After the assassination of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the next target in the fight against terrorism should be the head of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Monday.
Late on Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama announced in a televised statement that the U.S. military had killed bin Laden in Pakistan.
“In our opinion, the next object should be Mullah Omar, but the goal of our decisive actions, which we continue to develop as an international coalition against terrorism, is the elimination of all terrorist centers,” Frattini said over Italian radio.
Mullah Mohammed Omar is the spiritual leader of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan and is wanted by the FBI for sheltering bin Laden and other al Qaeda militants before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Not much else is known about Omar.
Frattini emphasized that the world must not lose vigilance.
“We cannot think that all the leaders of the terrorist world will fall after the death of Osama bin Laden. We must continue to work so this does happen.”
At least 44 U.S. Navy SEALs were involved in the military operation to capture bin Laden. According to preliminary reports of the shootout, the al Qaeda leader was shot in the head while hiding behind a woman during the operation. The unidentified woman and three men, one believed to be bin Laden’s son, were also killed in the operation that lasted several minutes.
No U.S. military personnel were killed in the operation.
ROME, May 2 (RIA Novosti)