When Osama Bin Laden was killed on 2nd May, 2011, the world heaved a massive sigh of relief. The man who was the spearhead of major international terrorist organizations was finally put to bed. Operation Neptune Star had been executed to perfection and this ecstasy was shared by global media during the early morning hours of May 2nd. It was a magnanimous blow to Al-Qaeda’s morale. The radical leader of terrorism and his multinational influence was neutralized for greater good of the society. But, does Osama Bin Laden’s death assure us that peace has been completely restored? Or was his demise a spark that would ignite the fire of extensive terrorism.
History never lies-
While defense experts at NATO unanimously claim that a major threat has been eradicated, they keep mum when the guarantee of a secured future is inquired upon. History is probably the reason why the silence on such questions exists. When Islamic Terrorism was hit, it responded in a more brutal manner than before. The PLF (Palestine Liberalization Front) is the prime example to verify this fact. It was declared as an extinct organization after its brutal activities on Israelis was destroyed by NATO. They regrouped and in 1997, after being dwarfed down thrice, came back stronger than before.
Gama’a al-Islamiya, the Egyptian Sunni fundamentalist group, was on the hit-list of many nations and was attacked several times. They too came back, courtesy of financial assistance from Al-Qaeda. History has always indicated that terror campaigns are radical forms of Guerilla Warfare. It’s the fear of the uncertain that is exploited by extremists. These fringe fanatics are in conquest for religious supremacy and partly in revolt against prior oppression. In both the cases, more the brutality on the opposite side more will be the hunger to kill on the radical side.
Forces fighting against radical Islam are being subjected to impenetrable bases and footholds. Afghanistan, for instance, is the strongest foothold maintained by Al-Qaeda. Osama Bin Laden’s plan to get involved in the Soviet-Afghan war sow the seeds of a new platform for terror. American and NATO troops have dominated the Afghan terrain and have kept Taliban quiet, but the elimination of Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizb-i-Gullbudin has been far from the horizon. NATO has the upper hand but, there is no victory yet.
Nigeria and Sudan are other two massive toeholds that do not let the Jihadi fire to extinguish. Hezbollah, Hamas , Egyptian Islamic Jihad,Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Algeria’a Arm’s Islamic group are all Al-Qaeda supported and motivated groups. Their strong presence in these countries has led to more people joining their purpose of an Islamic world. These regions are extremely dangerous as these countries are distraught by unemployment and poverty. Radical activities motivate empty minds easily. In addition to everything, these bases act as gathering points where terrorists from all over the world conglomerate and create a hazardous nexus and syndicate.
Current threats and major movements-
According to Washington, Al-Qaeda and its associate radical organizations have speedily regrouped from the loss of their leader, Bin Laden. Hatred has supposedly increased, especially among organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Taliban being religiously inclined, every brick off its castle make create a snowball effect and result in a bigger response. Afghanistan is still suffering with Guerilla warfare. News of Pakistani and Afghan terrorist organizations joining hands to work in a synergy hasn’t been pleasing.
Ayman-al-Zawahiri, current chief of Al-Qaeda has made it clear that his organization’s morale is not dented and the sacrifice of ‘Sheikh Osama’ has charged them up to claim what is theirs’. Incessant and horrendous terrorist activities by Boko Haram in the middle-east are evidences to increasing terrorism in some parts of the world. Suspicious activities in Indonesia, Philippines and surrounding countries also have been a cause of worry.
Though there are only minor terrorist activities that demand global attention, the bigger picture suggests that a very big movement is in progress. And just because Al-Qaeda has been quiet, by its standards, it doesn’t mean that terrorism has come to a grinding halt. Yes there has been rarity in terror attacks, maybe due to Osama Bin laden’s death. But, on a wider prism, things are happening rapidly but silently and that may be a bigger concern as it can be triggered by Osama’s demise.