Bin Laden Assassination reaction from the Arab world – Anger to Apathy but not a sign of any dancing in the streets

Most of the mainstream media has been focusing on a minority of Muslims who claim they are happy bin Laden is dead. But only because they are hoping that the stigma of terrorism associated with Islam will fade away. However, there are far more in the Muslim world who are furious and vowing revenge.

  • Taliban threatens revenge attacks against Pakistan and U.S.
  • Shadowy jihadist warns ‘We will avenge killing of the Sheik of Islam’
  • Muslim Brotherhood warns of violent reaction from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Morocco and Algeria 
  • Hamas condemns ‘assassination of an Arab holy warrior’
  • U.S. State Department warns of ‘enhanced potential for anti-American violence

UK DAILY MAIL The Taliban has threatened revenge attacks against the United States and the government of Pakistan after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. And within hours of the announcement, the Pakistan branch of the Taliban – Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – has threatened reprisals, proclaiming Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari their first target, ahead of the U.S.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, a spokesman for the TTP said: ‘Now Pakistani rulers, President Zardari and the army will be our first targets, America will be our second target.’

A notorious Al Qaeda ideologue has also condemned the killing, which represents the first jihadist admission of Bin Laden’s death.  Many jihadists have refused to believe Western media coverage of the death and are waiting to receive confirmation from their own trusted sources.

But the prominent commentator, who goes by the online moniker ‘Assad al-Jihad2’, posted on extremist websites a long eulogy for Bin Laden and said the Islamic holy war against the West was far from over.

‘Woe to his enemies. By God, we will avenge the killing of the Sheik of Islam,’ he wrote. ‘Those who wish that jihad has ended or weakened, I tell them: Let us wait a little bit.’

Militant websites with links to Al Qaeda regularly post long interviews with al-Jihad2 on the protocols of waging holy war. He is also often used to resolve questions of doctrine. ‘The battle between us and international tyranny is long and will not be stopped by the martyrdom of our beloved one, the lion of Islam,’ wrote said al-Jihad2, whose online name means lion of jihad.

How many martyrdom seekers have been born today? ‘The weight of Sheik Osama is equal to that of the whole United States. ‘Which country managed to attack the Pentagon? Which countries managed to send the most powerful country in the world into decline? The one who did that is a nation called Osama Bin Laden.’

Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, also called Bin Laden a martyr. ‘We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior,’ said Haniyeh.  ‘We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.’

Sheik Mohamed Osman Arus said: ‘The Americans have previously killed other Islamist leaders. ‘Their students will continue the jihad and we shall retaliate against the Americans, Israel, Europe and Christians in Somalia with destructive explosions.’

REUTERS – “Oh God, please make this news not true ... God curse you, Obama,” said a message on a Jihadist forum in some of the first Islamist reaction to the al Qaeda leader’s death. Oh Americans … it is still legal for us to cut your necks.”

For some in the Middle East, bin Laden has been seen as the only Muslim leader to take the fight against Western dominance to the heart of the enemy — in the form of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. On the streets of Saudi Arabia, bin Laden’s native land which stripped him of his citizenship after September 11, there was a mood of disbelief and sorrow among many.

“I feel that it is a lie,” said one Saudi in Riyadh. He did not want to be named. “I don’t trust the U.S. government or the media. They just want to be done with his story. It would be a sad thing if he really did die. I love him and in my eyes he is a hero and a jihadist.” Officials in the country of his birth maintained near silence at the news of bin Laden’s death. The state news agency merely noted that Washington and Pakistan had announced it. Other Gulf Arab states also eschewed comment.

While some hoped his death may terminate al Qaeda, many others believe that al Qaeda franchises across the world would continue campaigns against the United States.

“I am not happy at the news. Osama was seeking justice. He was taking revenge on the Americans and what they did to Arabs, his death to me is martyrdom, I see him a martyr,” added Egyptian Sameh Bakry, a Suez Canal employee.

Omar Bakri, a Lebanese Sunni cleric, mourned bin Laden as a martyr: “His martyrdom will give momentum to a large generation of believers and jihadists. “Al Qaeda is not a political party, it is a jihadist movement. Al Qaeda does not end with the death of a leader. Bin Laden was first the generation of the Qaeda and now there is a second, third, fourth and fifth generation.”

In Iraq, ravaged by nearly a decade of violence in the battle between bin Laden and the West, some were cautious about the circumstances in which Washington announced his death. “This is the end of this play. The play about the character of bin Laden that was fabricated by Americans to deform the image of Islam and Muslims,” said Ali Hussain.

In Kandahar, the Taliban heartland of southern Afghanistan, one man who asked not to be named, said of Bin Laden: ‘Now he is the number one martyr for Al Qaeda because he is stronger dead than alive.

‘He always predicted that he would be killed by Americans. Now he will become a fire that Muslims will follow for generations.’  Bin Laden’s death has been greeted with deafening silence from governments in the Gulf Arab states. The foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, attending a meeting of Gulf foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi, all declined to comment.

In non-Arab Iran, a sworn enemy of the United States, some ordinary people were also skeptical of Washington’s account: “Are we sure that he has been killed?” said Tehran shopkeeper Ali Asghar Sedaghat. “Or is it another game of the Americans?”