Osama Bin Laden killed in Pakistan: young Europeans react

Article published on May 2, 2011
Article published on May 2, 2011
From corners of the Balkans and Europe to Americans and Pakistanis on the European continent, why the news of the US killing of the Saudi Arabian al-Qaida leader on 2 May, who took charge of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, hasn’t ruffled the most obvious feathers

Macedonians are believing a lot in conspiracy theories. They think Osama Bin Laden is an imaginary man from the US. People aren’t afraid of global terrorism because we don't have experience of that. On television channel 24 News Macedonia, criminologist Dusko Stojanovski called it good news for the world, but warned that the al-Qaida group isn’t dead; WikiLeaks reported that maybe they had a nuclear bomb in Europe should an islamic leader ever be killed, for example’

Zoran, Skopje

‘I don’t think any Pakistanis are making a particularly big deal out of this. The general consensus thus far is: a) It won’t affect the global war much, nor has it for a long time, and b) We may get a nasty backlash at home. I thought he was dead for a good five years already. There are so many other leaders, other groups. He's not the leader the west make him out to be. It has very little to do with the war on terror and a lot more to do with US domestic policy. My family in Pakistan think there will be nasty attacks, but I can’t imagine it having a particularly serious or long lasting impact’

Irfan, Geneva

‘It’s great that terrorists lost their symbol. But I don't think we've woken up in a better world today if there are still people who wildly celebrate killing a man

Anna, Warsaw

‘The fellow Americans I know in Europe are all quite happy about it and celebrating. I haven't heard any cynical or suspicious comments from Americans here. But I have heard some from Europeans thinking it's staged or fake because they reportedly don't have the body’

Dennis, Brussels

'This news was a surprise. All these years, it seems like the world is chasing a ghost and now we hear that Bin Laden was living not far from the Pakistani capital and not in some kind of cave. And the Americans took ten years to discover this. But after all, Karadzic lived quietly for years in Belgrade'

Maja, Banja Luka

‘The death of Bin Laden at the hands of the US is part-revenge on the twin towers attack in 2001, certainly for its potent symbolism. Nevertheless this general tone of ‘re-established pride’ is too reminiscent of the sheriff who hangs a body from a tree to satisfy the masses and their thirst for revenge. With its indiscriminate bombings and Guantanamos, the so-called war on terror is too terrible to allow us to be swept away by triumphalism’

Aníbal, Barcelona

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