As we all celebrate this minor victory (it seems almost weekly now that an “al-Qaeda #” from country X is slain) we should also ponder this far more reaching question: will the slaying of individual terrorists — be they Zawahiri or bin Laden — have any real effects on the long term goals of the jihad? Will it eliminate the theological mandate of jihad and the division of the world into two perpetually warring halves — Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb? Killing them off one by one is of course a very good thing. But let’s always keep in mind the differences between symptom (terrorist) and cause (ideology).
“Top Al-Qaeda operative believed killed in Pakistan,” from the Regional Times, October 20:
ISLAMABAD: A missile attack from a remotely piloted US aircraft is believed to have killed a senior member of Al Qaeda in South Waziristan, a former member of a militant group in the region said. The operative, Khalid Habib, an Egyptian who was chief of operations in Pakistan’s tribal region, was described by the CIA as the fourth-ranking person in the Qaeda hierarchy.