Special Report: Osama Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Operation
CANBERRA, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Online supporters of head of al- Qaida Osama bin Laden reacted with confusion, sadness, and often anger following the news that bin Laden is dead, Australia Associated Press quoted a U.S. expert as reporting on Tuesday.
A researcher at Brandeis University of the United States Aaron Zelin has been monitoring Internet discussion in six languages, including English, Arabic, Urdu and Indonesian since the announcement of bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. forces in Pakistan.
Zelin said much of the discussion related to whether bin Laden was actually dead.
"Many are skeptical due to the lack of evidence, and they are waiting to hear from 'mujahideen' sources," Zelin told Australia Associated Press on Tuesday.
"Some are inciting violence, even if the threats are most likely empty rhetoric."
However, Zelin said there was also evidence that in the short term al-Qaida forces in Pakistan would remain calm.
However, he said al-Qaida forces in the Arabian Peninsula would step up their actions, and the American mainland was the most likely target for an al-Qaida reprisal attack.
"In terms of location (for reprisals), it's hard to predict that, but one would imagine they would want to try and strike the U.S. homeland to send a message," Zelin said.
"Whether that comes to be, we'll have to wait and see."
Zelin said the Internet discussion also talk about whether or not bin Laden died at the hands of U.S. forces or natural causes.