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Does Osama's death mean the death of Al Qaeda?

May 02, 2011 12:06 IST

Indian intelligence agencies say this will not be the case, reports Vicky Nanjappa

In the wake of the announcement that the United States has killed Osama nin Laden, Indian intelligence agencies fear that the number of Al Qaeda-led terrorist attacks, especially on the US, will increase.

Intelligence agencies point out that even the Al Qaeda knew that the end was near, and that the US would do a specific hunt for Laden since their war on terror in the Af-Pak region had not been showing the desired results.

There are several names in the fray to succeed Laden as the Al Qaeda chief, and such developments started a couple of months back. This indicates, they say, that there will be no great damage to the outfit's operational structure.

Moreover, for the past three years, Laden had not taken the lead or was not involved directly in any of the planning. He was unwell for a considerable amount of time, and played no great role in the operations.

Others like Ilyas Kashmiri, Ayman al-Zahwari and Baddaruddin Haqqani controlled the operations.

The operational structure of the Al Qaeda is, therefore, still in place and Laden's death is only significant in terms of bringing to justice the 9/11 mastermind.

Among the aspects that may take a hit, say sources, is the recruitment drive for the Al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits, which was done solely in Laden' name.

The Intelligence Bureau says Laden was a father figure for young men who wanted to take up jihad, with at least 90 per cent of the youth who went into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Al Qaeda considering Laden a hero in the post 9/11 world.

His death may act as a deterrent since their messiah is gone. However, the Al Qaeda will continue to use his name to lure more youth into their fold.

The other issue that the Al Qaeda may face is the flow of funds into the outfit. Laden sat on a pile of cash and his contacts within Saudi Arabia and with other rich businessmen across the world helped raise funds for the organization.

Though his death may be bit of a set back, it is not impossible that many will view this death sympathetically and pump in more funds to avenge his death.

Vicky Nanjappa