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Sunday 22.04.2018 | Name days: Armanda, Armands

Bin Laden’s death revenge more likely in Europe than Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe  so-called symbol of terrorism Osama bin Laden’s death is an important historical act of revenge for Americans primarily in the light of September 11, 2001; however, it will not significantly affect the global jihad ideology, reports Neatkarīgā.

Although Latvia has participated and is still involved in NATO missions in Muslim countries, it is not subject to significant threats because it is unlikely terrorists would select it or its neighboring countries as a revenge object, although last year after Al Qaeda threats there were two blasts in Sweden’s capital of Stockholm.

The US President Barack Obama announced on the night on Monday, May 2, that the international terrorist network Al Qaeda leader bin Laden was killed on May 1 during shootout with the US forces in Pakistan and his corpse is in the US possession. Bin Laden’s followers declared that the US and Pakistan will answer for his death.

The US Federal Department has warned its citizens to be on alert. The same applies to Latvia’s citizens intending to visit in the more influential NATO member states, as they might be hit extremists’ attacks. The Latvian Security Police warns in the nearest time the terrorist threat level in the US and Europe is likely to grow, as terrorists will seek revenge for their leader’s death.

I do not believe the threat level in Latvia will increase or decrease, says Lainis Kamaldiņš, the former head of the Constitutional Protection Bureau. The Reserve Brigade General Kārlis Krēsliņš considers  Al-Qaeda will target either a recognizable country or one with less powerful anti-terrorism authorities in order to demonstrate their power.

Krēsliņš reminded that NATO Summit was held in Riga, so Latvia’s name is not that obscure anymore. From such a point of view, the Baltic region is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, especially since terrorists’ plans in the US have failed repeatedly.

The Security Police has no information on possible terrorist plans to organize attacks in Latvia’s territory or against its citizens abroad, the Assistant to the Security Police Chief Kristīne Apse-Krūmiņa said yesterday.

While Kamaldiņš indicated currently it is difficult to judge whether bin Laden was just a symbol or had a real and influential power. Even if recently he had allegedly or actually distanced himself from Al Qaeda, the loss of leader is a blow to the organization, pointed out Krēsliņš.

Al Qaeda is an organization with its own structure, but undeniably bin Laden was their flag and symbol. The psychological factor plays an important role. Possibly, the followers will search for contacts to exit the black area and live in this world, Krēsliņš conceded the terrorists’ possible wish to legalize. The Security Police Counterterrorism Center’s observations suggest bin Laden’s death might affect the future activities of Al Qaeda significantly. The death of a leader will weaken the grouping or even undermine its existence, Apse-Krūmiņa notes.

Yet, Kamaldiņš argued that Al Qaeda is not the only extremist organization. Other groups are no less influential such as Hezbollāh and HAMĀS.

Also, Krumiņa adds if Al Qaeda no longer existed, its global jihadist ideology would continue to spread and inspire individuals in different regions of the world. Consequently, the radical Islamic terrorist threats will not reduce considerably. Moreover, the US continues military operations in several Muslim countries – Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Iran – and Latvia participates in some of these missions with either its presence or political support.

As a member of NATO, Latvia does not intend to leave the mission in Afghanistan, the President of Latvia and the National Armed Forces Commander Valdis Zatlers confirmed yesterday, May 2.


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