Has Osama bin Laden’s death increased the likelihood of a terrorist attack in Europe?
While the EU’s counter terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove insisted the latest news was a blow to al Qaeda, he told euronews that the authorities across the continent will have to be extra vigilant.
‘‘It (the death of Osama bin Laden) further undermines al Qaeda as an organisation. For several years the heart of al Qaeda, that which is situated between Afghanistan and Pakistan has already been under tremendous pressure from drone attacks, the Pakistani army and also strikes by NATO in Afghanistan. So, I don’t think al Qaeda is the same threat that it was the day after the 11 September.
“However, there are other types of threat from regional al Qaeda groups, such as those in the Arab Peninsula and North Africa, that have grown and who could also benefit from the uprisings that have swept the Arab world this spring. These revolutions are driving a certain number of changes and reinforcing the threat that these groups represent.
“And then there is also unfortunately – although it is quite small – a number of radicalised individuals living in Europe. They often have a certain amount of logistical support and could possible carry out attacks.
“In the short term, it will certainly be necessary to be very vigilant, which is something leaders in Europe and the US are also saying.”