Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden Was Already A "Has-Been"

Markets reacted to the killing of Osama bin Laden by raising the price of stocks while lowering the prices of silver, gold, oil and the yen. Presumably, the markets thinks that his death will reduce the terror threat significantly.

But while bin Laden deserved to die and while to the extent this makes any difference it is definitely good news, I really don't think it will make any significant difference in practical terms (in stopping terror), though it will to many have great symbolic value as an act of justice and revenge.

The reason why it won't make much difference in terms of stopping jihadist terror is that because bin Laden knew that so many governments intelligence agencies were looking for him, he had only a very limited ability to communicate with the outside world.

Al-Quaeda have for long been highly decentralised and its cells around the world have been working entirely or almost entirely without his involvement for the past few years so their ability to carry out terrorist acts will not be significantly reduced by his death.