Bin Laden’s elimination by a U.S. commando team is no longer questioned by Arabs after al-Qaeda’s statement confirming it and vowing vengeance against the U.S. and the West.
Our peoples are used to questioning events that do not match their general mood, believing myths and denying the truth.
People, including intellectuals and researchers, believe in conspiracy theories that always blame others and spare oneself the pangs of conscience, even when it comes to simple facts or events (Abdel-Bari Atwan, the editor in chief of the newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, questioned bin Laden’s death in an article entitled, “We won’t believe it until we see his corpse”).
Now, will bin Laden’s death have any impact on the Maghreb and its peoples? The answer requires evoking the symbolism and jihadist doctrine of bin Laden for al-Qaeda and the jihadist movement in general.
Osama bin Laden is the founder and sponsor of al-Qaeda. He also became a symbol and an icon inspiring jihadists and inciting them to fight against infidels, crusaders and Jews in the name of jihad. A picture of bin Laden walking in the valleys and slopes of Tora Bora mountains, dressed in modest clothes and carrying a Kalashnikov weapon over his shoulder made him a charismatic figure. He rejected the American hegemony that no Arab country stood against and no Muslim force ever faced; bin Laden faced this hegemony alone with his modest weapon, and he even hurt the American pride with the 9/11 attacks.
Bin Laden’s charisma was further enhanced by the inability of the world’s largest military force to arrest him or kill him during an entire decade. Bin Laden used to be a symbol of pride, until Arab and Muslim peoples started enduring terrorist attacks that undermined their security and stability and shed the blood of their innocent citizens and guests; then he became a terrorist murdering innocent people and sowing terror.
This horrible image that Arab peoples had of bin Laden made them watch his death without mourning him or protesting against his murder and degrading burial. This is a meaningful message to all extremist and takfir currents that declared their allegiance to bin Laden: Arab peoples do not support the terrorist plots al-Qaeda was created for.
These peoples realized that bin Laden and al-Qaeda kill Muslims and don’t seek to establish democracy and eradicate tyranny. Arab peoples found their way to freedom and democracy by relying on youth and peaceful protests that toppled the most authoritarian regimes, without using weapons or resorting to suicide bombings carried out by al-Qaeda.
Therefore, the grassroots won’t be impacted by the death of bin Laden who is no longer a symbol of freedom and dignity, because of the criminal acts endured by the peoples, the latest of which is the terrorist bombing of the Argana cafe in Marrakech on Thursday 28 April.
However, bin Laden’s death will have a significant impact on the jihadist current and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The jihadists who attribute many miracles to bin Laden since the Afghan jihad against the Soviets, are in deep shock as they never expected him to fall this easily in the hands of Americans.
Jihadists love and respect bin Laden so much that they seek to avenge his death by all means and wherever they can carry out their criminal operations, whether it’s inside or outside Arab and Islamic countries, even if that leads to killing dozens of Muslims.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was wounded in its pride, so it will seize all available opportunities to carry out revenge attacks. It should be emphasized that bin Laden became a symbol, an icon and a source of inspiration, not for his person but for his beliefs and ideology inciting to Takfir, murder and hatred. Therefore, the impact of these doctrines will continue to affect all individuals adhering to them. The death of al-Qaeda’s leader does not mean the end of the founding ideas of this organization that adopts murder as a doctrine, cult, and unique method of dealing with those who oppose heavenly religions and moral values.
Osama bin Laden’s death is expected to have several direct… more
Many researchers and observers of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb believe… more
On the one hand, Bin Laden’s death won’t have any… more