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CONNECT THE WORLD
Osama bin Laden Dead
Aired May 2, 2011 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Justice has been done -- that from the U.S. president, as the world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, is killed in Pakistan. The mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was shot dead in a U.S. operation in a town in Pakistan.
Well, crowds flocked to Ground Zero and Times Square in New York to celebrate the announcement.
Around the world, reaction is pouring in.
This is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Becky Anderson in London.
ALI VELSHI, CO-HOST: And I'm Ali Velshi at Ground Zero.
All the latest detail, analysis and global reaction coming up.
ANDERSON: Right. Well, U.S. President Barack Obama calls it "a good day for America" and, he says, for the world.
We begin a special two hour edition of our show tonight, with details of the death of the world's most notorious terrorist.
An elite team of U.S. forces swooped down on the compound in Pakistan under cover of darkness, killing Osama bin Laden after a brief firefight.
Well, our first look inside the million dollar hideout comes from ABC News.
The U.S. government hasn't released any photos of bin Laden's body but a DNA match reportedly confirms it was the al Qaeda leader. A top U.S. security official explained the operation just minutes ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We were not going to put our people at risk. The president put a premium on making sure that our personnel were protected. And we were not going to give bin Laden or any of his cohorts the opportunity to carry out lethal fire on our forces.
He was engaged and he was killed in the process. But if we had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have done that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, well, a tip eight months ago pointed U.S. intelligence officials to the compound near Islamabad, a leafy town just 50 kilometers up the road from the capital, the seat of Pakistan's government.
Well, bin Laden's hideout was near the country's main military academy.
Well, of course, that is a far cry from a remote cave, where many speculated bin Laden may have been hiding.
So is it really possible Pakistan's army and intelligence service didn't know that he was living in a military garrison town?
Well, let's bring in Nick Paton Walsh in Islamabad -- Nick, the government has a lot of questions to answer today.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean I think we should also address the gravity of suggesting that the Pakistani establishment, security forces and intelligence officers here, knew bin Laden was in that house. If that were the case, that would be an enormous, enormous claim, frankly.
There is no suggestion that there is any evidence to back that up at the moment. There is this enormous suspicion, frankly. We're talking about eight months in which this -- the world's most wanted man sat in a quite conspicuous walled building very close to a military academy in one of the cities here.
I think it's important to point out, perhaps it could have been relatively easy for him to keep a low profile in such a large building, with couriers coming back and forth, and in a large city, perhaps, where movements like that could more easily blend in.
But the questions have, since this morning, been really reverberating around here and, obviously in Washington, as well, what level of Pakistani knowledge was there about this?
Pakistani officials very early getting out in front of this, saying that they were actually on the ground during the operation. That being denied by the Americans and subsequently by the Pakistanis as well.
So a real effort by them to -- to suggest they were actively involved in this operation. But so far, we've only got the suggestion from one Pakistani intelligence official that they passed raw data, phone intercepts, to the Americans, which eventually led them to this compound and bin Laden's courier going back and forth -- Becky.
ANDERSON: All right. More from Nick Paton Walsh in the next two hours.
Nick, thank you for that -- Ali.
VELSHI: Becky, Americans have waited nearly 10 years for this day, for justice to finally catch up to the mastermind of the 2001 attacks.
Take a look at this. The terrible images from that bright, sunny morning are forever seared into the nation, if not the world, memories. No one can forget the sight of the World Trade Center -- thick black smoke billowing from the top after an attack by a hijacked plane.
Now, those Twin Towers, the ones that I -- that were where I was just standing, they would soon come crashing down, forever chan -- changing the landscape of New York and America's relationship with the rest of the world.
Now, today -- today at this very point, in Ground Zero, a very different scene.
VELSHI: As news of bin Laden's death -- news of bin Laden's death spread around the United States and around the coun -- around the Northeast, people started to converge on Ground Zero, one of the many spots that they started to converge on. There was jubilation, flag waving, a great deal of jubilation and excitement, a celebratory environment right where I'm standing.
But there was also some somber reflection, Becky. We -- we saw some people kneeling in prayer. We spoke to one woman in the early hours of the morning, who came here with a photograph of her husband who had died. He was on the 101st floor of one of the Towers when it came down.
So a combination. Now, we've also spoken to families of some of the victims, who have said that so much attention in the last several years, Becky, has been given to al Qaeda and to Osama bin Laden, with every one of those tapes that was released. They hope now that they can adequately reflect on those who are lost, some of whose -- whose remains, Becky, have never been recovered.
ANDERSON: All right, Ali Velshi in New York for you, with reaction from there.
Reaction to the news pouring in from leaders around the globe, as well, all connected by bin Laden's campaign of global terror, of course. British Prime Minister David Cameron said bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has ever seen and described his death as a great success.
The Turkish foreign minister said his country has suffered immensely from terrorism, citing the 2003 bombings in Islamabad and blamed bin Laden for creating a link between Islam and terror.
The Israeli president, Shimon Peres, described it as a great piece of news for the free world, saying: "This man was a mega murderer who killed thousands and thousands of innocent people."
And from Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the fight against terrorism does not end with bin Laden's death. And I quote: "We must remain vigilant against the threat posed by al Qaeda and the groups that it has inspired."
Well, a lot more coming up for you in the next couple of hours.
The hunt for bin Laden has been long and not without sacrifices.
Next up, we're going to take a look at the mission to capture and kill the world's most wanted man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a day not only for Americans, but also for people all over the world who look to a more peaceful and secure future, yes, with continued vigilance, but more so with growing hope and renewed faith in what is possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Osama bin Laden is just one person. He -- he is representative of a -- of networks of people who are -- who absolutely have made the -- their -- their cause to defeat the freedoms that we -- we take -- that we understand. And we will not allow him to do so.
QUESTION: Do you want bin Laden dead?
BUSH: I want him held -- I want -- I want justice. And there was an old poster out West, as I recall, that said: "wanted: Dead or alive."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Those words from the former U.S. president just days after the 9/11 attacks. Back then, few could have imagined it would take nearly a decade to find and kill Osama bin Laden. And it didn't happen on George W. Bush's watch, of course.
We now know it was the CIA that tracked down bin Laden. And at President Barack Obama's command, U.S. Navy SEALS took over and finished the job.
Let's find out more on exactly how that fiery raid unfolded. Jim Clancy is at CNN Center -- Jim.
JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, what a fascinating story. You know, CNN piecing together how this mission unfolded. The key lead -- U.S. intelligence painstakingly pursued a trusted courier used by Osama bin Laden. The courier's pseudonym came from detainees at the Guantanamo prison. Then it took six years to uncover his real name, two more to learn his area of operations, and, finally, almost nine years after the September 11th attacks, the U.S. identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother lived and worked.
The courier tracked to this compound in Abbottabad, about one hundred kilometers north of Islamabad, the capital.
Now, U.S. intelligence judged -- if you look at this, the sheer size and security of the compound appeared to be too much for a simple courier. High walls not that uncommon, really, in Pakistan. You'll see 12, 18 foot high walls. But they suspected a bigger target when they learned the resident was unwilling to connect phone or Internet lines.
Only a small group inside the U.S. government knew about the operation, carried out by Navy SEALS and helicopters. Bin Laden resisted the assault and was killed in the firefight, shot in the side of the head. We just heard from John Brennan, saying that a woman, one of Osama bin Laden's wives, apparently, was used as a human shield by another victim of shooting by those SEALS. Now, when the U.S. finally made the move, they did so without informing Pakistan's government. Now, that's a key thing here, Becky. Some have wondered openly how bin Laden could have been right there without someone in Pakistan's intelligence service knowing about it, knowing about this residence. After all, this is where the military academy of the country is located.
Those who have worked with the Pakistanis say, though, they do cooperate. They said don't judge this case by what you see and hear in public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: We're going to give you the information, attack at this location or launch a drone missile strike at such and such location. And then afterward, they would publicly express shock and outrage and the United States has violated our sovereignty and we're very upset about it.
But behind the scenes, congratulate us for carrying out the mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: In any event, they weren't told about it. The operation lasted about 40 minutes. There were no U.S. casualties.
No word yet -- did they take anyone in for interrogation?
How much intelligence might have they gathered inside that residence, that compound, where Osama bin Laden met his end?
A U.S. helicopter did crash during the operations due to mechanical reasons, we're told -- Becky, back to you.
ANDERSON: All right, Jim.
Thanks for that.
A few burning questions, then, do remain, of course.
How much did the Pakistanis know about the raid?
And what role, if any, did they play in the planning?
Well, let's get some answers.
Wajid Hasan is Pakistan's ambassador to the UK.
He's joining me now.
It's a simple question -- did or -- did the government know?
WAJID HASAN, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: They did.
ANDERSON: They did?
HASAN: They did and that's why there was extreme cooperation between the United States and Pakistani intelligence and the United States.
ANDERSON: OK, the Americans tell us that this was covert, that the Pakistanis didn't know. You're telling me tonight, officially, the Pakistani government knew about the operation?
HASAN: Yes, they knew about the operation and there was cooperation and this was acknowledged by Hillary Clinton this afternoon that...
ANDERSON: What sort of cooperation?
HASAN: Intelligence. And, you know, Osama, otherwise, wouldn't have come down to Abbottabad. You know, Abbottabad has a heli station, which is hasan (ph) -- that's under the tourists these days. And he were -- he usually operated in Tora Bora mountain caves or in the northern areas or in Afghanistan.
ANDERSON: Let me just have you listen to what John Brennan said in a press conference only moments ago.
Let's just play that and I'll have you react to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: We didn't contact the Pakistanis until after all of our people, all of our aircraft, were out of Pakistani air space. At the time, the Pakistanis were reacting to an incident that they knew was taking place in Abbottabad. Therefore, they were scrambling some of their assets.
Clearly, we were concerned that the Pakistanis decided the president scramble jets or whatever else. They didn't know who was on those jets. They have no idea about who might have been on there, whether it was the U.S. or somebody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: So who's telling the truth?
John Brennan says, and I quote, "We didn't contact the Pakistanis until after all of our people and all of our aircraft were out of Pakistani air space."
HASAN: Well, Becky, I must tell you, the night, yesterday, when the American helicopter crashed or it was attacked by a missile, that we don't know, at that time, the entire area was cordoned off by the Pakistan Army and the police services so that nobody should escape from there.
Obviously, we knew something was there. And that's why we helped them.
ANDERSON: But that's the point, isn't it?
Did you know who the target was?
HASAN: I think we knew that, who the target was.
ANDERSON: But you can't be sure?
HASAN: We can't be sure.
ANDERSON: All right. OK.
ANDERSON: Should the Pakistanis have been more involved?
HASAN: Well, it would have been -- you know, we are involved, we were involved and we have remained involved and we'll continue to remain involved. But the fact is that in this operation, we thought it would be better if the Americans carried it out on them -- by themselves.
ANDERSON: OK. I spoke to President Musharraf just before this show started, the former president of Pakistan. He said that this was a violation of Pakistani sovereignty.
HASAN: Well, this is what he says now, but he doesn't remember his own times, when he allowed Americans to post their own CIA men at each and every airport in Pakistan and they would just take photographs of every passenger and send it back home. So he didn't -- he doesn't remember that.
And he also allowed bases -- the American bases to air force -- the American Air Force in Pakistan.
ANDERSON: Wajad, is it conceivable -- is it conceivable that Osama bin Laden could have been in a house just miles from a military installation, one of the biggest military bases outside of Islamabad, and that the ISI and/or the military didn't know...
HASAN: Well, we've got...
ANDERSON: -- he was there?
HASAN: It was not a military base. It was an academy, a training center. And, yes, he was there in a compound or in -- I would say that he was in a room in a compound and he was hiding there. And he knew there that it will be a hustle and bustle town, because of the tourists. And he being a town-like character, you know, tall and, you know, a big hiding beard, he would mix with them. But he wouldn't go out with a shopping bag to buy his daily purchases or that sort of thing. He was hiding there.
But again, I would say that somebody from ISI led the Americans onto it. You know, they -- otherwise they wouldn't have reached him. And...
ANDERSON: Is this...
HASAN: And that's why they pinpointed, the attack was so precise. If they had not known that, they would have used drones.
ANDERSON: Well, did this -- let me just...
ANDERSON: -- briefly, get you to answer this question.
ANDERSON: Is the Pakistani government satisfied that this was a CIA, covert operation and that they weren't as involved as they might have been, but are they satisfied that it is OK?
HASAN: It's OK. Yes, we -- because Osama had waged a war against Pakistan. And we believe that it was a joint war. And we were jointly fighting it. That's it and that is what we've got, the objective. And no regrets about it. We are very happy with it, present with it, pleased with it.
And we believe that it should have been done earlier.
ANDERSON: All right, we're going to leave it there...
HASAN: But since we couldn't get -- lay our hands on him, he used to move around in those rugged mountains, difficult terrain. Now he was brought into the city, where he could be easily targeted.
ANDERSON: And with that, I'm going to leave it there.
We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us, as ever, on this show.
The high commissioner from Pakistan in the U.K. today.
Well, scenes of jubilation in New York and across America and, indeed, around the world. But amid the celebrations over this monumental milestone, warnings of a heightened terror threat. We look at security fears, up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It took 10 years to track Osama bin Laden down. It took 10 years to bring a measure of justice to his victims. But the battle against terrorism is long and relentless and resolute. This is a day of victory, a victory for justice, for freedom and for our common civilization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This news will be welcomed right across our country. Of course, it does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terror. Indeed, we'll have to be particularly vigilant in the weeks ahead.
But it is, I believe, a massive step forward. Osama bin Laden was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children right across the world -- people of every race and religion. He was also responsible for ordering the death of many, many British citizens, both here and in other parts of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: And that is U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, calling it a massive step forward, but saying that the world needs to remain vigilant.
And on that note, the U.S. State Department is warning U.S. travelers abroad that there could be retaliation against Americans and warning them to be vigilant, to stay near their hotel rooms in places where there may be mass gatherings, avoid those mass gatherings. I'm quoting from the U.S. State Department, saying that government agencies, U.S. government against around the world are at a heartened state of alert, recommending that travelers keep up with the local media coverage and stay in contact with family and friends. Also recommending that U.S. travelers enroll with the Department of State Smart Traveler Program so that they can get updates and have their whereabouts tracked.
Now, when you think back, Becky, to 2001, 9/11, that's really when most people and most Americans first heard Osama bin Laden's name. But if you were vigilant and a custom of news, you would have heard it back in 2000, of course, because he was tied to the bombing of the USS Cole.
I'm joined now by Commander Kirk Lippold.
He was the commander of the USS Cole back in 2001, when it was in Yemen, when it was attacked.
Commander Cole -- Commander Lippold, thank you very much for joining us.
Give me some sense of what that means to you, because that was really the first intersection that most Americans had with this man named Osama bin Laden, a name that most of us were not familiar with, couldn't pronounce, in some cases. But that's where it goes back, fully more than 10 years ago.
So how does this make you feel?
KIRK LIPPOLD, FORMER USS COLE COMMANDER: Ali, I'm -- I am absolutely thrilled, along with the crew today, that we finally got Osama bin Laden. It is a measure of justice that we have waited over 10 years to see.
But it's tempered by the fact that 17 sailors from our crew, plus thousands of Americans, are still not going to be with their families. And our thoughts and prayers are with them.
VELSHI: Commander Lippold, tell me this -- and this is something we've been struggling with all day.
Is this symbolic that -- that Osama bin Laden is gone or is it actually operational?
Does this put any kind of dent in al Qaeda's operational ability to carry out big attacks, like the one on the Cole, like the ones in Tanzania and Kenya, and, of course, like 9/11?
LIPPOLD: It's both, Ali. It is both symbolic and it is operational. Osama bin Laden was the head of al Qaeda. He represented everything they stood for. He was involved in the operational planning of those initial missions, where we saw the embassies attacked, the USS Cole attacked. He clearly was involved in 9/11.
As time went on, though, he became less operationally involved, as we isolated him. But nonetheless, he still planned and directed missions. We obviously saw that through the couriers going in and out of his facility.
The reality of it is we have struck a blow against them, because we took out and killed their head. But we also took out their over -- their strategic planner for al Qaeda, which is going to be a major blow.
Yes, they're going to try and come after us. They will probably try and conduct operations worldwide, speed them up in order to strike at Americans again. But the reality of it is when they do that, we are hopefully going to be able to pick up small bits of intelligence, be able to better understand how they are trying to conduct those operations now with Osama bin Laden gone. And then we are going to individually target those cells and continue to debilitate and take out that organization.
VELSHI: Commander Lippold, I'm here at Ground Zero in New York, where we're well into 18 hours of jubilation on the streets. People spontaneously came out.
Do they have reason to be jubilant?
Is this the marking of a new chapter in the global battle against terrorism?
LIPPOLD: I think we do have reason to celebrate, Ali. But again, I would temper that with the fact that we still are missing our loved ones and our friends that are gone as a result of these attacks, but also, America needs to remain vigilant and on guard. I don't believe that we're opening a new chapter right now. I think what we're seeing is a major victory and a step toward taking down al Qaeda. The reality of it is, these terrorist organizations continue to represent a threat to our way of life. They continue to represent a threat to the world. And we must continue to be vigilant, gather the intelligence that was necessary.
As we saw here, one small thread, taking years to develop, ultimately resulted in a major victory for us. But it takes time. You have to develop it. Human intelligence does not occur quickly or overnight. And we need to make sure that we're investing the resources and time necessary to ensure that these kind of victories occur for us here at home.
VELSHI: Commander Lippold, we're -- we're thinking along with the victims of 9/11 and their families, we're thinking of the victims of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, your crew and their families.
Thanks for being with us today.
LIPPOLD: Thank you, Ali.
Glad to be here today.
And our thoughts and prayers are still with them, but nonetheless, a great victory.
VELSHI: And -- and that's what a number of the families of the victims of 9/11 have told us, that at least they feel that some of the attention can go to some of those victims.
Obviously, this is a story of great global interest. And CNN has you covered all over the world. CNN's correspondents are coverage all the angels.
Al Goodman has the reaction from Madrid.
Be the first, we want to go to Nairobi, where David McKenzie has more on al Qaeda's impact in Kenya -- David.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie in Nairobi, Kenya.
The 1998 al Qaeda bombings of the U.S. Embassy here and in Tanzania really put Osama bin Laden on the map. And this region has been on the forefront of the terror fight ever since. And while the victims and their families were celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden today, there is a sense of worry here in Kenya of an existing terror threat from neighboring Somalia. The mantle of terror in this area has been taken over by Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-linked group in Somalia that once only wanted to take over Somalia itself, but now have jihadist aspirations throughout this region and throughout the world.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Al Goodman in Madrid, outside the Atocha train station. Seven years ago, terrorist attacks on morning rush hour commuter trains killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 others, most of the casualties here. Prosecutors said the attacks were not directly organized by Osama bin Laden, but were inspired by al Qaeda. So Spain's deputy prime minister said the government and the nation are relieved that Osama bin Laden has been killed. But the deputy prime minister adds, the fight against al Qaeda is far from over.
ANDERSON: Al Goodman in Madrid for you.
Well, you heard Ali speaking to the commander of the USS Cole just earlier.
Well, just about a couple of hours ago, I spoke to the U.S. ambassador to London, Louis Susman.
And I asked him whether he thought this was the end or just the beginning of a new chapter in the war on terror.
This is what he said.
LOUIS SUSMAN, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: Osama bin Laden publicly acknowledged he was the mastermind of the 9/11 events. He has publicly acknowledged that he has been the mastermind of other events, whether it was the bombing of the Cole or in East Africa.
And so it was very important that in our fight against Al Qaeda, that the visual head, the person that took credit for these and was the leader of Al Qaeda was either captured or killed.
But that doesn't mean the fight against al Qaeda is over. And you must realize that al Qaeda is just one of other extremist organizations that are out to harm America and our allies.
So I would say it's the continuation of what we have to do, which is our sole mission, which is dismantle and destroy Al Qaeda so they don't come back.
ANDERSON: So will the efforts be diverted now to other areas where we know there to be, for example, Al Qaeda franchises?
SUSMAN: Well, I would say to you that al Qaeda -- wherever al Qaeda is, if it -- they're in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, wherever they are, that's where we will seek them out and do our best to capture or destroy them.
ANDERSON: Does this affect the mission in Afghanistan, because at the end of the day that is probably the least likely place to create any sort of attack against the States, now, with bin Laden gone.
SUSMAN: Well, you know, I would tell you that it won't change our mission. Our mission is to create an Afghanistan that is safe and stable. Give the Afghanistan people a chance to be master of their own destinies. What we can't allow happen, is to create a situation in Afghanistan where the Al Qaeda camps come back, the pop up, the training camps, etc cetera. That is part of this mission. To not only dismantle and destroy them, but so they don't come back.
ANDERSON: Is it really conceivable that he was living so close a military base in Pakistan and the Pakistanis couldn't have known that he was there?
SUSMAN: I do know that I have been told that they were cooperative with us. I do know that the government has issued a very, very strong statement in support of what we have done. I do know that we are engaged with Pakistan, we will continue to be engage with Pakistan, and we are going to be involved in that part of the country for a long time.
ANDERSON: That was Louis Susman speaking to me earlier.
Well, we have heard the warnings of a raised terror threat. Next up, we ask who could potentially take the place of bin Laden as we remember his legacy of terror. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: You are watching a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in London. Coming up, with bin Laden dead who will step into his shoes? We'll bring you more on what this means for Al Qaeda. Plus, what today's news means for those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks. My interview with the head of the U.K. 9/11 victims support group. That coming up.
First, your news headlines this hour.
ANDERSON: Well, less than a half an hour to go before U.S. markets close. And right now, let's take a look and see what the markets are doing. Richard Quest joins me live from the New York Stock Exchange- Richard.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Becky, there has been an early rally, an open rally, a feel-good rally, if you like, on the back of the announcement of bin Laden's death. But that quickly beat it out. And frankly, the day will end rather lackluster and dull. The markets off just a 0.1 of a percent, hardly talking about, on the Dow, the Nasdaq, or indeed the broader market today.
The mood, however, is very different here. One of somber reflection because, of course, many of the traders here, Becky, were here when the attacks took place. Today there is a quiet satisfaction. You won't find many people here who are not afraid to say to your face they are glad he's dead.
ANDERSON: Richard Quest, the New York Stock Exchange. Richard, thank you for that.
Right, what is next for Al Qaeda? Well, many experts believe bin Laden's No. 2, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, will take control of Al Qaeda. The Egyptian-born Zawahiri is thought to be the network's chief operational and strategic leader. Well, some experts believe Anwar Al-Awlaki could take over, though. He heads Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which of course is based in Yemen, and has been linked to some of the more recent attempted terror attacks. And beyond that, there are several other top Al Qaeda leaders who might step forward. But experts say none possess either the charisma or the stature of bin Laden.
Well, Interpol has already warned that Al Qaeda will not die with its leader. So, how much will bin Laden's death affect the organization? Sajjan Gohel is director of the international security at the Asia Pacific Foundation. A regular guest on this show, and one who is well qualified to answer that question.
Damaged goods, or the phoenix, as it were, that will rise from the ashes? Where is Al Qaeda now?
SAJJAN GOHEL, TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, Al Qaeda was already on the wane before bin Laden was eliminated. The group itself has not been able to carry out a successful terrorist attack, until, since the 2005 London transportation attacks. The last major plot was in 2006 airline liquid bomb plot, which was disrupted. The drone strikes have confined their operational space. Their leaders have been picked off one by one. Their resources are depleted. They don't have the ability to recruit.
But perhaps the most important legacy of bin Laden's and one that will continue to remain, is the ideology, the doctrine, the ability to influence individuals throughout the world.
ANDERSON: And that is important isn't it? Just how significant is bin Laden's death to-let's talk about the Muslim world in its largest space, but perhaps how important is it to those who believe in sort of fundamentalists Islam?
GOHEL: Well, bin Laden's death has enormous symbolic significance. In many ways he created a transnational movement. It wasn't just about regional terrorist groups looking at their own confines. He made them think internationally, creating a world wide Uma, a brotherhood. That was perhaps his most important legacy. And he also created the dynamic of lone wolf terrorism. That people would not necessarily be tied to a terrorist group like Al Qaeda, go to terrorists camps in say, Yemen or Pakistan, but be inspired by the ideology and the propaganda that he would articulate.
ANDERSON: Lots of talk about retaliation attacks. Retaliatory attacks as a result of bin Laden's death, do you buy that?
GOHEL: It is almost inevitable that Al Qaeda No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri will issue a statement designed to motivate Al Qaeda supporters and adherents around the world to encourage them to take up arms against the West. But it doesn't necessarily have to be Al Qaeda central that will do it. It could be the lone wolves that may act independently, spontaneously, it could be the affiliates that are taking over from Al Qaeda's mantle, emerging from its shadows, like the Lashva Toybin (ph) of Pakistan that carried out the Mumbai siege attacks. Or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen. These groups have the capability, the operational noose, they have the resources, and they have the desire to carry out transnational mass casualty attacks.
ANDERSON: Sajjan, we thank you.
While much of the world is celebrating today is also a time of remembrance; bin Laden orchestrated attacks that killed thousands of people around the world. Next up, we're going to remember them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARRIE LEMACK, 9/11 VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: I think today I'm honoring my mom, honoring all of those who were lost, by saying we want to create a safer more secure world for our families. Because that is the best way to honor those who were killed on September 11. It is not a day of celebration. It is a day remembrance and honor. And hopefully, this world will now be a better place without bin Laden in it.
ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: All right. The FBI has a list of most wanted people, as of today that list changed, Osama bin Laden was the most wanted person in the world, according to the FBI. Now, it says, over his picture, deceased. That is a major, major change for the FBI and for its most wanted list.
I'm Ali Velshi at ground zero in New York. Welcome back to a special edition of CONNECT YOUR (sic) WORLD.
Now we have been here at ground zero since about 11 o'clock Eastern Time last night. It is not almost 4:00 o'clock Eastern on Monday afternoon. But ever since we got here, this area had been filled with revelers who had heard the news, either on the news, or they had heard it at a particular sports event. There was a baseball game in Philadelphia where a lot of people heard it.
And the reason we are here, and the reason we are pointing over here, is because when we arrived, in the middle of the night, this was all packed. People were celebrating. They were dancing, they were chanting, USA, USA. Now, over the course of the night the police put up barricades here, across the road, and started to push people back into a cordoned off area. But those revelers stayed almost until sunlight. They started to go home as police started clearing the area. And then the workers came back to the area.
But just to give you a sense of where we are, we are right next to ground zero. Right next to the space where the Twin Towers were. There is a fence about 25 feet from me-you can't see it because there are too many reporters and cameras, in the way, between us. But on that fence are flowers, flags, there are things that are posted to that fence because people are remembering this area, again, Becky. They are giving a new life to ground zero, which for the last 10 years has been a place of remembrance, a place of sadness. Today it is a day of jubilation and reflection for those victims of 9/11, and the families for those victims, Becky.
ANDERSON: Ali, all right.
And the victims, of course, from 9/11 came from all over the world. And today, in London, I met with Alex Clarke, who is the head of the U.K.'s 9/11 victims support group. She lost her daughter in the attacks and describes the impact of today's news. Have a listen to this.
ALEXANDRA CLARKE, MOTHER OF 9/11 VICTIM: The last emotion I ever felt was to be glad that somebody was dead, but I think on this occasion I was glad that bin Laden is finally dead.
It hasn't changed anything in my life at all, my daughter is still dead. My daughter is still missing, but I've learned to live with that and come to terms with it, over the last 10 years. And that is the important thing. Sometimes September 11th 2001 seems like 10 hours ago and not 10 years. But I think that is very common to anyone who has experienced anything awful in their lives.
This is written by a friend of hers, called Teresa, who is in Dixon, Illinois. "America cries, we see your sorrow, and hour hearts cry. May you find healing through our nation's strength, as we, the American people face this difficult time together. Our hearts are with you." Are those nice words? It makes me feel, oh, it is a bit overwhelming. Uh, such a lovely thing for this dear Teresa Yan (ph), to have written about my lovely daughter. Very, very kind. Very nice.
This memorial is so important. It was opened in 2003, very quickly after the event. And it is a focal point for us. It is where we come together. We meet on September 11, every year, here. And, of course, you must remember that for many of the victims of September 11, their bodies have never been found. So, they don't have gravestones that people can visit, and place flowers. So, memorials like this are essential, as part of their mourning.
ANDERSON: Alex Clarke, talking about her daughter.
Well, for one man, today was a day to remember his mother, who died at the hands of bin Laden's terrorists. Dave McKenzie went to another memorial site, a long way from ground zero, to hear one man's story.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (On camera): It was an event on this spot that meant the name Osama bin Laden was known to the world. On August 7, 1998, a group of terrorists drove a truck to the entrance of what was the U.S. embassy, here in Nairobi. They detonated that truck with devastating affect.
(Voice over): The near simultaneous attacks on Kenya and Tanzania thrust Al Qaeda into the spotlight and put bin Laden on the FBI's most wanted list. But as on 9/11, the greatest impact was on the victims and the families they left behind.
CHARLES MURIUKI, VICTIM'S SON: Mom leaves home at 10 in the morning, and she never comes back, ever, ever. How are the victims, because-
MCKENZIE: Charles Muriuki was just 15 when his mother went to deposit money near the embassy. He shows her name on the memorial wall, Mary Wanjiru Muriuki. Once the pillar of his family. Her death left him angry at just one person.
MURIUKI: My life since has been different. And all the time I have been hearing Osama, Osama, Osama, and finally, the day has come. He has been captured. This should be like a warning to all of them out there. Justice always prevails. No matter what, justice will always find a way (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
MCKENZIE: When he saw the news of bin Laden's death, he came straight to this place. Muriuki says he comes every week since the memorial was completed, to reflect and to grieve, as he rebuilt his life. For Charles Muriuki, at least, today is a day of closure.
Dave McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.
ANDERSON: It is the news that victims of terrorism around the world have been wanting to hear. Next up, how world media is reporting the death of Osama bin Laden. Will his demise make any difference? We ask two journalists who have followed his path, up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a bittersweet day. It is good to see an evil person receive justice, but it is very bitter to realize that so many good people met a brutal and needless death at the hands of this monster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The story that is making front-page headlines around the world, of course. Let's start in the Middle East. "The National" in the United Arab Emirates says this editorial, "Brand Al Qaeda cannot be killed as easily as its icon."
Mohammed Fazzi (ph) writes, and I quote, "Bin laden was much more of a symbol and a source of ideology than a planner of specific attacks. In the short term at least, bin Laden's death is more likely to result in retaliatory attacks."
"The New York Times" also questions the impact bin Laden's death will have. They write, "what remains to be seen is whether bin Laden's death galvanizes his followers by turning him into a martyr, or whether the death serves as a turning of the page in the war in Afghanistan."
And back in the Middle East, "The Gulf News" in Dubai, explores the role Pakistan will play the headline, "Pakistan can come out of this stronger".
"In Pakistan it is time for reflection. There is a need to reassess and draw strategic and operational lessons from this current event capturing the global imagination."
So, it does seem the demise of bin Laden spells the end of Al Qaeda? Or the beginning of a new chapter? Two men who can help us with the answer to that question. Joining me now, Con Coughlin is the executive foreign editor for London's "Daily Telegraph". Joining me here in the studio and from Abbottabad, Pakistan, "Time" magazine journalist, Omar Wariach, who is also with us.
Thank you both for being here.
How does this story, Con, play out?
CON COUGHLIN, EXEC. FOREIGN EDITOR, "DAILY TELEGRAPH": Well, I think it is a very big story. And I think in terms of past decade it is a triumph. I mean, bin Laden has been the guy everybody has been after for the last 10 years. The reason we went into Afghanistan, after 9/11, was to get bin Laden. Now he's dead.
And I agree with some of those points made in those editorials. That this is a watershed moment. OK, bin Laden has not been operational, directing operations for some time. But he is still a very important ideological figurehead, a rallying point. His sermons, his statements, his leadership has inspired thousands of young men to take up jihad. And I think with him out of the way, Al Qaeda will have a far more difficult job, trying to get these young men to join the cause.
ANDERSON: Omar, you are in Pakistan. How is this story playing out regionally?
OMAR WARIACH, JOURNALIST, "TIME": In Pakistan, this came as a great shock to people. They had always been-the Pakistan government going back to Musharraf has always denied the presence of Osama bin Laden. In fact, in May 2010 when Hillary Clinton was here, and she said that she suspected there must be someone within the government who knows of his presence, those remarks were treated with considerable hostility.
Now so far we have seen not a huge amount of sentiment either way. There has been some anger from conservative sections and the religious right, regarding issues of sovereignty. They have been objections made, locally, about the fact that the U.S. did this unilaterally and this is in the context of a stand off that Pakistan has been having with the U.S., particularly with the ISI and the CIA in recent months. Going back to the Raymond Davis case and drones.
However, in Islamabad, when I was walking around and speaking to people, it was generally a sense of bewilderment. And there weren't strong feelings expressed either way. I mean, people weren't ecstatic at the outcome, but they weren't saddened by it either.
ANDERSON: I wonder whether the both of you might just address the next question, which is simply this, we haven't seen the body. The Americans say that they have a photograph. But this body has been thrown away, effectively, I mean, thrown into the sea?
COUGHLIN: It has. Yes, well, he was shot in the face. So, it is quite-I mean, I think a lot of people-
ANDERSON: Do we need to see that picture?
COUGHLIN: Well, you know, I think, we had the same problem when Saddam Hussein was caught in 2003. People wanted some kind of proof. Of course, Saddam was still alive. I think in the Arab world people do want some kind of evidence. Even if it is pretty gruesome, so I suspect at some point the Obama administration will have to produce something.
ANDERSON: Yes, they say the body was disposed of at sea, after it was taken to Afghanistan.
Omar, your thoughts?
WARIACH: Well, I think this issue of evidence is actually quite important for people here, as well. When I was going around speaking to people, just given the reports that we've had about bin Laden, they said, to me, given the fact that we have heard rumors of him being dead before, but only to arise later, and speak beyond the grave in a new video. I think people here would like to see that he is actually dead, and this is what the U.S. was-actually did this for. This was the purpose that was there.
Also, there is also strange sense here, about well, what does this achieve, as, Con Coughlin mentioned? He wasn't operational. It won't affect, for example, militancy in Pakistan. There are jihadists groups here who have been operating independently of Osama bin Laden, even if they may be inspired by him. They will continue to operate in that manner. This does not in any way diminish the threat of terrorism to Pakistan, certainly, or even in other parts of the region.
ANDERSON: As we talk about the editorials, I just want to bring into this discussion, some of what we found across the social media today. This has dominated social media, of course, for most of the day. Lots of people posting comments on Twitter.
Nathan Caldecott, from Germany, Tweeted: "Those who cheer should not get caught in the delusion that this is the end of terrorism."
Kayuuko, from Australia, wrote: "Everyone is going crazy about bin Laden's death, but it won't change anything for terrorism. "
And from India, Nithin Kumar Tweeted, "We Indians feel very happy after listening to the statement that Osama bin Laden is dead. We thank you, USA."
And finally, Lauren Baker, from America wrote: "Osama bin Laden is dead, but it's only gonna make his followers angry."
COUGHLIN: Well, I think we do need to proceed with caution. I mean, the war is not over. This is a great victory, but the war goes on. And I think, we will be looking in the months ahead, to see what impact the removal of this great figure from the movement, will have on his followers. But when you look at the way the whole Islamist terror network has changed in recent years. It has moved to Yemen, it has moved to Somalia. And also the point that we make in tomorrow's "Daily Telegraph" is that the terror threat, here in the U.K., is still severe. It is the same as it was 10 years ago. So, these militant groups still pose a current threat to our security and the security of a lot of other countries in the West.
ANDERSON: We spoke earlier, Omar, to the high commissioner from Pakistan, to the U.K., who says that the Pakistan government were well aware of this operation. That is not the story that is being told by the Americans. What do Pakistanis want to hear at this point?
WARIACH: I think they want some clarity on what is going on here. I mean, for example, I saw the high commissioner make those remarks. But I'm afraid there is little evidence of that here. The Pakistani officials have actually made no statement. They have been in emergency meetings with the government and the military. Brennan made very clear in his press conference in Washington, that the Pakistanis were not aware of this. This was not a joint operation. The Pakistani foreign office issued a statement that tried to suggest that it was involved in some sort of way.
But what is quite apparent is that the U.S. did not trust Pakistan, when it came to bin Laden. And that is a very, very serious problem for this relationship. Especially, as the end game in Afghanistan, approaches. And it seems that the strategic divergences the two countries have, will sharpen. We have seen this in recent months, it just seems as if there is an escalation going on here. In fact, Brennan and the terms he used, those aren't terms that one usually uses to address an ally in. There was certainly-I wouldn't necessarily say that he was addressing an enemy. But there was decidedly adversarial.
ANDERSON: Going to have to leave it there, chaps. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. Taking the story forwards, Con Coughlin of the "Daily Telegraph" And Omar Wariach, of "Time" magazine, there in Pakistan.
Both of you, thank you.
I'm Becky Anderson in London. I've been joined by Ali Velshi, of course, in New York. Our special coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden, continues. Much more from myself, and Ali Velshi, coming up in the next hour. Don't go away.
(CLOSING BELL AT THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE)
ANDERSON: Well, that is the closing bell on Wall Street, made a second big day. Well, a big day for those who are working on Wall Street. You woke up to find out that bin Laden, Osama bin Laden, had been killed. So, the markets, pretty much flat at the end of the day there, just up about 5 points, at 12800 odd points.
Here are the headlines this hour.
Well, the U.S. says an assistant to Osama bin Laden led them to the Al Qaeda leader. The assistant is described as a courier who the U.S. had been tracking for years. He was the registered owner of the property in Pakistan where bin Laden was killed.
Well, the U.S. homeland security chief says the country is focused on protecting itself from terror attacks despite bin Laden's death. U.S. diplomatic missions are on high alert and a travel alert warns of the -- and I quote -- "enhanced potential for anti-American violence."
Chanting mourners joined a funeral procession in Tripoli for Saif al- Arab Gadhafi, one of the sons of Moammar Gadhafi. The government says three of the Libyan leader's grandchildren were also killed in a NATO air strike on Saturday.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was in court in Milan on Monday to deal with accusations of tax fraud related to his business interests. He faces other charges in separate proceedings, including paying for sex with an underage girl.
And those are the latest headlines this hour.
ANDERSON: Well, chanting and singing -- jubilation at Ground Zero in New York. Thousands gathered to mark the death of the 9/11 mastermind. Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. operation in Pakistan.
I'm Becky Anderson in London.
VELSHI: And I'm Ali Velshi at Ground Zero in New York, where that jubilation has been going on for hours, as Americans come to term with -- terms with the reality of the death of Osama bin Laden.
We've got all the details, analysis and global reaction coming up.
ANDERSON: Yes, we have.
Well, it's being called a defining moment in the American fight against terrorism. And it's one that's evoking both joy and fear around the globe. After nearly a decade of pursuit, the most wanted terrorist in the world is dead.
American military and CIA operatives shot Osama bin Laden in the head at his mansion just outside Islamabad, in Pakistan overnight. It was about 50 kilometers north of the capital. And their mission was clear -- make sure he doesn't come out alive.
Well, these images are from ABC News from inside the compound. You can see what appears to be blood on the floor. DNA tests have confirmed it was bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. His body was buried at sea in accordance with Islamic law.
Well, the question now remains how much impact will his death have?
Well, American leaders have said bin Laden is more symbolically than operationally important. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, is unclear.
Well, Pakistan's is the West's most important ally in the war against terror. But at times, it's almost been the most difficult. The fact that bin Laden was hiding in a luxury compound right underneath the nose of the Pakistani military is now raising a lot of questions. And it has caught Islamabad off guard.
That is where Nick Paton Walsh joins us now -- Nick.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I think from very early on this morning, Pakistani officials were trying to seem on the side with this operation, suggesting even that there were Pakistani intelligence operatives on the ground as it happened cooperating, indeed, denied by the Americans. And then actually that statement retracted by the same Pakistani officials who suggested it.
Then later on in the day, a senior Pakistani official saying to me that raw data, phone intercepts, electronic information that was regularly passed to the Americans had been analyzed by the Americans and led them to this particular compound.
So all day, they've been putting out this message that they have been involved.
But on the other side of the Atlantic Coast, quite clearly, Washington has said the opposite, that they were not involved in this, not tipped off until, frankly, all helicopters and U.S. personnel were out of Pakistani air space.
This really goes to the heart of the break down of trust between Washington and Islamabad. Months old now, coming to a head, really, when the Pakistani military demanded the U.S. curtail its drone strikes here and, frankly, also when Admiral Mullen, the head of the U.S. military, came here and accused the Pakistani intelligence service of having a longstanding relationships with militant networks here -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh is in Pakistan for you this evening.
Ali is in New York -- Ali.
VELSHI: Becky, amongst the people in the world most familiar with being victims of Osama bin Laden are, of course, New Yorkers. This is the place so symbolic of that action on 9/11, 2001, when the Twin Towers were struck by those hijacked planes.
I am just feet from those Twin Towers, from the -- from where they stood, what we call Ground Zero right now.
That is something that Americans remembered when they heard the news that Osama bin Laden was killed. They came out in droves. They showed up as soon as that news was heard. And they came right here. This is exactly why we are here tonight.
Look at the jubilation, the dancing, the chanting, "USA! USA!" It did not seem to be any doubt that this was cause for celebration and jubilation.
But this isn't over for so many people. There's a great deal of reflection going on amongst the families of victims of 9/11, some whose remains have not been identified, and, of course, those who were here that day.
I want to bring in James Ryder.
James was a member of the New York Police Department.
He worked here in New York and spent many days from 9/11 onwards dealing with the rescue, with the recovery and then years afterward.
So tell me, first, James, what today means to you.
JAMES RYDER, FORMER NYPD PATROLMAN: A lot of different things, some closure, some frustration, some happiness. Bin Laden is gone. We won't miss him. But there's still a lot more to be done.
VELSHI: When you say there's a lot more to be done and when the -- the lack of closure, what -- what is that for you?
RYDER: There are first responders who are still dealing with all kinds of cancers, ailments, breathing ailments. We have people who are walking around with oxygen tanks for the rest of lives. Let's hope those lives are long with those oxygen tanks. But that's the reality of Ground Zero during the four years that I was here. And the dust that our federal government told us was safe and it wasn't.
So that's our reality.
VELSHI: And something that a number of victims' families told me today is that over the years, they have become frustrated with the fact that Osama bin Laden wants to make a point, so he puts out a video and -- and it gets broadcast around the world. But the message of the victims, their families, those first responders, that's harder to get out there.
RYDER: We know what the message is. The message is if you come to this -- into this country and mess with us, we'll find you no matter where you are. It will take 10 minutes or 10 years, but we're going to find you. And when it comes to you, with the wrath of the United States. And now bin Laden sleeps with the fishes.
VELSHI: And you think that now more attention can be paid to those first responders who -- who suffered health affects from working here day after day after day?
RYDER: The Zadroga Bill was the bill that said that the federal government needs to take care of us. And that's a $4.6 billion bill. You know...
VELSHI: This is to take care of the health effects that the first -- first responders felt?
RYDER: That's correct. And to make sure that they're compensated for their time down here, because they're so sick, they can't pay their own mortgage. And that's because of their heroism.
So that bill is there and our mission in the Feel Good Foundation is to make sure that that bill is transparent, the master is transparent and the bill serves the people.
VELSHI: And do you think that would prevent anybody, those first responders from rushing out again if something like this happened in New York?
RYDER: This question was asked before the bill was passed and we said if the bill didn't pass, it would certainly give us pause. But the bill has passed. We have the support of our country. And today our ne -- our nation is united so we're not concerned with that.
VELSHI: All right, James Ryder, thanks very much for being with us.
Thanks for all the hard work that you put in, too, after -- after 9/11 -- Becky, back to you.
ANDERSON: All right, Ali.
Thank you for that.
That picture in New York for you then.
Reaction to the news pouring in from leaders around the world, all connected by bin Laden's campaign of global terror.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen and described his death as "a great success."
The Turkish foreign minister said his country has suffered immensely from terrorism, citing the 2003 bombings in Istanbul and blamed bin Laden for creating a link between Islam and terror.
Israeli President Shimon Peres described it as "a great piece of news for the free world," saying, and I quote, "This man was a mega murderer who killed thousands and thousands of innocent people."
And from Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the fight against terrorism does not end with bin Laden's death and, quote: "We must remain vigilant," she said, "against the threat posed by al Qaeda and the groups that it has inspired." so is it not mission accomplished in the fight against Al Qaeda or will Osama bin Laden's death galvanize radicals around the globe?
Joining me now is Maajid Nawaz, the co-founder and director of the think tank Quilliam.
And that's a think tank that you designed, of course, to address the challenges of extremism.
I wonder, when you see the pictures out of New York today, these scenes of jubilation, whether that helps or hinders, going forward, those, do you think, in the extremist way?
MAAJID NAWAZ, CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, QUILLIAM: Well, I'm not sure how representative those scenes are of America, but the scenes that we have seen, I think they would hinder the message -- the correct message that we should be pushing out there. I don't think today is a day to be so jubilant about death and celebrate death, particularly because the person that we have succeeded in eliminating is somebody who, likewise, celebrated and -- and loved bringing about death to the world.
So it's rather ironic that we should be celebrate in a similar manner to the person that we claim to hate for the same reason.
ANDERSON: How big a deal, how significant is bin Laden's death?
NAWAZ: It's -- it's significant in the sense that, of course, what it will do is unify Americans around their government and, I suppose, bring back the importance of security and global security to the agenda.
However, to Al Qaeda, I'm not sure that it's going to be huge -- a huge blow. Al Qaeda is operationally as strong today as it was yesterday because, of course, bin Laden wasn't in control of operations. His deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, was.
The second thing is that some people have said that -- they've suggested that there is no replacement, charismatic symbol or leader or figurehead for the movement. I doubt that that's the case. I think that Anwar al-Awlaki, who is based in -- in Yemen, has long been preparing himself to replace the symbolism that was bin Laden. And he's far more potent, because he's familiar with America, he speaks fluent Arab -- English and fluent Arabic.
ANDERSON: You talked about the organization being as strong today as it was yesterday.
But how strong is it?
NAWAZ: Yes. Yes, well, that's a good question. I think al Qaeda isn't as strong, as an organization, as it was, obviously, after 9/11 and the few years that -- that followed that. But what has happened is one of the -- and this was one of the goals of bin Laden, is to franchise his movement. And the franchise is growing.
So what we see today in Somalia with the movement, Al Shabab, and what we see in Yemen with Anwar al-Awlaki at its head and the reemergence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, and with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb -- let's not forget, there was a terrorist attack in Morocco just, only a couple of days ago.
I think the franchise is still there. And definitely one thing that we often ignore, the narrative, Bin Laden's narrative, that he succeeded in popularizing. The narrative that the West is at war with Islam and that it's the duty of young and angry Muslims to rally around this cause and to fight the West.
That narrative is very, very strong in countries like Pakistan, in Somalia and in Yemen.
ANDERSON: Maajid, stay with me.
He's going to be with me through the next hour.
This is a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
Next up, we're going to take a look at the mission which ended a 10 year manhunt, as the U.S. vows to continue its fight against terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, though bin Laden is dead, al Qaeda is not. That statement today from CIA Director Leon Panetta, warning the terror group may try to avenge their leader's killing by elite U.S. commandos.
Welcome back to a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. This is a two hour edition.
It took those commandos less than 40 minutes to storm bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan and emerge with his body. But the intelligence that would lead them there took years to develop.
Let's get the details on that, shall we, from Jim Clancy, who's at CNN Center -- Jim.
JIM CLANCY, CNN-I ANCHOR: Dogged, determined and ultimately deadly -- this was a raid literally years in the making.
U.S. intelligence painstakingly pursued a trusted courier used by Osama bin Laden. Now, the courier's pseudonym came from detainees being held at Guantanamo Prison. It took six years, then, to uncover his real name, two more to learn his area of operations and finally, almost nine years after the September 11th attacks, the U.S. identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother lived and worked. The courier was tracked to the compound in Abbottabad, about 100 kilometers north of the capital, Islamabad.
U.S. intelligence judged -- now the size and the security of this compound was too much for a simple courier. High walls not uncommon in Pakistan. But they suspected a bigger target when they learned the resident was unwilling to connect phone or Internet lines.
Witnesses say two gunship helicopters carrying NAVY SEALS swept into the compound late last night. U.S. officials say bin Laden resisted the assault and was killed in a firefight. Four others in the compound also killed. One of them was bin Laden's adult son. Another was a woman being used as a human shield.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: There was family at that compound. And there was a -- a female who was, in fact, in the line of fire that reportedly was used as a shield to shield bin Laden from the incoming fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: The operation lasted only about 40 minutes. There were no U.S. casualties. A U.S. helicopter did crash during the operation due to mechanical reasons. No word if anyone was taken into custody for questioning -- back to you.
ANDERSON: Jim Clancy with the details for you from the CNN Center.
Jim, thank you for that.
Well, the top U.S. counter-terrorism official says, and I quote, "It is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have some kind of support system in Pakistan that allowed him to remain in hiding."
Well, for years, then Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, insisted that bin Laden was not in his country. Well, now he calls the Al Qaeda leader's death, saying Pakistan has long cooperated in the war on terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PAKISTANI PRESIDENT: There wouldn't have been any leaks. We have gone -- we have, in my time, over the years, we have arrested, apprehended dozens of al Qaeda operatives. And every time it was intelligence provided jointly by, many times by American intelligence. And it was Pakistani forces, the law -- law -- law enforcement agency -- which operated. And we did a good job of it.
And here again, I think, you know, well, the sensitivity of the people of Pakistan in the streets, in -- in the political forces are against violation of sovereignty of Pakistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Pervez Musharraf speaking to me earlier.
Having heard that, let's bring back Maajid Nawaz, who is the co- founder and director, executive director of Quilliam.
Your reaction to what you heard from the former president there?
NAWAZ: Yes. I mean, look, I -- I'm of Pakistani origin. I carry dual nationality. Pakistan is a country I hold dear to my heart. But we've got to really get real here.
On the one hand, the high commissioner of Pakistan to the country, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, has said that the Pakistani authorities were aware and cooperating all along. On the other hand, former President Musharraf is saying it's a violation of sovereignty.
I think the real question is, rather than these -- these -- these sideshows, the real question is how can the most wanted man in the world have been living in a garrison town literally next door to a military base in Abbottabad and the Pakistani authorities were unaware of him.
Now, either there's gross, gross -- and I emphasize gross negligence here -- or there's some form of complicit awareness that he was there and some form of protection by certain people within the Pakistani authorities.
And whichever one of these two options it was, it's a scandal. And that scandal needs to be addressed by the Pakistani government head-on instead of trying to create distractions about sovereignty. And I think the Pakistani people deserve some really serious answers, because, of course, it's their reputation that's on the line here. It's the reputation of their country and their identity.
And -- and some really tough questions and tough answers are going to have to be forthcoming in the next few days.
ANDERSON: Maajid, we're going to take a short break.
Back with me after this.
You're watching a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
Still to come, be extra vigilant -- the world unites amid warnings of a heartened terror threat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YUKIO EDANO, JAPANESE CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY (through translator): Japan, too, has actively participated to date in counter-measures against the threat of terror, including through its cooperation toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. Japan welcomes, at this time, significant progress in counter-terrorism measures and pays respect for the efforts of those concerned parties, such as the United States and Pakistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Welcome back.
I'm Ali Velshi at Ground Zero in New York, where there's been a great deal of jubilation, a great deal of celebration upon the news -- upon hearing the news of Osama bin Laden having been killed by U.S. forces.
However, there have been a whole lot of warnings that have been issued over the last 18 hours or so, to say that Americans, and certainly citizens of the world, are not out of the woods yet.
I'll give you some specifics. Here in New York, in Philadelphia, there have been police added to the subways. More people are vigilant. And even around here, you can see an increased police presence, because they are looking out for opportunistic actors who might take advantage of the gathering of a lot of people.
But more than that, the U.S. State Department has issued a warning to Americans who are traveling aboard -- abroad, that there may be retaliatory acts and that they should avoid mass demonstrations and gatherings of people. Not just the United States, by the way. Canada has issued a similar advisory. Australia has issued a sim -- a similar advisory. The sense that there may be opportunistic attacks or there may actually be revenge attacks as a result of the -- the killing of Osama bin Laden.
I want to bring in Michael Balboni.
He's a former homeland security adviser for New York State.
He's a security expert.
Michael, we've had people telling us wow, that taking Osama bin Laden out really changes the security equation.
MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISOR: It does from the sense that you've now lopped off the head of the snake, that organizationally, to the extent that they had one, it's going to be difficult for them to reconstitute.
But this is a group that has shown that they have resiliency.
BALBONI: But that's not the focus right now. The focus is the lone wolf actors, the Abdulmutallabs, the Faisal Shahzads, the folks who decide that they're going to take matters into their own hands...
BALBONI: And we don't really see them coming because we don't know what radicalizes them. Luckily, their tradecraft is -- is somewhat non- existent. They're inspired, but not instructed.
BALBONI: And so what they do tends to be something you could probably stop or catch before it happened.
VELSHI: So let's think about the -- the Kenya and Tanzania bombings, we'll think about the -- the USS Cole and think about, of course, this -- 9/11, that scale of attack.
Does this somehow cripple al Qaeda or its affiliates' ability to carry out that scale of attack, do you think?
BALBONI: Absolutely, particularly given the sense that since 9/11, there's been so much of an -- a security apparatus that has been established and set up in this country, and, frankly, globally. And so the intelligence networks are focused on this that they weren't before. You have a lot more sources of information. You have a lot more deterrence.
There's an old Arabic saying, "Why hunt tigers when you can hunt sheep?"
They wait to exploit a vulnerability.
BALBONI: And that's what they're looking for now. That's not what's present here today.
VELSHI: All right. And -- and then there is the -- the local attack, because those lone wolfers or opportunistic actors can take advantage of gatherings of people, whether it's here in the United States or abroad.
VELSHI: So that caution has gone out.
BALBONI: Well, you saw over Christmas out on the West Coast in Oregon, you know, that type of gathering of people, let's see if we can get something going. But, you know, the New York Police Department is -- is really one of the best forces in the world. Unfortunately, New York City continues to remain in the crosshairs.
BALBONI: This is where they attacked in '93 and 2001. They want to come back. But to project some type of organized is very difficult, particularly when you've lost your leader. Locally, unfortunately, it -- you -- it's impossible...
VELSHI: It is...
BALBONI: -- to tell who gets -- when the -- when the switch gets flicked.
VELSHI: Right. And especially when you don't need a leader in the first place, because you're doing it yourself.
VELSHI: Michael, thanks very much for joining us.
BALBONI: Thank you, Ali.
VELSHI: Michael Balboni, former New York State adviser for homeland security -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Good stuff, Ali.
Thank you for that.
More from you shortly.
In a moment, we'll take you to Moscow, where officials are congratulating America on the demise of Osama bin Laden.
First, though, I want to get you to Germany, where terrorism is a very current concern.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Diana Magnay in Berlin.
The German government says that it is relieved at the killing of Osama bin Laden, but that vigilance must be kept up, that the threat of international terrorism has not gone with him.
And the foreign minister talked about Germany's mission in Afghanistan, saying it wasn't about getting just one man, but about making sure that that region did not become a refuge for international terrorism.
And the threat to German citizens of international terrorism is evidenced but the fact that just last Friday, three men with suspected links to al Qaeda were arrested here in this country. Authorities had been following them for the last few months, arrested them because they found out that they were planning to make some kind of test bombs, that they had been gathering materials to target German citizens in this country in the coming months.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, from the Kremlin, immediate congratulations to the United States for what it calls "this serious success in the struggle against international terrorism."
Russia, of course, has its own problem with Islamism militants in its volatile south. The Kremlin says this country was one of the first to confront the danger of global terrorism and quite understands the problem.
Separately, the Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement calling the killing of Osama bin Laden "a landmark moment that will have long-term practical value in terms of the decapitation of a criminal organization."
It's not all praise, though. Concern has been expressed by a senior Russian official, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, that the killing of Osama bin Laden will not end the war on terrorism. "The head of the monster has been cut off," he says. "But its poisonous tentacles spreading throughout the world remain."
Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
ANDERSON: The picture out of Russia and out of Germany for you tonight.
Still ahead this hour, we're going to see how people across the Arab world are reacting to news that Osama bin Laden is dead. A live report from Cairo up next.
ANDERSON: You're watching a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.
I'm Becky Anderson in London, joined by my colleague, Ali Velshi, in New York.
Coming up, bin Laden is dead, but that doesn't spell the end of al Qaeda. We're going to bring you more on what this means for the terror group.
Plus, those who have been personally affected by Osama bin Laden -- has the death of this terror chief brought any solace to those who have lost loved ones?
Those stories are ahead.
First, let me get you a quick wrap of the headlines we're following for you here on CNN this hour.
A top aide to the U.S. president says killing Osama bin Laden is a blow to al Qaeda, but may not be enough to destroy the terror network. Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan says that the U.S. is investigating who was supporting bin Laden in Pakistan.
Well, on Muslim extremist Web sites, mourning for the death of bin Laden. Jihadist sites that al Qaeda used to speak to the world are calling him a martyr and promising that the terrorist network will go on.
Mourners chanted at a funeral procession in Tripoli for Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, one of the son's of Moammar Gadhafi. The government says three of the Libyan leader's grandchildren were killed when Saif was killed in a NATO air strike on Saturday.
And Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was in court in Milan on Monday to deal with accusations of tax fraud related to his business interests. He also faces other charges in separate proceedings, including paying for sex with an underage girl.
All right, back to the top headline of the day. The top U.S. terrorism -- counter-terrorism official says that it is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have some kind of support system in Pakistan that allowed him to remain in hiding.
For years, then Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, insisted that bin Laden was Well, now he calls the Al Qaeda leader's death "a positive step."
I talked with Musharraf a short time ago.
Here is the full interview.
PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN (via telephone): Well, these are -- I don't think there would have been any leaks. We have gone -- we have, in my time over the years, we have arrested, apprehended dozens of al Qaeda operatives and every time it was intelligence provided jointly by -- many times by American intelligence.
And it was Pakistani forces with a law enforcement agency which operated. And we did a good job of it. And here, again, I think, well, the sensitivity of people of Pakistan, in the streets, in the political forces, are against violation of sovereignty of Pakistan.
ANDERSON: So, you're saying the Pakistani authorities should have been involved, are you?
MUSHARRAF: Yes. I think so, absolutely.
ANDERSON: Why do you think they weren't? Do you think that the Americans these days can't trust the Pakistani authorities?
MUSHARRAF: Well, I -- I think there's a lack of trust -- trust and confidence, definitely. That is why, maybe, they didn't involve them.
But my information on whether they were involved or not comes through the spokesman of our Pakistan foreign office, who said they didn't know about the operation. So, I really am not privy to what went behind on the intelligence side and the force levels.
ANDERSON: President Musharraf, it seems inconceivable that Osama bin Laden could have been staying so close to a Pakistani military base and, yet, nobody knew he was there. Does that surprise you?
MUSHARRAF: Again, it is astonishing. It's very surprising. But I have no doubts in my mind whatsoever, knowing our intelligence and army, that Pakistan army, Pakistan intelligence, are operating with all their heart and soul against al Qaeda and Taliban.
ANDERSON: President Musharraf talking to me about an hour ago about the demise of Osama bin Laden, of course, just outside of Islamabad about 24 hours ago.
When you're talking about Pakistan, and just before the break, how significant is the fundamentalist thought and action in Pakistan today? Is it getting better or worse?
NAWAZ: I've written a lot about this, and I call it a narrative and, sadly, in Pakistan, the Islamist narrative has captured the imagination of the public.
And so, though the majority of people do not belong to a terrorist organization or even an extremist organization, the people have, generally adopted the narrative that the West is at war against Islam. The very conspiratorial mindset that wants to blame everybody else for the problems in that country rather than being self-retrospective.
I think there is a real concern about the way that narrative is spreading in Pakistan, unlike in Egypt, that experienced similar things in the 90s with their armed insurrection against the regime. And it's come full circle, now, down to the Arab Spring.
What bin Laden succeeded in doing was popularizing a narrative, in franchising his cause, and inspiring thousands. And as a competing legacy against his legacy that we now see in the form of the Arab Spring. That has its own popular narrative, its own franchised cause spreading across the Middle East.
And our challenge is to get Pakistan to adhere to the new Arab Spring narrative, which currently it's not doing.
ANDERSON: Interesting. We're going to get to Cairo in just a moment. Nima Elbagir, of course, one of our correspondents is there. Have a listen to what she says.
Before we do that, though, this just coming into us here at CNN. A US official tells CNN there were indications, some kind of message, from Osama bin Laden was, as they put it, "working through the pipelines."
And they want to make very clear -- and this is key -- that if it surfaces, it will be very old stuff. Something made a long time ago. The official calls it nothing more than standard propaganda. Just your thought on what we're hearing from the US tonight.
NAWAZ: Well, of course, if there is a message, it's going to be something old. I think the important thing is, let's see what new messages come from people who are vying to replace bin Laden as symbolic leaders. I think that's -- that's the real strategic threat that we will face.
I, if I was a betting man, would put my bets on someone like Awlaki in Yemen or Abu Laith al Libi, who's risen to the senior ranks of al Qaeda. He's a Libyan former member of the NIFG, or the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
They are two very senior, respected figures within al Qaeda. I think Awlaki's more respected and more dangerous than bin Laden could have been because of his familiarity with America. I mean, he was raised in America, he was educated in America, and he speaks fluent English.
ANDERSON: Keep an eye on what we see but, as the US says, don't hold too much store in it.
All right, let's -- let's get to Nima Elbagir, who is joining me, now, live from Cairo. At the time of his death, Osama bin Laden was widely discredited within the Muslim world.
The Pew Research Center surveyed attitudes in several predominantly Muslim nations, support for bin Laden peaking in the Palestinian territories. But in every country surveyed, only a minority said they had confidence in him.
Nima, reaction out of Cairo, if you will.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, at an official level across the region, there's really been a sense that there's a muted reaction. We've received only Jordanian and Saudi Arabian news agencies off the record.
But official sources speaking about the fact that they're welcoming this assassination, that they're hoping that this will push forward the global war on terror, but nobody really prepared to talk on record.
And interestingly, the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most conservative of political players in this region, has actually come out and said that they welcome the assassination of bin Laden, that they hope that this will bring about a new age in the relationship between the US and the Islamic world, and that the US can now feel that it will pull out its troops from Afghanistan and other Islamic territory.
Interesting, also, in terms of the public response, that's also been very muted. There really does seem to be a sense that almost -- for a long time, especially with the Arab Spring, post the uprisings across this region.
That bin Laden really isn't part of the conversation, that words like democracy and plurality, words that he deemed un-Islamic, are now, really, the worlds that the Arab street wants to be hearing and talking about. And that, perhaps, his relevance resonates much more in the United States than it does in this region, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nima Elbagir in Cairo. Maajid Nawaz, co-founder and executive director of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-terrorist -- terrorist think take joining me, here.
A couple of things that Nima just brought up, there. The Muslim Brotherhood welcomes the demise of Osama bin Laden.
NAWAZ: I think that's interesting, but it is consistent with what they've been saying for the last few years, that they prefer political action to further the same ideology, essentially, that bin Laden adheres to, and others, which is an interpretation of Islam should become state law.
But they prefer they political means to achieve that, which is through the ballot box. And, so, it's in their political interests to distance themselves from bin Laden. Of course, their franchise group in Palestine, Hamas, which is affiliated with the Brotherhood and follows the same basic idea, in fact, attacked America for assassinating what they believed is a martyr.
So, where the reality calls for fighting, they have a slightly different tone. So, I think that that's -- it's not actually extraordinary for the Muslim Brotherhood to say such things.
ANDERSON: Let's get you and our viewers a sense of how Muslims here in the UK are reacting to bin Laden's death. His version of the Islamic faith will remain a controversial topic for years to come. Of course, an aberration to moderates, an icon to fundamentalists. This report from Andrew Carey.
(OSAMA BIN LADEN SPEAKING IN ARABIC ON VIDEO)
ANDREW CAREY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Osama bin Laden's influence on some elements of British Muslim society has been clear for many years, his video recordings given prominence at meetings like this one, filmed by CNN a few years ago, of the group now known as Muslims Against Crusaders.
Following the news that bin Laden had been killed, we went to talk to the group in a small basement room in East London. For most here, the 9/11 attacks were a turning point in their lives.
ABU USAMA, MUSLIMS AGAINST CRUSADERS: When 9/11 did occur, it forced me to inquire about who this person was, what his message was about, and I realized that this person, this man, was someone who stands up for the truth.
CAREY: Bin Laden, as resistance fighter. For bin Laden's British followers, the deaths on 9/11 are no different from the deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan, for which they blame the United States.
USAMA: He is -- he's a symbol of someone who stands up for Islam and speaks out against any kind of oppression that is going on anywhere in the world against the Muslims. And I think that he'll be remembered for a very, very long time.
ANJEM CHOUDARY, MUSLIMS AGAINST CRUSADERS: When Sheikh Osama bin Laden issued a statement, the whole of the world would listen to that statement. It would be played on every single media channel.
In fact, the leaders of the Western and the Eastern world would have to make a comment. Now that he's passed away, his mere death has meant that all leaders, all people who are important politically must have their say on his death.
CAREY: But within Britain's Muslim communities, as around the world, there are a great many voices that see bin Laden very differently.
IBRAHIM MOGRA, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN: He has managed to portray a peaceful religion, which calls on us to be compassionate and merciful to fellow human beings as one which is full of hatred, full of violence.
The terrorist activities that he has carried out are second to none, and it will be very difficult not to regard Osama bin Laden as somebody who has a place in history amongst those who have been very, very evil and cruel.
CAREY: But as some Americans celebrate bin Laden's death, a word of caution from moderate Muslim opinion.
MOGRA: It is very important for the likes of President Obama to say time and again that this is not a war against Islam. It's very, very important that we hear that loud and clear.
However, it is also just as important that, on the ground, our actions reflect that. If our targeted countries are amongst a long list, all Muslim countries, what signal does that give to the Muslims?
CAREY: And that's a message that finds an echo from bin Laden's British supporters.
CHOUDARY: Now, the Muslims have a point to prove, that this jihad will not begin and end with Sheikh Osama bin Laden. Every mother will want to give birth, now, to a Sheikh Osama bin Laden so he can be in the front line, as well, like this great man, and people can remember them for years to come.
CAREY: If there's one thing that unites all shades of Muslim opinion on Osama bin Laden, it is that he leaves a divisive legacy. Andrew Carey, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: Maajid, anything that surprises you from that report that Andrew filed?
NAWAZ: Well, no, actually. I think that Anjem Choudary and the group that was formerly known as al-Muhajiroun, now Muslims Against the Crusades, has demonstrated exactly what the problem is with bin Laden's narrative. He sounded ten years out of date. Frankly, that's what it is.
The Arab Spring has proven that these type of people do not speak on behalf of Muslims in the Arab streak in particular. It's proven that their narrative that the only way to bring change is through violence is false.
It's also proven that this idea that the West is hell-bent on always being against the Muslim peoples is also false, because we saw the international community intervene on behalf of Muslims in, for example, Libya.
So, that sort of narrative that we heard, there, is dated, and it's a good thing that it's dated, and it's a good thing that we're able to point, now, to the Arab Spring to show how out of date it is.
But I think we need to do more of that. I think what's needed is that we're seeing two competing legacies, the legacy of bin Laden and al Qaeda that's still attracting, as we saw in this film, some young Muslims to the cause, and the legacy of the Arab Spring.
And only the future months -- coming months will tell which legacy will trump, and we must do everything within our power to actually highlight the positive legacy of the Arab Spring.
ANDERSON: Maajid, thank you for the time being.
NAWAZ: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Bin Laden and al Qaeda may be best known for 9/11, but their attacks in other parts of the world have also caused great heartache. We speak to a Kenyan who lost a parent when this US embassy was bombed almost 13 years ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel that, finally, some vindication has been done. There's still a lot more to be done, we know that, and the threat is still not over, we all know that. But at least this is a big step.
I came all the way up from Woodbridge as soon as I heard. I had to be here. This is where I had to be tonight. I had to bring my son with me, so we could share this time together.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You are watching a special extended edition of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Ali Velshi at Ground Zero, and it was really my intention to give you a sense of the mood around here.
I've been here many, many hours, but I think a better way to do this is to talk to some parents who lost their sons, their two sons, who were firefighters in 9/11. These are the parents of Christopher Santora, Maureen and Al Santora, and Rosemary Cain, the mother of George Cain.
Al, I want to start with you. There are a lot of people who say that today brings some closure to families of victims of 9/11. Does it bring any closure to you?
AL SANTORA, FATHER OF FIREFIGHTER WHO DIED IN 9/11 ATTACKS: I don't - - I don't believe it brings closure. Nothing is going to bring my son back. What it does is it kind of closes a chapter in this episode, let's say, of finding and doing away with this evil, demonic individual.
It's a victory for the free world, not only for the families, but all of America and all of the free world. And hopefully, there will be other victories. Hopefully the next victory will be when the five down in Gitmo are tried and convicted and either put away or whatever happens to them.
But these are small victories, and hopefully the people who are trying to bring this world down and our type of life, maybe they have -- their ideas have changed a little bit today.
VELSHI: Well, let's hope that's the case. Rosemary, you're holding a picture of your son, George. Does a mother's grief about a thing like this ever get appeased, even by news as big as the killing of Osama bin Laden?
ROSEMARY CAIN, MOTHER OF 9/11 VICTIM: No, it doesn't get appeased, because we have to continue living without our beautiful loved ones, and these young boys, these young men were wonderful, vital individuals.
But it does, I hope, send a message to all the evil-doers in the world that, no matter how long it takes, no matter what it is, the military of the United States of America, our brave young American women, they will be relentless. They will come after you, they will bring you down.
VELSHI: Well, I'm sure your boys are looking down on you and glad you're here. Thank you to all of you.
Becky, that sort of sets the tone about how things are going here at Ground Zero in New York. Back to you, Becky.
ANDERSON: Interesting. All right, Ali, thank you for that. Giving our viewers and our guests here in the studio a real sense of reaction in the States, at least at Ground Zero in New York.
Well, Osama bin Laden has caused immense pain in many corners of the world, including Tanzania and Kenya. Al Qaeda bombed the countries' US embassies back in 1998, you may remember, killing hundreds of people.
Well, David McKenzie spoke earlier to a victim's son in Nairobi who says he's comforted by today's news.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was an event on this spot that meant the name Osama bin Laden was known to the world. On August 7th, 1998, a group of terrorists drove a truck to the entrance of what was the US embassy here in Nairobi. They detonated that truck with devastating effect.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The near simultaneous attacks in Kenya and Tanzania thrust al Qaeda into the spotlight and put bin Laden on the FBI's Most Wanted list. But, as on 9/11, the greatest impact was on the victims and the families they left behind.
CHARLES MURIUKI, VICTIM'S SON: Mom leaves home at 10:00 in the morning, and she never comes back. Ever ever. How are the victims?
MCKENZIE: Charles Muriuki was just 15 when his mother went to deposit money near the embassy. He shows me her name on the memorial wall. Mary Migwi Muriuki, once the pillar of his family. Her death left him angry at just one person.
MURIUKI: Life since then has been different, and all the time, I began hearing Osama, Osama, Osama. And finally, the day has come. He's been captured. This should be like a warning to all of them out there. Justice will always prevail, no matter what, justice will always find a way and prevail.
MCKENZIE: When he saw the news of bin Laden's death, he came straight to this place. Muriuki says he comes here every week since the memorial was completed to reflect and to grieve as he rebuilt his life.
For Charles Muriuki, at least, today is a day of closure. David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.
ANDERSON: OK. Well, let's not forget, there are still soldiers in Afghanistan fighting the war against terror. Catching or killing Osama bin Laden was the initial mission, so what does today's news mean for those on the front line? That up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Osama bin Laden is just one person. He is representative of networks of people who absolutely have made their cause to defeat the freedoms that we take -- that we understand. And we will not allow him to do so.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Do you want bin Laden dead?
BUSH: I want him held -- I want justice. And -- there's an old poster out west, as I recall, that said "Wanted, dead of alive."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that was, of course, President George W. Bush just days after the September 11th attacks in 2001. So, how does bin Laden's death now impact the war in Afghanistan, the mission going forward, and the troops who, of course, are still there?
Well, first up, a quick reminder of the numbers for you. Going back to late 2001, after the attacks of 9/11, the US and Britain fought the Taliban first with air strikes, then with ground troops working with the Northern Alliance.
Well, after the fall of the Taliban, the US and the UK built up a military coalition supporting Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
By 2003, the US had more than 10,000 troops in the country, with the UK contributing close to 400 forces.
Jump ahead to 2008, when President Obama was elected, the numbers are up to more than 30,000 US and some 8,000 British troops. 2009, there were more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, including some 68,000 US forces, significant numbers.
In November last year, US president Barack Obama announced that the US would begin withdrawing its troops starting July of this year. Currently, there are more than 132,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, most of them are from the United States.
Well, Maajid Nawas from the Quilliam Foundation is still with me in the studio, and I want to welcome, now, Vali Nasr, who is the former senior adviser to the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. And especially to you, Vali, what happens next in Afghanistan?
VALI NASR, FORMER SENIOR US STATE DEPARTMENT ADVISER: Well, the war itself has its momentum. It's going to continue. But the narrative is changing a bit.
First of all, we started this war to destroy, dismantle, and disrupt al Qaeda. If the head of al Qaeda was actually in Pakistan rather than Afghanistan, it suggests that maybe this epicenter is there rather than in Afghanistan.
And now that he's dead, it actually may make it easier for everybody to argue that there's now a window to finish this war.
ANDERSON: So, if there are those who suggest conspiracy theories that might say that this is convenient timing for the United States, what would you say?
NASR: Well it's not a conspiracy theory issue, it is convenient timing. We're coming up to July 2011 deadline where the president's going to look at how we're doing in the war, and then we're talking about troop withdrawal.
It's much easier for a US president or a British foreign -- prime minister to say, "We're going to withdraw troops at a time when we can tell the population in our countries that actually the al Qaeda threat had been reduced.
ANDERSON: Withdraw those troops, Maajid, though, potentially to where?
NAWAZ: Well, I think if you're suggesting, maybe, Pakistan, I think one of the problems with Pakistan is the true challenge there isn't military. Of course, the ideas of Islamism and the narrative of Islamism have penetrated the society, the institutions and, in some cases, the government.
The real challenge in Pakistan is, therefore, ideological and intellectual and civilizational, and no amount of troops on the ground will address that challenge.
What is rather needed is a movement to emerge from that country that will reclaim both the faith of Islam and actively proselytize for the democratic values and respect for human rights, pluralism, and democracy.
That the democratic culture on the ground, those types of troops are needed to push this message on the ground in Pakistan with the young people.
ANDERSON: Vali, if you were still US special representative for -- or, the adviser to the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, what would your narrative be, now?
NASR: Well, there are two different narratives out here. One is that Afghanistan is not only consuming our troops, but also enormous amounts of treasure and diplomatic effort.
We need those -- we need our troops, we need our money, and we need our diplomatic effort in the Middle East. There are some pressing issues from Libya to Syria that are going to be going for a number of years to come. So, if al Qaeda's a lesser threat in Afghanistan, we can maybe redeploy.
Secondly, as Maajid was saying, it is very clear that Pakistan is the much more important issue here in the long run, in the fight against terror, in instability in the region, that's where al Qaeda was, that's where a lot of the stability issues are.
For every dollar that we give to Pakistan today, we're giving $30 to Afghanistan as US assistance. This should be reversed if we're going to be able to address the terrorism issue, the extremism issue, the instability issues in Pakistan.
We need to shift the focus from the war in Afghanistan that no longer may have al Qaeda in its crosshairs to Pakistan, where actually al Qaeda had been present.
ANDERSON: And then across, for example, as you say, the Middle East post-Arab Spring, which is something we've been talking about this evening.
NAWAZ: Well, I think the key thing is, yes, I agree entirely, shift it to Pakistan. But it must be more of a civil society effort and not a military effort. That will backfire if there's any form of troops on the ground in Pakistan.
And I'll conclude and I'll say ding, dong, the witch is dead, but how long will it take for the spell to be lifted? And that spell is still there in Pakistan.
ANDERSON: What sort of relationship do you imagine, now, being built between Pakistan and Afghanistan? As the troops begin to leave Afghanistan, do you see a much tighter relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan going forward? To the detriment, for example, of the Indians?
NASR: I think so, because partly, I think both the Afghans and the Pakistanis are not going to conclude that we're going to get out really fast. And if we were going to get out really fast, the two of them have to figure this thing out on their own.
And now, with bin Laden out of the way, it's much easier for them to argue for a deal between the Taliban and the Karzai government, which may also satisfy the West, if the argument is that there is no al Qaeda to return to Afghanistan, then why can't they make a deal?
And I think there's now going to be much more of a push between the Pakistanis and Afghans to basically come to a political settlement that will allow them to manage the situation themselves.
ANDERSON: Osama bin Laden is dead, they tell us. We haven't seen a photo, of course, but they say that they will release that at some point. Who does the world watch next, both of you? Maajid?
NAWAZ: Well, as I was saying earlier on this program, I think we need to watch very carefully Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. He could, potentially, be far more dangerous because he's far more eloquent than bin Laden, and that's because he speaks English fluently. He was raised in America, he was trained in America, unlike bin Laden, so he understands both worlds.
He's also Yemeni and Arab. He speaks fluent Arabic. And, of course, being from a different generation, being from the next generation of jihadists, he's that much more tech savvy and tech aware, and that's crucial in the current globalized world. So, his people in Yemen are the ones behind al Qaeda's online journal, for example.
I think, also, we need to watch Laith al Libi. He's a rising star in the movement. He's graduated from a Libyan Islamic fighting group, broke ranks with them when they declared -- when they abandoned their jihadist cause, and he's very senior, very respected in al Qaeda.
And finally, I think we need to watch two countries. One is Somalia, and the other is a region more than a country, the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, and how they try and exploit the situation in Libya, with a bomb just going off two days ago in Morocco, and potentially any involvement they may have in that region.
NASR: I agree with Maajid, but I would just add that also some groups like -- homegrown groups, like the TTP in Pakistan, or Lashkar-e-Toiba, who now -- who have ambitions of going global and have been, actually, involved with al Qaeda now see an opportunity to fill the void. And we have to watch those groups, as well.
In other words, there might be growth within al Qaeda to replace bin Laden, but also there might be other groups from the outside that'll try to fill the void.
ANDERSON: Gentlemen, it's been an absolute pleasure. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us and helping us out this evening.
I'm Becky Anderson in London. Thank you for watching this special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
VELSHI: And I'm Ali Velshi at Ground Zero in New York, where we are now into our 19th hour of people both celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden and commemorating and remembering 9/11 and the victims of that tragedy almost ten years ago.
That's it for us. Wolf Blitzer and "The Situation Room" is up next.