e two holy places, Mecca and Medina. Plus, at one time he had millions to invest in bogus corporations which were simply fronts for al-Qaeda. And it is that deep-seated conviction by his terror cohorts that he was a powerful and worthy leader that makes bin Laden’s death more of a danger to all of us. In the short term, anger over the US killing
bin Laden could spill into violence across the Middle East at a very unstable time for the region. And that affects security for all of us because it rallies anti-Western hatred under the banner of the al-Qaeda franchise. If a fanatic has a suicide bel
t and was saving it for the right time, you can bet they’ll do it as soon as possibl
e now. That is the threat for the short term, but beyond his job as a figurehead for the Jihadists, bin Laden really wasn’t much else. He was not a religious scholar, or a military planner – not even a politician. He will, however, always be the man who brought down the Twin Towers and struck the Pentagon itself and awful though the thought may be, his death takes none of that prestige among terrorists away. Al-Zawahiri is calculating and ruthless but he is an uninspiring choice to lead a terror franchise that has been running on autopilot for three years anyway. Bin Laden has be
en planning for his death for many years and I am told that his legacy could be a better organised and fearsome al-Qaeda. The war against terror goes on because terror has its own momentum – there is now a huge network out there funding it. And bin Laden’s death just poured fuel on the flames of hatred for the West.