May 2nd, 2011
12:38 PM ET

Hamas mourns Osama bin Laden's death

Editor's Note: Elliott Abrams is former senior director for the Near East and deputy national security adviser handling Middle East affairs in the George W. Bush administration. He is now a senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

By Elliott Abrams – Special to CNN

The timing of Osama bin Laden’s death is perfect, coming during the Arab Spring. Al Qaeda’s message that violence, terrorism and extremism are the only answer for Arabs seeking dignity and hope is being rejected each day in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and throughout the Arab lands.

Al Qaeda and its view of the world are being pushed aside in favor of demands for new governments, free elections, freedom of speech and assembly and an end to corruption. Bin Laden’s death weakens Al Qaeda and Salafi movements further by taking away their most powerful symbol.

It is logical to expect that Al Qaeda will try to respond with new operations to prove that they are still alive. Indeed, they may be able to launch operations for bin Laden himself was no longer much involved with operational planning. But that says little about the overall future health and influence of the organization.

Hamas has already spoken out to mourn bin Laden’ death - a useful reminder to us all of what Hamas believes and wishes for Palestinians. It will be interesting to see how other groups react and what they say, but the Hamas statement will reverberate in the United States. A Palestinian government that contains a group mourning and celebrating this murderer will not appear to most Americans to be a possible peace partner for Israel.

Al Qaeda has been losing influence in the face of the Arab Revolts of 2011, and bin Laden’s death may come to symbolize that the organization is growing weaker. That is why the timing is so important.

Topics: Osama bin Laden • Terrorism

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soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Unfortunately, today's statement illustrates clearly why there can be no US role in or support of creation of a Palestinian state until the Palestinians reject Hamas.

    May 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  2. Mudobed

    I am not into gore but I want PROOF by way of pictures of his dead body. Suddam Hussein's execution was televised right down to seeing his body drop, them taking his dead body down and the noose from around his head to his dead body with broken neck in a shroud. Now they say they killed Bin Laden but then dumped his body into the ocean!!!???? Give me a break! I've just read no country wanted to claim his body so they dumped him at sea. BS! I want to not only know the DNA was that of Osama (remember close relatives can have the same DNA) but I want to see pictures of the bullet hole through his left eye and his sick demented brain, just as we did with Hussein and his two creeped out sons laying in death!

    May 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • Erick

      I disagree with you. if release bin laden's photo that will be violence. I am glad Obama did right thing to do. Important thing is that they found videos that Bin Laden kept. It showed that Bin Laden watched his own small TV at the compound that Obama was on TV that means he was alive. Obama was elected for president in 2008. He has been president for three years. That is good enough prove. No question.

      May 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  3. Sailhardy

    The President would never risk such an embarrassment as bin Laden popping up again. He may not be terribly competent, but he is not stupid. That was bin Laden's body, hopefully dropped from a chopper into the sea.

    May 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  4. Jim

    The decision to bury him at sea was brilliant. No physical shrine to this monster at his gravesite. Let the ocean's
    scavengers eat him if they can stand it.

    May 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    I find it inconceivable, that those in the special unit couldn't capture bin Laden alive. They must have outnumbered bin Laden und could have fired shots, without killing him. This whole business smells a rat.

    May 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Onesmallvoice

      They don't call the C.I.A. the masters of deceit for nothing,j. von hettlingen. The true Usama bin Laden has probably been dead for years on end.

      May 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  6. Jerome Puetz

    The wicked witch is dead.
    It is a strange place we come from, this celebration of the enemy’s death, we the American people are not as loved around the world as we would like to believe. We should all ask ourselves, Why? If we don’t try to understand our neighbors and even or enemies then we learn little about our true selves; America for all the good she and we do, much of it is self serving. We may not be looking to invade and conquer, but when the power of capitalism that America has branded has been exposed on to the rest of the world, via the information age. In effect we are invading the world. The TV ads are like propaganda, these ads are not what is real, nor are it a proper depiction of who we are and what we real stand for. Freedom is what set the sparks of creativity. People, freedom, rights, and the simplest of laws kept justly. I have a gut feeling that we the people can’t wait for the politicians to fix some of the fundamental ills that this nation is right now experiencing.

    It has to come from each and every one of us, from inside, we need to live our life’s by our own set standards.
    Sorry if the death of an enemy seems like an odd thing to celebrate if we failed to learn lessons about us.

    May 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • me..

      you all cannot say that!!!there is no prove that osama bin laden is death and also his picture..!!

      May 6, 2011 at 9:35 am | Reply
  7. Onesmallvoice

    Another victory for the Axis of Evil(the United States,Great Britain and France). All this reminds of the early days of WW2 when Germany,Italy and the other country whose name starts with a J were quite triumphant over the allies.

    May 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • TomJ

      Onesmallvoice? More like Onesmallmind!

      May 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  8. BrianZ

    Are Palestinians anti-semitic? What nonsense. Palestinians have every reason to hate Israel as the "Jewish State" as it calls itself. If you were a small child growing up in a squalid refugee camp — utterly without the hope of any real future — how would you feel about the people who doomed you to this existence? Would you hate them? Would you want to make war on them? Of course you would.

    May 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • SamB

      "how would you feel about the people who doomed you to this existence?" I would also hate them if I was in this position. And the people who doomed them to this existence are the PA and Hamas......blame no one else.

      May 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
    • sheri

      Look at the headline genius- does Hamas seems like a rational peace partner???

      May 3, 2011 at 5:54 am | Reply
  9. Dayv B.

    Did you really just say that? What do you define as evil? Are you really putting Hitler, Mussolini, and Imperial Japan eating from the same trough as the US, England , and France? Pick up a history book. Making comments like that only shows ignorance.

    May 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Ange

      Or... you lack self awareness.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
  10. Hugh Mann

    I really think bin Laden's death is a win win for all involved. It's all based on point of view. On the political world stage the US wins; Al-Queda has something to hate the US even more for; so we are perpetuating the cycle of violence and egoism once again.

    Just like the comments made here; something this large is nothing but worldly. The one thing it does do from all else is take away from humanity, just like bin Laden planned to do with the attacks in 2011. Dehumanizing people is what terrorism and dictators want to do to their adversaries.

    People(humans) are not born with religion. These are ideas planted by our upbringing and experiences in life. We are born human. Each and every one of us. Until a person can learn to be human first you will have egotistic idealistic who see there own hatreds and loves as being the valued way for all humanity.

    But if he is really dead, humanity is definitely better off without him. At least no more will die under his living name...like in the Crusades and all wars fought in the name of Gods...

    May 2, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  11. sumeya

    u all selfish how can u guys believe with out picture hes dead Obama hes playing a game on so he can a president for the next 4year lolllllll u need to proof tht osama is dead .

    May 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Ariana

      You sound incredibly educated. Please, tell me more.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • me..

      i agree that but i just 13 years old girl soo...but i agree you sumeye..

      May 6, 2011 at 9:33 am | Reply
  12. Kabeer

    So unholy were his actions in the name of Allah, that no coffin offered him refuge. In the dark depths of cold watery grave lies this unlucky body – a lesson, a reminder to all those who preach jihad or revenge in name of Allah.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply

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