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Dr Fox – we must continue to battle Al-Qaeda

May 3, 2011

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has spoken to the media about the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who was killed in a US operation in Pakistan on Sunday.

In an official statement Dr Fox said:

“Osama bin Laden was responsible for the murder of dozens of British citizens around the world, including 66 Britons in his attack on 9/11. His global terror spree led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians from many nationalities and every major religion.

“The news of his death is an important milestone in the struggle against global terrorism. But we must continue to battle against the ideology and the organisation of Al-Qaeda.

“In view of the possibility of violent attacks from Al-Qaeda or its sympathisers I have directed my Department to maintain a high level of vigilance in all UK defence facilities at home and abroad.”

Dr Liam Fox outside the Ministry of Defence Main Building in London (stock image) Picture: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Amanda Reynolds, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010

Asked by the media whether UK forces and British citizens are in more danger because of this, Dr Fox said that while bin Laden’s death is hugely significant, in terms of its operational significance it is perhaps less so than it might have been in the past. He continued:

“We face terror threats from not only Al-Qaeda but affiliates of Al-Qaeda who share their ideology on a fairly regular basis, so there’s no evidence that the risk will be increased because of today’s events, but I’m sure that we will continue to be vigilant.

“It certainly appears that bin Laden himself was less involved in orchestrating Al-Qaeda operations in very recent years. But this is an organisation that is not one man deep, and there will be others who will be willing and able, I imagine, to take over control of their operations and the impact they can bring to bear in different parts of the world.”

Asked if it alters things in Afghanistan, Dr Fox said:

“In Afghanistan we are fighting a counter-insurgency to try to create a more stable Afghanistan that works within the constitution of that country and with a democratic government, and the reason that we’re trying to do that is to deny territory to groups like Al-Qaeda or their affiliates who would use an ungoverned space as the basis for developing and potentially launching operations against the free world in the way that they did prior to the attacks of 9/11.”

Asked if it makes it easier now that bin Laden is gone for us to do a deal with the Taliban to somehow work our way out of the situation rather than continuing a struggle which is costing so much, Dr Fox said:

“It’s an interesting piece of conjecture as to whether this will have an effect on those on the ground. President Karzai in Afghanistan of course today has already said that he hopes that that will have an effect on the Taliban, that they will recognise that they cannot defeat the global coalition against terror.

“I suppose we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out. But the resolve of the international community is there.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. neil permalink
    May 3, 2011 16:25

    Let us hope that the USA stops funding the IRA,Thay are just as bad.Look after our boy’s and girl’s.Thay should have all the help thay need,to do their job’s.We after all have the best…

    • I_love_Afghanistan permalink
      May 4, 2011 08:19

      The IRA just as bad? Hmm…. I’m not convinced.
      At least with the IRA, in the vast majority of cases they seem to ring up the police and give some warning of a blast.
      I have *never* heard of the Taliban doing that, and I’m sure they never will.
      On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being absolute evil, the Taliban rate a 10. I’d put the IRA at no more than 8.
      I think the US would be well-advised to stop funding *Pakistan*.
      I’m convinced that Pakistan knew that Bin-Laden was there all along.
      Pakistan asking the world to believe that he was there (in an *army town*), and the army didn’t know about it? I don’t thiiiiiink so…

  2. May 6, 2011 16:32

    Congratulations to the United States on finding and disposing of Osama Bin Laden. This was never going to be an easy task. Whilst this will not bring an end to the murderous activities of Al-Qaeda it gives stark message to the world that the likes of Osama Bin Laden will be found however long it takes and that they will not evade the justice they deserve. Thousands of people including many Muslims have died needlessly. Did the Pakistan government know of his whereabouts? I think not, however I would not be surprised if it became known that extremist or corrupt elements of Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the ISI were in collusion.

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