A decade after he was hunted down and killed in Pakistan by US particular forces, Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden retains the capability to mobilise extremists even in a polarised jihadist scene that has radically modified within the final years.
Even although Bin Laden’s physique was buried within the Arabian Sea from the deck of a US plane service hours after his loss of life, to keep away from the creation of any pilgrimage website on land, he stays an instance and image for a lot of radical Islamists.
“Osama bin Laden carefully curated his public persona to cultivate a dedicated following,” stated Katherine Zimmerman, an advisor for the Critical Threats Project on the American Enterprise Institute’s.
– ‘Unwinnable struggle’ –
“Even though he was criticised at times for his love of the media, he was savvy enough to understand the importance of advancing Al-Qaeda’s message on major platforms,” Clarke advised AFP.
But jihadists are indisputably extra quite a few worldwide than they had been 20 years in the past.
Bin Laden successfully turned struggle zones into coaching arenas for jihadis, with conflicts from Bosnia to Chechnya to Somalia proving fertile floor for extremists who would wreak havoc exterior their dwelling nations.
– ‘Yesterday’s information’ –
The two teams, regardless of a shared brutality and extremist ideological zeal, by no means joined forces and as a substitute have develop into sworn enemies, combating specifically on the battlefield in Syria and within the huge Sahel area of Africa.
(*10*) stated Aaron Zelin, a researcher who runs the Jihadology web site, which analyses extremist movies and different content material.
With time, Bin Laden turned above all a fantasy, with few jihadists alive who would have encountered him in particular person.
– ‘Lionised in jihadi media’ –
“It is still widely viewed as a significant strategic mistake. Part of the evidence for this is that very few jihadis even follow this strategy any more — and most never did,” Robinson stated.
Bin Laden’s face still will get emblazoned on T-shirts, his title seems painted on the again of vehicles, and his effigy is commonly brandished throughout demonstrations.
She pointed to a video of Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia after an assault final December, displaying them watching a video of Bin Laden.