First published on May 03, 2011
Osama Bin Ladin, the symbol of terrorism and the most feared man on the earth, is killed in an exchange of fire with a group of 20-25 US Special forcesin a dramatic secret mission conducted in the city of Abbottabad, some 35 miles north of Islamabad. The most wanted terrorist in the world is dead now(having a reward of US $ 25 million on his head), much to the relief and jubilation of the civilized world. The DNA tests have confirmed that it was indeed him that was killed in this highly sophisticated operation conducted inside Pakistan, when 4 helicopters of USA taking-off from a base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan and flying for 40 minutes in Af-Pak air-space, reached the target in Pakistan and hit it with such precision that a woman and a 12 years old girl who were used as a shield to protect himself ( the same way as HAMAS and Al-FATAH use children to protect themselves), were left miraculously saved.
The world leaders have expressed their satisfaction and joy over the demise of OBL. The world is unanimous in expressing its satisfaction over this long awaited good news. Only some extremist-cum-terrorist groups like Taliban and Hamas have condemned this killing. Taliban have termed him a martyr and vowed to revenge Pakistan and USA. But the first target will be Pakistan. Hamas praised him as an Arab Holy Warrior. Because, he always supported the terrorists groups like Hamas and Al-Fatah in Palestine and called for ‘jihad’ against Jews.
Nobel Laureate Israeli President termed him a Maga-murderer. ”Bin Laden was one of the biggest murderers in history and he received his sentence. The world can breathe a sigh of relief at seeing the punishment he received, despite the fact that justice was late in coming,” he added. It is a stange coincidence that on the same day another enemy No-1 of Israel has been wiped out of the face of the earth, much to the relief of the Jews around the world who were paying tributes to 6 million Jewish victims, on the Holocaust Heroism & Rememebrance Day (YOM HASHOAH, 27 Nissan).
Pakistani Government reaction was again confused and based on lies. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry Spokesman in a communiqué said that Pakistani government was not involved in this American-led Military operation, while the Prime Minister Yousof Raza Gilani confirmed on the same day that Pakistan helped co-ordinate it. Following its track-record of double timing both the Pakistani public and the US government, Pakistan seems to be walking on both sides of the divide. ISI-fed media of Pakistan tried to create doubts about this high-profile death by releasing false photoshop-forged pictures of Osama Bin Ladin. This was deliberately done to create confusion and uncertainty about the authenticity of the death of OBL by American forces. Questions have been raised in the Western media and diplomatic circles about the presence of OBL in a fortress like compound just in front of Pakistan Military Academy, KAKUL. How is it possible that a high profile target like OBL was living here without the knowledge of ISI of Pakistan ? Who was suppose to protect or guard him at this very safe and heavily guarded military garrison town? Was it possible for the terrorist No-1 of the world to stay there without the protection and connivance of Pakistani Military or ISI? The suspicions are further augmented when back in 2004, ISI traced Abul Faraj Al-Libi just a few houses away from this compound. But he escaped before being arrested. So, evidence show that OBL was in the area for quite some time. If we force ourselves to believe the government version of the situation that ISI or Military had no information about the real location of OBL, the question arise as to are we capable enough to protect our Nuclear Assets from Terrorists, who are lavishly living in fortress like houses in the military garrisons close to the Nuclear weapons sites? It represent a real doomsday scenario, if it is true? Americans have to take the recent statement of Karzai very seriously in which he ridiculed the US for wasting its time in Afghanistan while the real threat is on the other side of the border. The argument forwarded by some experts that OBL was crossing the Af-Pak border every now and then is not credible as it is close to impossible to cross it without being detected by heavy Surveillance of US Drones in the region.
Many high profile Al-Qaida leaders have been arrested in the heavy populated cities of Pakistan authenticate the claims of Americans that ISI is closely co-operating with the Terrorists groups. Khalid Sheikh Muhammed was arrested in Rawalpindi, Abu Zubaida in Faisalabad, Ramzi Bin Al Shibha in Karachi, Mustafa Abu Al Yazid, and Abul Faraj Al Libi from Mardan. Similarly, Afghan Taliban leaders were also found hiding in Karachi and other cities of Punjab. Most important of all these terrorists were recovered from the houses of Ex-Army officers.
