Rally in Central Asia where the photograph of Osama bin Laden is held up by participants. A Taliban commander says that the announced death of Bin Laden will be avenged., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Taliban commander vows to avenge Bin Laden's death
Taliban commander known as Qudos says jihadis are planning to mount attacks in response to death of Osama bin Laden
Monday 2 May 2011 12.27 BST
Osama bin Laden's death 'will never stop the jihad', says the Taliban commander Qudos.
A Taliban commander in Afghanistan has promised that his fighters would mount attacks to avenge the killing by US forces of Osama bin Laden.
The commander, who gave his name as Qudos and operates in the northern province of Baghlan, said: "The killing of Osama bin Laden will bring no change to jihad. Osama is the leader of al-Qaida and he is a powerful man in jihad. Losing him will be very painful for the mujahideen, but the shahadat [martyrdom] of Osama, will never stop the jihad. We will continue our fight until we liberate our lands from the Kafirs."
He said his fighters planned to launch an operation called Bader "to avenge the killing of Osama" and claimed many other similar operations would be launched.
A war inspired by 'the Sheikh'
From the shrub-covered, bullet-riddled frontlines of Mogadishu, to the concrete slums in the outskirts of Amman and Damascus, from a camp in a pine forest in eastern Afghanistan to the sprawling deserts of southern Yemen, soft-spoken zealots with Kalashnikovs have told me about their aspirations to fight, kill and hopefully die in the war against the infidels and their agents. A holy war inspired by, led by and catalysed by, the Sheikh.
The Sheik, Osama bin Laden, created the model for that holy war: he articulated its objectives through his acts of violence, and his life became a manual of the jihadi fighter in the collective imagination of those young men - the learned ascetic and ferocious fighter.
His pictures and sermons, radio massages and TV appearances lived, flourished and sprung to life in these alleyways and faraway mountains, nourished and nurtured by poverty, perceived injustice and decades of oppressive rule.
Yet none of those men have ever met the Sheikh, none of them had any direct contact with him; only one had seen him twice when he was a teenager. They didn't receive their orders from the Sheikh, they didn't communicate with him, and they did not consult him before they went out to fight.
Bin Laden, the creator of modern-day terrorism and founder of al-Qaida, had become more of a spiritual father than field commander.
The dream of all those so-called jihadis and their local establishments was to be anointed by the father figure as a forbearer of his ideology, to be recognised as a "franchise" of the mother organisation to gain the respect and support, and a lot of money from wealthy Arabs, that would allow them to fight their own local wars and contribute to the jihad.
Many local franchises have sprung up: Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Somalia and others. Bombs are manufactured locally, knowledge is shared on internet forums, fighters don't need to head all the way to Pakistan or Afghanistan to get training; they can do that in their own home towns or villages in Britain, the Caucasus, Mogadishu, Iraq, Mali and Yemen. The effect is that al-Qaida has succeeded in separating ideology from leadership.
For many years, the Sheikh had been isolated, his organisation disrupted not only by US kill teams and lethal drone attacks but also by general Muslim apathy and outright hostility to the organisation. For most of the victims are Muslim: not only Shia Muslims and Sunni moderates and seculars, but also bystanders who have committed the deadly sin of buying vegetables while one of those holy warriors decides to fight his battle and start his ascendance to the hereafter.
The killing of Bin Laden will give a new impetus to the jihadi movement that has suffered in the past few months as the aspirations of these young men have been fulfilled, not by the jihad, but by the street demonstrations led by unarmed men and women secularists and religious calling for social justice.