Those who theorize a conspiracy around the death of Osama bin Laden can rest easy if they choose. Multiple websites linked with Al-Qaeda have confirmed the death of the Al-Qaeda leader.
The statement, dated May 3, was the first to acknowledge the death of their leader since he was killed by U.S. Navy Seals in a raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Although the statement’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed, it was posted on websites where the terror group traditionally posts its messages.
However, the post seemed to indicate the writers were unaware of the announcement by U.S. officials that bin Laden’s body had been buried at sea. It demanded that bin Laden’s body not be mishandled or mistreated and that it be handed over to his family. It added that “any harm (to the body) will open more doors of evil, and there will be no one to blame but yourselves.”
In addition, the statement said that an audio message that Osama bin Laden recorded a week before his death would be issued soon. [Perhaps fortunate that they acknowledged the death prior to releasing the audio, as otherwise, conspiracy theorists would have erupted.]
Finally, the statement emphasized that despite the death of Osama bin Laden, the organization would continue its efforts.
“It is impossible, impossible. Sheik Osama didn’t build an organization to die when he dies. The university of faith, Quran and jihad from which bin Laden graduated will not close its doors,” it added. “The soldiers of Islam will continue in groups and united, plotting and planning without getting bored, tired, with determination, without giving up until striking a blow.”
Speaking on “The Today Show” on Friday, however, security analyst Peter Bergen, author of “The Longest War: Enduring Conflict Between America and Al Qaeda,” said that if Ayman al-Zawahiri took over al-Qaeda, he would “run it into the ground.”
“He’s not well liked or well regarded, even by people in his own Egyptian, sort of, Jihadist group. He doesn’t have the stature that bin Laden has. He’s regarded as a divisive figure.”