CONSEQUENCES FOR PAKISTAN:
US doubt the fact that such a high profile target could live in Pakistan un-spotted by Pakistani Military or ISI. These doubts and questions have been raised by US and other Western powers immediately after the digging out and subsequent killing of the most wanted man on the earth in a military garrison town of Abbottabad. To pacify the Western public opinion, Pakistan harp the tune that OBL was eliminated in a joint-Pak-US. On the other hand, it has distanced itself from this operation conducted by US to avoid the wrath of its public which seems to have sympathies with OBL as well as the Taliban on both sides of Af-Pak border. People have started asking questions as to the utility of such a huge Army costing more than RS. 600 Billion plus public money? How come US so easily violated the sovereignty of Pakistan and entered its territory and conducted such high profile operation? So, it seems that the policies of double timing (of US and Taliban)of Pakistani Military and ISI are going to back-fired now and Pakistan seems to be between the two fires. Americans can say and rightly so that almost all the Al-Qaida terrorists have been traced in Pakistan which means that Pakistan is providing safe-heavens to these terrorists. So, USA will be justified to continue to conduct hot-pursuit operations and drone attacks in Pakistani territory, whether they like it or not. Americans will be justified in fighting a new war in Pakistan rather than Afghanistan in the days to come.
Talibans have already termed Pakistan enemy No-1 and the first target to be attacked. The same day an IED device went off in Charsadda in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province resulting in the killing of 4 and injuring of several others. So, many more revenge attacks are expected in different parts of Pakistan particularly against Military personnel and Installations in the near future.
THE KILLING SHOWS AMERICAN RESOLVE:
Americans have amply demonstrated to the world that whoever kill the US citizens will have to pay for it, sooner or later. Dead or Alive, as Bush (a Republican) said during his stunt as President was accomplished by a Democratic President today. They have shown their commitment and un-wavering resolve to bring to justice(dead or alive) all those who have harmed Americans.
Now, the US Administration is confronted with a billion dollar question, what to do with the mother of all evil, the ISI of Pakistan? It is ISI which is supporting, financing, training and providing safe heavens to the terrorists groups including Taliban, who are killing US and Allied forces in Afghanistan. It is ISI which is fighting an asymmetrical war in the form terrorism in to achieve strategic depth in Afghanistan, create troubles for India and make the world unsafe through its proxies like Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Muhammed and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (having close links with Al-Qaida). It is ISI which is a regional spoiler (Central and South Asia) and de-stabilizing factor in the world peace. So, Americans have to decide once and for all that if they want to eliminate or reduce terrorism on the face of the earth they will have to focus on the Mother of Terrorism (ISI). The fire-fighting and ad-hoc policies and strategies will not work. This point view of mine is supported by the analysis of Jane Perlez, who in his article published in NewYork Times on May 2, 2011 says, “he was killed in Abbottabad, a city of about 500,000, in a large and highly secured compound that, a resident of the city said, sits virtually adjacent to the grounds of a military academy”. The article further says quoting Amrullah Saleh, the former intelligence director for Afghanistan and a fierce foe of Pakistan, “The fundamental challenge is how does the West treat Pakistan from now on?” Guardian in UK , has released the extracts from WikiLeaks, alleging that the US ranks the ISI alongside al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It seems that the US Patience is waning and it is expressing its anger now in public which it used to express in private.
