Comment: Who’s the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist?

Yesterday, James commented on a CNN.com article that asks whether Abu al-Zarqawi is a bigger threat than Osama bin Laden. James wrote,

Al Qaeda has, since its inception, been an umbrella organization for differently motivated Islamist terrorists. There have been many al-Zarqawi’s; only one bin Laden. Al Qaeda is sufficiently established that getting rid of bin Laden wouldn’t cripple it at this stage–but the impact would be felt. Zarqawi is simply more replacable than bin Laden. That makes him less dangerous.

While he̢۪s right on all counts, I wanted to add that the question itself is a bit bogus. It is true that Zarqawi is more of a tactician and bin Laden is the charismatic inspiration for the movement, but any attempts to focus on individuals at this point is counterproductive to our overall strategy. Perhaps my biggest complaint about the Bush reelection campaign was that they did not pounce on John Kerry̢۪s continued ignorance in saying that the real target of the War on Terror should be bin Laden.

If bin Laden has laid the proper foundation for his organization, which I believe he has, the personal charisma that he embodies will be transferred to the movement once he is killed. Thus his removal or death will likely mean very little toward bringing about an end to al Qaeda. Remember, bin Laden himself is the heir to the ideology of Abdullah Azzam (known as the “Godfather of Jihad”), and Azzam was a student of Sayyid Qutb. When bin Laden goes, another will take his place and the jihad movement will continue.

My fear here is that most Americans subscribe to the Kerry mindset, and once bin Laden has departed they will believe that the War on Terror is over and things can go “back to normal.” Rest (un)assured, there is no going back.

FILED UNDER: National Security, Terrorism
Aaron Brazell
About Aaron Brazell
Aaron Brazell is the author of The WordPress Bible and longtime proprietor of the TechnoSailor blog. He was OTB's IT guru for years and blogged here occasionally from January 2005 to April 2007. Follow him on Twitter @technosailor.

Comments

  1. ken says:

    Unless Zarqawi targets Americans outside of Iraq I don’t see that we really have a huge interest in him at all. He is no different, to us, than the IRA terrorists that were targeting Londoners. We would like them to stop but should not waste our money or military on the problem.

    Osama bin Laden is a different story. He MUST be brought to justice. He committed a horrendous crime and we must do whatever it takes, within the law, to get him.

  2. Osama bin Laden is a different story. He MUST be brought to justice. He committed a horrendous crime and we must do whatever it takes, within the law, to get him.

    And then what?

  3. ken says:

    Leapold, and then what what?

    Once someone is brought to justice what do you think we should do? Burn down their neighborhood? Torture people? I don’t get your question.

  4. Ken: Sorry to be vague. What I was trying to ask is what do people think will happen to al Qaeda and our War on Terror once bin Laden is gone (a question I answered in the post).

    Again, my fear is that people believe that the War on Terror ends when bin Laden ends, and it just isn’t that simple.

  5. ken says:

    my fear is that people believe that the War on Terror ends when bin Laden ends, and it just isn’t that simple.

    But once bin Laden and those directly responsible for attacking America are brought to justice, then our part in whatever you are calling the War on Terror may be over.

    There is no legitimate reason for us to fight other peoples wars for them. If they do not want to do it themselves they deserve what they get. I thought we learned that lesson long ago in VietNam.

  6. LJD says:

    “There is no legitimate reason for us to fight other peoples wars for them. If they do not want to do it themselves they deserve what they get.”

    Ah, the compassionate liberal agenda….

  7. unnamed says:

    World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist is George Walker Bush, the President of the United States of America. He is an unofficial terrorist and crimer and his philosophy an unofficial terrorism and crime as few as official terrorists and crimers. Because, he and his philosophy are starters for Global Terrorism.

  8. unnamed says:

    World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist is George Walker Bush, the President of the United States of America. He is an unofficial terrorist and crimer and his philosophy an unofficial terrorism and crime as few as official terrorists and crimers. Because, he and his philosophy are starters for Global Terrorism.

  9. unnamed says:

    World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist is George Walker Bush, the President of the United States of America. He is an unofficial terrorist and crimer and his philosophy an unofficial terrorism and crime as few as official terrorists and crimers. Because, he and his philosophy are starters for Global Terrorism.