Osama bin Laden may well and truly be dead. He predicted long ago he would die a martyr in a gunfight with US forces. Bin Laden has been more or less retired for the past 8-10 years, spending his time and energies in staying alive with a $25 million price on his head. He had almost become irrelevant.
Al-Qaida’s number two, the Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, remains at large and is now titular head of what remains of the organization of which he has been operations chief for many years. Dr. Zawahiri, who was brutally tortured in Egypt, is a dangerous extremist with much blood on his hands and a lust for revenge.
Bin Laden is dead, but bin-Ladenism lives on. Osama’s primary goal was to end Western domination of the Muslim world, and exploitation of its resources, which he claimed were being plundered. The Western-backed dictators, generals and kings that ruled the Muslim world as overseers for foreign interests had to be overthrown proclaimed bin Laden.
The Muslim world rejected bin Laden’s bloody-mindedness and his utopian calls for a reborn Islamic caliphate, but many of its people, particularly so younger ones, embraced his calls for revolutions to liberate the region from brutal dictatorships that licked the West’s boots, spread corruption, and betrayed the cause of Palestine. Husni Mubarak’s Egypt amply fit this description.
Osama bin Laden lived long enough to see the revolutions that he had helped ignite among young people burst into towering flames. In this sense, bin Ladenism will prosper and spread, enhanced by the image of Osama the martyr.-Eric Margolis: Why bin Laden’s Ghost Is Smiling