Head of German Intelligence Expects Al-Qaeda to Launch Attacks in Near Future

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Context

Ernst Uhrlau, the head of German foreign intelligence unit, the BND, has said that the death of Bin Laden marks the loss of Al-Qaeda’s leading symbolic figure; however, the individual groups operating under the banner of Al-Qaeda will continue working more independently and Bin Laden’s ideology will still apply. In an interview with SPIEGEL, Uhrlau said he expects to see terrorist attacks in days to come, particularly in Pakistan. When asked if he thinks Pakistani intelligence or military knew about Bin Laden’s hideout, the intelligence chief said, “That’s a difficult question… The building wasn’t in a central part of the city, and it’s normal for houses in the neighborhood to be surrounded by high walls. Let’s not speculate about what the Pakistanis knew.” Speaking of the impact of Bin Laden’s killing and Arab uprising on Islamic extremism, Uhrlau warned that even if pro-democracy movements in the Middle East are motivated by non-religious, socio-economic factors, there are risks that radicalization which helps jihadi movements may take place on the fringes of demonstrations.