In the short run, it seems sure that the death of Osama bin Laden will inspire attempts at revenge from the violent fanatics who followed his leadership.
But analyst Paul Cruickshank, thinks al Quaeda will not hold together without a charismatic central figure.
New York (CNN) — The killing of Osama bin Laden is “an enormously significant moment in the fight against al Qaeda terrorism,” and there is no one poised to take his place as the group’s leader, says CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank.
President Obama announced Sunday night that U.S. forces killed bin Laden in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. The strike came as the nation approaches the 10th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001, that killed almost 3,000 people in the United States.
“Even after 9/11, bin Laden continued to be the strategic guiding force for al Qaeda, signing off on the biggest operations, according to western officials,” Cruickshank, an Alumni Fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security, said in an interview.
“He was the linchpin of al Qaeda. Without him, al Qaeda could fracture. There are lots of centrifugal forces within al Qaeda, people with different ideologies and agendas. Bin Laden was able to unify them. He’s irreplaceable. There’s no one with his level of charisma, fame or visibility.”
A vicious idea thrives on despair and a sense of injustice. Dealing with real and perceived injustice in the world is the challenge.