Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube/Diller distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. His bi-weekly column appears regularly in newspapers around the globe. His website, DanielPipes.org, is one of the most accessed internet sources of specialized information on the Middle East and Islam.
Bin Laden was just a part of Al-Qaeda which is just a part of the Islamic terrorist effort which is just a part of the Islamist movement, so the announcement of his death tonight by the U.S. government makes little operational difference. The war on terror has not fundamentally changed, much less been won.
But because bin Laden symbolized Islamic terror, his taunting presence via video and audio recordings for nearly ten years after 9/11 energized his allies and frustrated his enemies. Conversely, his execution by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan gives Americans pride in their country, encourages the security and intelligence organizations, and is a body blow to Islamists