Bin Laden's legacy: How killing the terrorist didn't end the terror

The death of Osama Bin Laden five years ago was followed by a weakening of al-Qaeda but the terrorist group will manage to survive in the shadows of its offspring Daesh, war correspondent Rahimullah Yusufzai told Radio Sputnik.

Terrorism has changed but not subsided since Osama Bin Laden was killed five years ago, Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai told Radio Sputnik.

These days al-Qaeda does not have much support in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has not made much headway in a campaign under new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to gain a foothold in the subcontinent.

"But I think in the Middle East al-Qaeda still has some followers, and they have a presence in a number of countries so al-Qaeda is not destroyed, not finished but it has become very weak."

When the organization lost its founder, Bin Laden, who was killed by US forces in Pakistan in 2011, it was an opportunity for other terrorist groups like Daesh to emerge, Yusufzai said.

"Daesh has actually taken away most of the fighters who were earlier aligned with al-Qaeda. Most of the local militant groups have pledged allegiance to Daesh."

"But that does not mean that al-Qaeda is finished, al-Qaeda is history. Al-Qaeda has survived, it still has got some dedicated fighters and it has a cause."

"They are against the US and Israel and that appeals to many people, frustrated Muslims in different countries."

The journalist, who interviewed Bin Laden twice in 2008, added that official reports into the death of Bin Laden have not been released, and that because of that there is conflicting information about what happened and the extent of Pakistani involvement.

Yusufzai said that terrorism has changed in the years since Bin Laden's death, and the emergence of the Daesh terrorist group has made al-Qaeda and the Taliban look less brutal in comparison.

"The Americans have yet to declare the Afghan Taliban a terrorist organization because they want to make a deal with the Taliban. Al-Qaeda also is not seen as (being as) brutal as Daesh."

"Things have changed, terrorism has not really ended, terrorists have not been killed or destroyed or made to surrender. So the world is not safe (in) the way it was thought, that if they kill or destroy al-Qaeda or its leadership the world will become a safe place."


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