Osama’ death could strengthen Al-shabaab
By Hassan Isilow
CAPE TOWN- The death of Al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin laden, will not affect activities of terrorist organizations operating in Africa, an expert on Terrorism has said.
Anneli Botha, a senior researcher on terrorism at the institute of security studies in Pretoria said the death of Osama bin laden, will instead morale boast terrorist organizations to continue with their activities in the continent.
‘‘I don’t see the death of Osama Bin laden making these militant groups to suspend their activities. Groups such as, Al-shabaab in Somalia, the Maghreb fighters in North Africa and Boko Haram in Nigeria, came into existence due to their country’s domestic frustrations.’’ the expert told Africa witness.
She said the three militant groups operating in Africa only claimed to be affiliates of Al-Qaeda much later, after they were already in existence.
‘‘These groups declared allegiance to Al-Qaeda much latter and I don’t think they can now stop fighting because their figure head is dead. In fact I believe they now have more reason to continue with their fight in revenge for the death of their figure head Osama bin laden’’ she explained.
Botha said the main cause of Islamic militancy in Africa was due to domestic frustration citing the example of Somalia where militancy started after the collapse of the state in 1991. While in Nigeria she said the Boko haraam militant group mainly came into existence because of the political stand offs between the South and the North.
Meanwhile, senior commanders of Somalia’s militant group Al-Shabaab have vowed to revenge the death of Osama Bin Laden.
“The Americans have previously killed other Islamist leaders,” said Mohamed Osman Arus a spokesperson for Al-shabaab “Their students will continue the jihad and we shall retaliate against the Americans, Israeli’s, and Europeans with destructive explosions.” Mohamed said.
While Sheikh Dahir Hassan Aweis, former leader of His-bul Islam who recently merged his group with Al-shabaab called on Al-Qaeda affiliate’s world over to join the war and revenge for Osama Bin Laden’s death.
He said the death of one man will not end their struggle .
‘‘If one man dies there are thousands of others who will fight, till we succeed’’ he said this week shortly after receiving news about Bin laden’s death. The United States of America said this week that it’s marine soldiers had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.