News / Europe

Europe Welcomes bin Laden's Death

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, speaks on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, in London May 1, 2011
Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, speaks on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, in London May 1, 2011
Lisa Bryant

European leaders from Russia to Britain have hailed the death of Osama bin Laden as a major achievement in efforts to rid the world of terrorism.

Swift reaction

Europe was swift to react to President Barack Obama's announcement that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead.

In a statement Monday, the leaders of the European Council and European Commission said bin Laden's death made the world a safer place and showed that terrorist attacks do not remain unpunished.

Bin Laden's al-Qaida network led or inspired attacks around the world since 1993, killing at least 4,000 people.

British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama for the success of the Navy Seal operation that killed the terrorist leader in the Pakistan city of Abbottabad.  He described the death of bin Laden as a massive step forward in the fight against extremist terrorism. "Of course, it does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terror.  Indeed, we will have to be particularly vigilant in the weeks ahead," said Cameron. "But it is, I believe, a massive step forward."

Watch a related report by Henry Ridgwell



Message to terrorists


Spanish civil guard and police officers guard the U.S. embassy in Madrid, May 2, 2011
Spanish civil guard and police officers guard the U.S. embassy in Madrid, May 2, 2011

Russia, Germany, Italy and France also applauded U.S. forces for killing bin Laden. But many, like French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, also offered a note of caution.

In remarks on French radio, Juppe said the world must be more vigilant than ever. He noted the bombing attack in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh just a few days ago that killed at least 14 people.

While bin Laden has been most spectacularly linked to the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, al-Qaida is also blamed for the 2004 train bombings in Spain that killed 191 people. The network also claimed credit for the 2005 bombings in London that killed 52 people.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also welcomed the announcement, saying the world had been awaiting the news of bin Laden's death for 10 years -- since the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States that left some 3,000 people dead in a matter of hours.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel described it as a victory for the forces of peace in the world.  But she echoed many European leaders' concerns by adding that bin Laden's killing by U.S. forces in Pakistan Sunday night did not mean that terrorist attacks would come to an end.

A statement released by the Kremlin in Russia, which is combating religious militants in the Caucasus, said that retribution inevitably reaches all terrorists and that Russia is ready to "step up" its coordination in the international fight against global terrorism.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who has been battling militant Kurdish separatists, said bin Laden's demise sent a message to terrorist organizations around the world.

Vigilance recommended


Sunshine reflects from the pillars of the memorial to the victims of the July 7, 2005 London bombings, in Hyde Park, central London May 2, 2011
Sunshine reflects from the pillars of the memorial to the victims of the July 7, 2005 London bombings, in Hyde Park, central London May 2, 2011

Disaffected youth in Europe have headed to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and al-Qaida's disparate branches have kidnapped Europeans overseas and warned Europe of more attacks to come. 

"Although this is seen as a victory for many in the United States, it is one that is also shared by many here in Europe," said Maha Azzam, a Middle East analyst for the London-based think-tank Chatham House. "The specter of terrorism from al-Qaida has existed for a decade now in Europe and therefore the removal of this very important symbol is seen as an important step to undermining al Qaida."

French analyst Philippe Moreau Defarges believes bin Laden was a man of the past, who was unable to make a difference politically. He says that can be seen with the current Arab protests, in which al-Qaida appears largely marginalized.

"... but we still have a lot of frustrated people, we still have a lot of bitter people, and one way to be heard, one way to make some noise, is to use terrorism," he said.

For its part, France-based international police agency Interpol urged greater vigilance in dealing with a heightened terrorism risk as a result of bin-Laden's death.

Based in France, Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization, with 188 member countries.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid