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ISSUE BRIEF

al Qaeda: Beyond Osama-bin Laden

May 03, 2011

“Justice has been done” exclaimed a visibly re-energised but sombre US President, Barack Obama, as impromptu celebrations broke outside the White House. A decade since the “World’s Most Wanted Terrorist” had declared war against the US and made “Jihad global”, bin Laden’s elimination has been touted as “closure”. Conspiracy theories – the “suspect timing” with Obama’s bid for second term closing in, “level of compliance of Pakistani authorities”, “Was Osama’s head the price Pakistan had to pay to save the cracking relationship?”, “is this the master plan to ease Pakistan’s entry and US exit from Afghanistan?” – seem to cloud the right here and now; but naturally. Yet, the importance of this development on the movement of “global jihad” pioneered by Osama and al Qaeda remains a pivotal conceptual question that will require nuanced analysis. The war is not over yet, even Obama says so.

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