POST OSAMA BIN LADIN ERA:
The killing of the OBL is of course a big victory for the peace loving world. But, many questions are propping up in the minds of civilized world as to whether the war on terrorism is won? By killing the Father of Terrorism, if the whole terrorist network is dismantled or it still exist or it may become more dangerous in future? Some of the die-hard terrorists like Ayman Azawahiri are still alive. They can become a more dangerous enemy who want to take revenge. So, America and Europe have to be vigilant to detect and counter any future terrorist attacks on the Western targets inside and abroad. The Muslim world is more unsafe and exposed to the danger of terrorism as the terrorists have found a high profile martyr now. So, OBL death will incite and motivate more emotional and ill-educated, indoctrinated and brainwashed Muslim youth to attack the Muslims countries which are considered to be helping Western powers in the war against terrorism. There are possibilities that the new Al-Qaida leadership will be more radical and will abandon the policy of not attacking the Muslim countries. So, this death can become a major factor of instability and insecurity in the Muslim world. The prime targets for Al-Qaida new leadership seem to be Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. We cannot neglect the facts and figures that Al-Qaida has killed 8 times more Muslims than non-Muslims.
HIS LIFE &LEGACY:
Born in a rich Saudi Family in 1957 at Riyadh, Bin Laden graduated from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He frequented night clubs at early days of his youth. Like other rich Saudi spoilt youth, he gambled in casinos, consumed alcohol, and was involved in brawls due to his hyper-temperament. Women, Wine and Wealth that was all he knew at that time. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan changed his out-look of the world when he joined Mujahedeen groups fighting a holy war in Afghanistan. He moved to Sudan in 1991, when Saudi Arabia revoked his nationality on account of his criticism of Saudi Monarchy on account of its pro-US policies.
He started establishing a network of Islamic fundamentalists all over the world in countries like Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Yemen, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Turkey and several western countries.
The list of his terrorist targets and acts is very long but we will pin-point some here :
- The twin towers attacks of 9/11.
- Times Square aborted car-bomb attempt of May 2010, using a Pakistani named Faisal Shehzad. (trainded by TTP an Ally of Al-Qaida)
- 26/11 Mumbai attacks conducted by Lashkar-e-Taiba of Pakistan in 2008. (A Pakistani terrorist group having links with Al-Qaida)
- London Bombing attacks of 7 July 2005.
- Madrid train blasts of March 2004.
- Bali night club bombing in October 2002.
7. USS Cole bombing of 2000.
- Well-co-ordinated Bombing of US Embassies in Kenja and Tanzania in 1998.
- Bombing of Khobar Towers in Dhahran, in 1996.
- Assassination attempt on President Mubarak of Egypt in 1995.
11. Egyptian Embassy car-bomb attack of 1995.
- Assisting and traininig Taliban in establishing an Islamic Khilafat in Afghanistan 1996. (along with ISI)
- The pre-Bin Ladin era of Terrorism was country specific and ethnic based. (IRA in Ireland, ETA in Spain and Tamil Tigers in Sri lanka). OBL internationalized this phenomenon by glorifying it as a religious holy war, motivating , indoctrinating and brainwashing youth from Muslim countries influenced by radical Wahabist interpretation of Islam. He further demonized the phenomenon of terrorism through horrible acts of terrorism creating a sense of fear, insecurity and lawlessness around the world. He succeeded in turning terrorism into a war of civilizations where the West and the Muslim world seemed at logger-head. He can be termed the fountain head of the Islamist-inspired terrorism in the world. He was a real embarrassment to the Muslim world. It will take a long time for the Muslim world to recover from the damage he has done to their religion and culture.
The continuing carnage , bomb blasts and suicide attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan against military and civilian targets caused fear and instability in the whole region. After his death, Pakistan will remain the prime target of the Al-Qaida network, as the followers of OBL think it is Pakistan which assisted US in locating and killing him. So, the coming days and months are very crucial for the security and stability of already de-stabilized Pakistan. The civilized world has to be vigilant as different Islamic movements(influenced by Al-Qaida) in the Arab and non-Arab Muslim world and sleeping cells of Al-Qaida will continue to threaten the peace and stability of the World.
Note: (We will not touch the controversies raised by some writers that OBL was killed immediately after 9/11 or in December 2007 in the mountains of Tora Bora)
Copyright © Fazal ur- Rehman Afridi, 2011