Lancashire

Jack Straw: World 'not safer' after Bin Laden's death

Jack Straw
Image caption Jack Straw was Foreign Secretary at the time of the 9/11 attacks in the US

Blackburn MP and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has warned that the death of Osama Bin Laden has not made the world a safer place.

The al-Qaeda leader was shot dead by US special forces in Abbottabad, near the Pakistan capital, on Sunday.

He was killed when unarmed and resisting capture, US officials have said. They are still considering whether to release photos of his body.

Mr Straw said the death marked a decline of al-Qaeda's influence.

Bin Laden is believed to have ordered the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, as well as several other deadly bombings.

'Insidious ideology'

Mr Straw, who was Foreign Secretary from 2001 to 2006, said: "I don't think the world is a safer place today compared to three days ago.

"I do however believe that this death of Osama Bin Laden marks a further stage in the decline of the influence of his insidious ideology which frankly gripped far too many people but which is a road to nowhere.

Image caption Mr Straw said he was under no doubt Osama Bin Laden was dead

"If you compare what Bin Laden wanted 10, 15, 20 years ago with what has actually happened, you see that the world is now in the reverse place.

"What he wanted was to establish what he described as a 'caliphate' across the whole of the Islamic world - if you like an Islamic empire.

"What has actually happened post 9/11 is in the Middle East as we are now seeing far from the Middle East moving in that direction it is moving in the direction of universal values, of western values if you like, of democracy."

He praised the "skilful" operation by the Americans and dismissed conspiracy theories which have been mooted since the killing.

"There is no doubt at all it was Osama Bin Laden. President Obama was not going to risk his presidency on mistaken identity, let's be clear about that," he said.

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