News / USA

US Officials Warn Terrorism Threat Remains Post-bin Laden

Osama bin Laden (L) sits with al-Qaida's top strategist and second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri in this 2001 file photo
Osama bin Laden (L) sits with al-Qaida's top strategist and second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri in this 2001 file photo
Mike O'Sullivan

As Americans reacted to the news of Osama bin Laden's killing by U.S. commandos, officials warned that the al-Qaida leader's death in a firefight in Pakistan does not remove the threat of terrorist attacks.   Bin Laden's killing by American elite forces closes a chapter in the war on terrorism, but officials say the battle against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups will continue.

The successful raid in the Pakistan city, Abbotabad in the early hours Monday led President Obama to declare that “justice has been done.”  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it a “watershed moment.”  But French President Nicolas Sarkozy cautioned that this is not the end of al-Qaida and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the fight will not end with bin Laden's death.

“Continued cooperation will be just as important in the days ahead, because even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden,” Clinton said.

U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan during the daily news briefing at the White House, May 2, 2011
U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan during the daily news briefing at the White House, May 2, 2011

John Brennan, President Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, told reporters that the al-Qaida leader was "hiding in plain sight," and must have had help.  Bin Laden was tracked to a compound in an affluent neighborhood about 50 kilometers from the capital, Islamabad, in an area heavy with Pakistani military and intelligence personnel.

Brennan told reporters Monday that al-Qaida is damaged but remains dangerous.  He adds that it is out of step with events in the Muslim world.

The successful operation comes just months before the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington of September 11, 2001.  In the 10 years since then, government buildings in the  United States have had security upgrades.  

The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying it would not issue an alert because of bin Laden’s death, but said the agency remains at a heightened state of vigilance.

Local officials around the country echoed the comments coming from Washington.  Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck called the day of bin Laden's death a great day for America, but issued a caveat.

“While we savor that victory, we have to be ever mindful that taking away the leader does not remove the organization," Beck said.  "We still face significant threats and, while there are no specific threats to Los Angeles, the general threat [is there] and my obligation is to keep this city safe.”

Los Angeles resident Margaret Gray drove to the airport to drop off her daughter, who was flying to Chicago, and Gray was pleased to see added security.

“There is a security stop on the way in and he needs to check in the back of my truck.  I mean, he just peaked in the window, but he was so positive and ended up saying 'Have a great day.'  It's not like extreme measures or anything, so I feel good that they want to stay on top of things and they're trying to be alert and ready,” Gray said.

Analyst Robert Guttman of Johns Hopkins University says the heightened vigilance will continue in major cities in the United States and elsewhere.

“It’s not over. I think it’s going to be a heightened security all around the United States - especially in New York, Washington and London,” Guttman said.

A number of key al-Qaida figures have been killed or captured, but others remain at large, including Ayman a-Zarahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More