Osama’s death not an end to warOsama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001 and the leader of Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda, was killed in a targeted operation by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan. In a statement at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda,” adding that justice has been done.
Bin Laden was culpable for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. by civilian airplanes, which claimed over 3,000 innocent lives. He was a ruthless criminal who was infatuated with religious fanaticism and danced to the tune of extreme terrorism. Although his death came nearly a decade after the brutal terrorist attacks, his demise is proof of the old adage that justice will prevail.
The Sept. 11 attacks, which destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon building, left indelible scars on the hearts of U.S. citizens. President George W. Bush immediately declared a war on terror and launched an invasion of Afghanistan, Al Qaeda’s stronghold, in the same year. If the Sept. 11 attack had not occurred, the U.S. might not have invaded Iraq. The sacrifice of countless numbers of soldiers and civilians in the two wars can also be traced to the radical terrorism bin Laden pursued. Now one thing is clear: Religious extremism only invites a bloody revenge.
The 2001 attacks ushered a new era of politics in the United States. The backlash against Islamic fundamentalism in the U.S. following the attacks resulted in a spate of hate crimes against South Asian and Middle Eastern people. These crimes damaged the United States’ reputation as a leader in human rights and democracy. Furthermore, the implementation of the Homeland Security Act which was meant to prevent terrorism has been criticized for violating citizens’ rights to privacy.
The death of Osama bin Laden does not mean Al Qaeda is disbanded or that Americans have fully healed from the Sept. 11 attacks. While bin Laden’s fall will be a temporary setback for the terrorist group, the organization will not give up that easily.
That’s why President Obama sternly warned that the war on terror is not over. The United States must continue to alert citizens to the danger of terrorism because no one knows when and where a terrorist attack will break out next.