One-year Anniversary of Osama bin Laden Death

White House Situation RoomToday marks the one-year anniversary since U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed the man that had been on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list for nearly 12 years. Almost immediately following news of the raid, academics, politicians, and media pundits began a continuing debate of the effect his death will have on Al Qaeda, with arguments ranging from the death of Osama bin Laden meaning the end of Al Qaeda, to an opposing view fearing decapitation will only reinvigorate the struggling terrorist network. Although many details of the raid remain classified, a number of experts on the subject believe valuable evidence was collected from the bin Laden compound, evidenced by the number of Al Qaeda high value targets killed shortly following the death of bin Laden.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) just released commentary from four CNAS Fellows and experts on U.S. Policy toward terrorism and South Asia: “LTG David W. Barno, USA (Ret.) , Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow, discusses how the death of bin Laden has affected the war on terror. Dr. Nora Bensahel, Deputy Director of Studies and Senior Fellow, discusses how U.S. strategic priorities have shifted since bin Laden’s death. Dr. Andrew Exum, Senior Fellow, discusses the impact of the death of bin Laden on the future of al Qaeda and Afghanistan. Richard Fontaine, Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow, discusses the effect of bin Laden’s death on America’s relationship with Pakistan.” To access this commentary click here.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) just released a report on analysis of attacks originating from Al Qaeda Central (excluding Al Qaeda affiliates) from 1998 through 2010. The report notes that although Al Qaeda Central has on average carried out far fewer attacks than its allied Islamist groups, and no attacks in both 2009 and 2010, they remain central within the broader Islamist terrorist network.

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