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'Terrorism not over after bin Laden'
Mon, 02 May 2011 17:49:36 GMT
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US President Barack Obama (R) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai
US President Barack Obama said in a televised speech late Sunday that US forces conducted an operation that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In an interview with Press TV, political analyst Aminuddin Hamidi tells us that recent events prove that al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks are based outside of Afghanistan, yet the US will continue its presence in the country.

Press TV: Do you believe that bin Laden was killed on Sunday or do you believe in the theories that bin Laden has been dead for a while and that the US has been using him to justify its presence and as a pretext for occupying Afghanistan?

Hamidi: As we follow the issues from last night, midnight, until now, it's definite there was an operation last night in Pakistan where as a result, according to the official announcements of President [Barack] Obama and other sources, bin Laden was killed last evening in Abbottabad in Pakistan.

In my opinion, for sure there was an operation last night in Pakistan where, as a result of this operation, bin Laden was killed. So, the issue of bin Laden being dead a time ago was never an issue until now from any other media sources. It's definite that it happened last night.

Press TV: Many of the analysts have differing views on that. But regardless on the time of death, if there is no more bin Laden, does it make the US presence in Afghanistan non-essential now? Do you think we'll be seeing more and more demands for the US to leave?

Hamidi: When we talk about bin Laden we are not talking about one person. Bin Laden was not running this whole show on his own alone.

So, the issue here is bin Laden was a leader of a network. He was a leader of a foundation of terrorists, the big terrorist group in the world. The death of bin Laden doesn't mean the death of al-Qaeda and it is never the procession that after the death of bin Laden things will go back to normal and al-Qaeda will disappear, and the insurgency in Afghanistan will go to an end.

Let's not forget, considering Afghanistan, it was not only al-Qaeda that the international forces were engaged in a war against. It was al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hzbi Islami and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan who are fighting against the government and international forces in Afghanistan.

Considering the death of bin Laden, it is a big blow to the terrorist network al-Qaeda. Definitely, it will have the greatest impact on this network since the war of terror has begun. But, for sure, the war on terror will not end at the death of bin Laden.

As we know for the last few years, al-Qaeda has also changed its strategy from a holistic group to smaller pockets running their operations independently and in specific geographical locations. Considering this change in al-Qaeda, the al-Qaeda terrorist organization does exist today without bin Laden, and it will exist.

Therefore, the war on terror should continue, it will continue until it's solved, until the terrorist networks are dismantled or destroyed. Bin Laden was just a leading figure of this group.

Press TV: Sure. What about this? Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a few hours ago, said that the killing of Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan proved Kabul's long-standing position that the war on terror was not routed in Afghanistan. Don't you think that that's sort of a hint to the US that they're in the wrong place and their business with Afghanistan is done and they could go now?

Hamidi: Well, obviously what President Karzai refers to in his speech today is the same claim that the government of Afghanistan had for so long, that the hideouts or sanctuaries of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are beyond the borders of Afghanistan.

So, referring to those sanctuaries and hideouts of these groups, that was the position of the government of Afghanistan and the perceptions and beliefs of many Afghan people here. But, considering the ongoing war, it is not only Pakistan where al-Qaeda is present, we are also the worst effected nation from what al-Qaeda is doing and it is continuing.

Today, you can see explosions and terrorist attacks across Afghanistan. Regardless of linking it to al-Qaeda or the Taliban, the issue is there is presence of al-Qaeda here in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan. For the last few years, Pakistan has also been the victim of terrorist attacks.

What is referred to here is where al-Qaeda is hiding, where they are regaining their structures and planning their attacks is definitely beyond the borders of Afghanistan. The killing of Osama bin Laden, or presence of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad deep into the territory of Pakistan proves these claims. But, the war on terrorism should not be limited to Afghanistan.

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