Osama may be 'taken out' this year

As per a UK security expert, Laden and Zawahiri will be "taken out of circulation" in 2006, reports Vijay Dutt.
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Published on Feb 23, 2006 07:33 PM IST
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None | ByVijay Dutt, London

According to Aegis Defence Services, a British security consultancy, founded by a former British Army Colonel Tim Spicer, the most wanted and hunted terrorist in the world Osama bin Laden is "largely a spent force".

He has prophesised, in his annual assessment of the threat world faces from terrorists, that bin Laden or his second-in-command Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri will be "taken out of circulation" in 2006.

He also believed his capture would not affect global Islamic terrorism.

"The intelligence net is closing in: Osama bin Laden and/or al-Zawahiri will be taken out of circulation in 2006."

Spicer warned that instead of Osama bin Laden, the home-grown terrorists in Europe with no previous link to known groups and no formal terror training, such as those who carried out the July 7 atrocities, were a greater menace.

The report said, "Osama bin Laden is out of the mainstream, but still capable of making threats. Bin Laden is largely a spent force, whose position is now emblematic and whose role is confined to setting the world-view of aggressive defence of Islam against the 'West'. He is certainly no longer in operational control of events."

"Islamist terrorism around the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, would be unaffected by his death or incapacitation."

The report added that a "new and more complex threat", was from independent groups as they inspired by bin Laden's philosophy were "shifting and fragmented" and therefore more difficult to target.

"The greater threat from Islamist terrorism will come from groups who are operationally independent and set their own agendas within the broader Islamist world view, but tailored to their own localised requirements."

The predictions of Aegis are taken seriously for it also prophesised that terrorist attacks in Iraq would reduce slightly by the end of the year, and that Iran would back down over its nuclear programme before UN sanctions were imposed.

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