Long-term terror risk ‘unlikely to rise’

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THE death of Osama bin Laden is unlikely to increase the threat of terrorism in the long-term, says a leading North East academic.

 Durham University’s Dr Ilan Baron said the killing of the Al Qaida leader might raise the chances of a terrorist attack in Europe or the U.S. in the immediate future – but it was unlikely to inspire a new wave of Islamic fundamentalists.

 “The question is: is his death in some way going to lead to reprisals?,” said Dr Baron, a lecturer in the university’s School of Government and International Affairs.

 “That’s likely, but those who would commit these acts are those who would be planning to commit these acts already.”

 He added that any reprisals would have to be carried out soon or the connection to bin Laden’s death would be lost.

 “Time is always very important in any battle,” said Dr Baron. “I don’t think it is necessarily going to raise the level of risk from these individuals in the long-term, though it might in the short-term.”

 He said the nature of Al Qaida – as a loosely-affiliated network rather than a highly-organised group – made it more difficult to predict what might happen:

 “Al Qaida is not the kind of organisation that was regularly reporting back to a commanding officer – it is more people who are identifying with bin Laden’s aims,” he said.