The Commonwealth Blog

Special Members-Only Teleconference: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

May 9, 2011 @ 9:34 AM

The Killing of Osama bin Laden: Implications for the fight against terrorism

DATE: Mon, May 9, 2011 TIME: 12:00 PM Pacific Time

The end of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden this past week raises a number of questions. How was the operation to capture bin Laden conducted from an operational standpoint? Why did it take so long to find bin Laden? Will the death of the al Qaeda leader diminish the terrorist threat to the U.S. or could it trigger retaliation from terrorist groups? What are the greatest terrorist threats the U.S. now faces on an ongoing basis? How will the reshuffle of national security officials in the U.S., with Leon Panetta moving to the Defense Department and being replaced with a new CIA director, affect the fight against terrorism?

Club members were sent call-in instructions late last week. The teleconference begins at 12 noon today, and you can submit questions by writing a comment below to this blog post, or by tweeting and including #cwclub in your message.

The call will be led by Club President and CEO Dr. Gloria Duffy. Also on the call:

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President of the Rand Corporation; Director, The Mineta Transportation Institute's National Transportation Security Center of Excellence for both the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security.  

Dr. Duffy will ask Jenkins as many of your questions as possible, though please note that there will likely be more questions than there is time. Please keep your questions on-topic. Off-topic or offensive questions will be deleted from this blog.


Welcome to today's teleconference. Give us your questions!

America is on heightened alert for a retaliatory attack. What should we be most concerned about? Is the most dangerous time now , the 9/11 anniversary or at another less high profile moment? How likely is Al Quaeda’s train derailment scenario?

Are the uprisings in Egypt and Libya a victory or defeat for Al Quaeda?

Will Ayman Al Ziwari become the new Al Quaeda leader and does it matter? Is Al Quaeda more fractionated and made up of splinter cells rather than having any central governance at this point? How long will the war against Al Quaeda and terrorism go on? Decades?

Does the killing of Osama bin Laden vindicate the John Kerry notion that the "war on terrorism" should be a police and commando matter, not a large-scale military matter? Which are we likely to see more of in the next few years?

We know about this commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden because it was successful. Are there a lot of these raids that we never hear about because they were not successful?

Please comment on Pakistan's possible involvement with bin Laden's hiding out in Abottabad.

How involved do you believe Pakistan was in hiding bin Laden?

How significant is Osama's death? In light of the Arab Spring, does it make more people in that part of the world see a better avenue to improve their lives by getting rid of their own autocratic governments rather than striking out against foreigners?

New York and Washington seem to be the favored targets for terrorists in the United States; secondarily, there's LA and Chicago. Why are those cities so high on their list of threatened or planned attacks? Do they somehow represent the country more than Dallas or Boston or San Francisco?