Osama dead but not terrorism, say US experts (Second Lead)May 1st, 2012 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 1 (IANS) Terrorism was not dead and Pakistan remains its hotbed, said American analysts amid a political row over the alleged politicisation of the dramatic raid that killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden a year ago.
While President Barack Obama and his Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney traded barbs Monday over his handling of the first anniversary of the May 2 raid on bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, analysts also highlighted the terrorist group’s growth in North Africa and the Middle East.
Rejecting criticism that he was politicising the anniversary, Obama referred to a difference between what Romney said about going after bin Laden during his 2008 presidential campaign as opposed to now.
Asked about Romney’s comments earlier in the day that the decision to go after bin Laden was a clear one and that “even Jimmy Carter would” have made the call, he said at the White House: “I assume that people meant what they said when they said it.”
“That’s been at least my practice. I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did. If there are others who said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, I’d go ahead and let them explain.”
Romney’s spokesperson, Andrea Saul, responded in a statement that Obama was using the anniversary of bin Laden’s death as “a cheap political ploy” that she said distorted Romney’s policies on fighting terrorism.
The war of words around the bin Laden death anniversary started last week when Obama’s campaign made it an issue in a Web ad that questioned whether Romney would make the same call in the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, Richard N. Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations said the killing of Osama bin Laden constitutes a significant victory over global terrorism, but any celebration needs to be tempered by two realities.
First, terrorism is a decentralised phenomenon - in its funding, planning, and execution. Second, Pakistan, home of some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, is decidedly less than a full partner in the war against terror, he said
Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer now at the Brookings Institution, agreed that bin Laden’s death “was a setback to Al Qaeda, but the Islamic terror organization remains a potent threat around the world”.
“It’s on the defensive, but it’s far from defeated,” he said.
Another former CIA official, Reuel Marc Gerecht, now a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, said, “I don’t think his death fundamentally affects the future of jihadist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
Author Seth Jones, a senior political scientist at the Rand Corp, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal titled, “Al Qaeda Is Far From Defeated”, made a similar case, highlighting the terrorist group’s growth in North Africa and the Mideast.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)
- Osama dead but terrorism far from over, say US experts (Lead) - May 01, 2012
- A year after Osama's killing, terrorism far from dead - May 01, 2012
- Year after Osama, world still unsafe - May 01, 2012
- 'Bin Laden death won't stop war': Ex Guantanamo Bay detainee Habib - May 02, 2011
- Osama's death, Middle East uprisings a significant blow to Al-Qaeda: US officials - May 04, 2011
- Al Qaeda determined to make 'new history': report - Apr 30, 2012
- That 'trip to Atlantic City' kept Osama raid secret - May 23, 2011
- Highlights of Obama's speech - May 02, 2011
- Al Qaeda remains dangerous: CIA - May 03, 2011
- Al Qaeda confirms Osama's death - May 06, 2011
- Osama's body buried at sea - May 02, 2011
- Literature of terror: Books Osama spawned - May 02, 2011
- Osama killed in Pakistan, justice done: Obama (Fourth Lead) - May 02, 2011
- Osama death: Al-Qaeda down but not out, says former Oz foreign minister - May 02, 2011
- Bin Laden's phone numbers to help US get biggest intelligence windfall? - May 05, 2011
Tags: barack obama, barbs, bin laden death, challenger, council on foreign relations, death anniversary, fighting terrorism, global terrorism, hideout, hotbed, jimmy carter, mitt romney, north africa, osama bin laden, oval office, political ploy, presidential campaign, richard n haass, terrorist group, war of words