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Zawahiri, in the mid-nineties, had no serious organisation behind him and he basically hitched his wagon to Bin Laden.
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Importantly, it was Bin Laden who really came up with the idea of attacking the United States. Zawahiri was very focused on overthrowing the Egyptian government. Mike was the leader of the Bin Laden unit when it was founded in Over time it changed. Bin Laden really became the leader and Zawahiri the follower. Scheuer made the case that Bin Laden remained extremely dangerous and influential only months before US military personnel killed him.
How important was Bin Laden, both as executive leader and symbolic figurehead in ? And how is Al-Qaeda getting along today? Al-Qaeda is on life support or possibly even dead.
Bin Laden founded Al-Qaeda. He ran Al-Qaeda as a dictatorship, not as a democracy. There are obviously huge differences between the Nazi Party and Al-Qaeda but there is one similarity: When you joined the Nazi party you swore a personal oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler. Similarly, joining Al-Qaeda entailed swearing a personal oath of allegiance to Bin Laden. So Al-Qaeda became a very typical charismatic organisation led by a charismatic leader, and killing him was a final nail in the coffin.
Al-Qaeda had been losing the war of ideas for years. They were absent in the Arab Spring. When Bin Laden was killed no one was carrying pictures of him in Cairo or Benghazi. Zawahiri is still living. Does he exert any real control or is he merely a titular head on the run? How does Al-Qaeda function today, if at all? Clearly some people have taken up that brand name. He was telling groups that were thinking of using the name that it could be bad for fundraising and attract a lot of negative attention.
Even Al-Qaeda in Yemen, which people say is a problem — all their plots against the United States have been foiled. So is Burke right or Scheuer? And why did you name this one? Burke is one of the leading foreign correspondents in the world. He was posted in Pakistan and spent a lot of time in Iraq.
Burke sees Al-Qaeda as more of a disorganised movement, which grew up organically in Afghanistan. I think that that is incorrect.
So Al-Qaeda was, in fact, bureaucratised. If the success of the drone programme means that we have million people in Pakistan who are irate at the United States that seems like a high price to pay. The drone programme pisses off Pakistanis across the ideological spectrum. This is about their national sovereignty and the perception that these attacks kill many civilians, which is not very true. If Canada was routinely killing mafia members in Buffalo, New York, there would be some Americans who would be pissed off that Canada was invading our air space.
Leftists in the United States and elsewhere have been surprisingly muted about the drone programme. There was a great deal of human outcry about a lack of due process at Guantanamo. Do you view what people characterise as the drone war as being in the long-term strategic interest of the United States or will Obama live to regret it?
Finally, how will Osama bin Laden go down in history?
United States of America, The Death of Osama bin Laden
What will books say about him in the West and the East? He undoubtedly changed history to some degree. He became more irrelevant over time. His ideas were proved to be wanting. He had a negative agenda, and no agenda on how to deal with political and economic problems of the Arab world. Quite the reverse. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books or even just what you say about them please email us at editor fivebooks.
Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address. Please re-enter. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. Obama called President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan to tell him about the strike after it was set in motion, and his advisers called their Pakistani counterparts. A senior Indonesian militant, Umar Patek, was arrested there earlier this year. Patek was protected by a Qaeda operative, a clerk who worked undercover at the main post office, a signal that Al Qaeda may have had other operations in the area.
The Pakistani military cordoned off the roads and alleys leading to the compound Monday. But residents of the middle-class area who were reached by phone said they had not been suspicious about the residents of the house, despite its size and the fact that very few people ever seemed to leave the compound. The American officials said they had been told to leave because of fears of kidnapping but were not tipped off to the operation.
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Indyk , vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. Al Qaeda sympathizers reacted with disbelief, anger and in some cases talk of retribution. Obama called to inform his predecessor, George W. Bush , who started the war against Al Qaeda after Sept. Obama used similar language and warned that the war against terrorists had not ended. The president was careful to add that, as Mr.
Bush did during his presidency, the United States is not at war with Islam. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity. Tell us what you think.
Videos and audio recordings of Osama bin Laden - Wikipedia
Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. The Times's Alissa J. Rubin on Afghan reactions to Osama bin Laden's death. By Adam B. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address. Please re-enter. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to.