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OBL’s Role – Speculation or Knowledge?

Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations at Boston University:

“The speculation is bin Laden’s role has become largely symbolic.”

Lawrence Husick, senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Center on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security:

“At the end, bin Laden’s role was more inspirational than operational […].”

John Rollins, CRS Specialist in Terrorism and National Security:

“Some argue that OBL’s role in AQ at the time of his death was largely inspirational as his ability to communicate with followers and offer strategic and operational guidance and support had increasingly been degraded since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Others argue that OBL remained an active participant in both the strategic direction and operational activities of all aspects of the AQ movement.”

Ernst Uhrlau, president of the Bundesnachrichtendienst:

“In das operative Geschäft war er [Osama bin Laden] seit geraumer Zeit nicht mehr zentral eingebunden, aber er war ideologischer Ideengeber und Chefstratege.”

  • Spiegel 19/2011, p. 30 (07.05.2011)

US Senior Intelligence Official:

“The following is a key point:  the materials reviewed over the past several days clearly show that bin Laden remained an active leader in al Qaeda, providing strategic, operational and tactical instructions to the group. […] The materials reviewed thus far reveal that bin Laden continued to direct even tactical details of the group’s management and to encourage plotting.”

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