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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid