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Osama Bin Laden’s Elimination through the Prism of Al-Qaeda’s Affiliates and Global Jihad Support

On May 1st 2001, an American commando force eliminated Al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A few days later, after an official announcement on behalf of the organization’s general leadership, Al-Qaeda affiliates worldwide published official announcements containing eulogies over his death and praises for his path, alongside general calls for retribution. In total, 18 official announcements by global Jihad organizations and leaders were published on Jihadist forums and the internet, in addition to the announcements made by media institutes of global Jihad organizations, the Jihadist forums and prominent writers on these forums. A month and a half following the assassination, on June 16th 2011, the Jihadist forums published an official announcement on behalf of “Qaidat Al-Jihad – the General Leadership”, officially proclaiming Ayman Al-Zawahiri as Al-Qaeda’s leader, replacing Bin Laden. The message itself was published without a specific date and without detailing the names of the leadership’s members (see more details on the message later on in the document).