He valued his own life while showing total disrespect for lives of others.He got exactly what he deserved.He badly damaged the image of Islam.

    Bangladesh also was affected by his evil deeds when he sent terrorists from Afghanistan to carry out his misinterpretation of Islam in Bangladesh between 1980 and 2006. He can easily be charged for blasphemy in the eyes of Islam.

    The war is not yet over. All his couriers and deputies must be hunted down no matter where they are. Hunting down terrorists must go beyond borders and whoever has the ability must do it for global security. If so called sovereign nations harbor terrorists there should be no respect for territorial integrity of those nations. His links with state-owned intelligence agencies that collaborate with terrorist organisations must be neutralized.Countries that export terrorism must also be severely punished.

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    Adeel Rahman

    What a relief! This mad guy has been the biggest menace to civilisation. All countries should be on their toes about the origins of these mass murderers. These killers breed terrorists in lands far away from their motherland. The international community should fully screen individuals coming from those countries that produce and protect terrorists. Money trails originating from certain countries must too be aggressively hunted down just like the demons.

    I applaud the US for removing him from the face of the earth. Let this bastard and others still on the run be brought to justice and burn in hell.

    I lost my Bangladeshi relative in the 9/11 mayhem. This bastard has been responsible for killing more muslims than anyone else in history. He was evil satan in disguise.

    There’s another danger in the fact that if money falls into hands of criminals they can emerge as a scourge for humanity. What else do you expect from a coolie’s son gone astray. He should have been caught alive and fed by the great white sharks in the Great Barrier Reefs off the coast of Australia or South Africa!

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    I applaud the US for removing him from the face of the earth. Let this bastard and others still on the run be brought to justice and burn in hell.

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    Friend of Democracy

    Killing Osama, resolving nothing……


    ” …There will be no review of bin Laden’s alleged crimes, as a trial would have provided. There will be no review of earlier US support for bin Laden. There will be no review of US failures to prevent the September 11 attacks. Instead, there will be bitterness, hatred, and more violence, with the message being communicated to all sides that might makes right and murder is the way in which someone is, in President Obama’s words, brought to justice……. A decade ago torture was considered irredeemably evil. A decade ago we believed people should have fair trials before they are declared guilty or killed. A decade ago, if a president had announced his new power to assassinate Americans, at least a few people would have asked where in the world he got the power to assassinate non-Americans……”

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    Friend of Democracy


    “…. Letting bin Laden off the hook would send the wrong message to potential future criminals. Prosecuting him in court would send the right one. But what about executing him in his Pakistani home? What message does that send? Primarily, the same one that killing Davis in a Georgia prison sends: might makes right. Murder makes justice. War is peace. Life is a superhero cartoon and your government is the superhero……………
    And what does this have to do with you and me? Well, we have to live in the most violent wealthy nation on earth. We have to live in close proximity to heavily armed people thrown out of work and out of house and home, people trained to believe that violence can solve their problems, people conditioned to use violence in our foreign wars and then never reconditioned afterwards. This puts us all at risk.

    We will not solve this by picking which acts of violence to protest.

    We will solve it by opposing violence.”

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    Dear friends, countries which support extremism and extremists are the source of all misery in the world. Instead of positive approaches like building school, colleges and factories, money is used to build arsenals. Newer and deadlier missiles and weapons are developed and propagated.time all countries sat back and figured solutions to more deadly problems, like poverty, hunger and disease.

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