“His death won’t discourage terror groups,” saysSajjan Gohel, director of international security at intelligence and security think tank the Asia-Pacific Foundation.
“Many of them have graduated from the shadow of Al Qaeda and don’t need the organisation to launch attacks.”
Dr Anneli Botha, a senior terrorism researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, says Bin Laden’s death may have turned him into a martyr to extremists and the event could lead to an escalation in attacks.
The Horn of Africa and Maghreb, where Al Qaeda has gained a foothold, are more vulnerable to revenge attacks than Southern Africa.
Bin Laden’s deputy, Egyptian paediatrician Ayman al-Zawahiri, has been growing in influence since 2004.
While Bin Laden remained Al Qaeda’s symbolic leader and public face, Al-Zawahiri ran the organisation and he seems to be a better strategist than Bin Laden.
“Eliminating one person, even Osama bin Laden, won’t close the chapter on Al Qaeda or the terrorism threat,” Dr Botha says. “Unfortunately there are others, motivated by Al Qaeda’s philosophy and driven by their country’s problems, who will pick up where Bin Laden left off.”
Make sure you get hold of YOU, 12 May for our comprehensive infographic starting from when Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born until his death on 2 May 2011.