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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid