May 12th, 2011
09:59 PM ET

Blair: Ideology bin Laden represented still problem for the West

New York (CNN) – After a stealth U.S. military operation, notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden may be dead but the notion of a fundamental conflict between Islam and the West which he advocated remains a problem, according to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper whether the front line in the global war on terrorism has now shifted to Pakistan, the country where bin Laden was found and killed by the United States, or to Yemen, a growing center of influence for al Qaeda and those inspired by al Qaeda, Blair said the issue wasn’t that simple.

“Sometimes people say, ‘Well, what should we be worried about most? Would it be Afghanistan? Would it be Iraq? Would it be Pakistan? Would it be Yemen? Would it be Somalia?’ The answer to that question is all of those, I’m afraid,” Blair said in an interview set to air Friday on AC360°. “For me this is one struggle," continued Blair, “It’s got many different aspects to it. One is the security aspect. But the other is the narrative, the ideology that people like bin Laden represent. Because my fear is that the narrative has a far broader support than those engaged in extremism would suggest.”

Blair explained that he believes the number of individuals who turn to violence because of radical Islamic beliefs is “a relatively small number.” But, “those that buy into the narrative that there is this fundamental conflict, that the West is oppressing Islam, I think that stretches far deeper.”

Since leaving office in the U.K. Blair has worked as an envoy in the Middle East peace process.

Tune in to AC360° beginning at 10pm ET Friday to watch more of the Blair interview.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Islam • Osama bin Laden
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Joe G. (Illinois)

    No matter where you born or where you are from "Birth Certificate or not" people are always so intrinsically attached to the idea that one buffoon or another can rid the world of all the evil.

    Seriously, I'm not eve kidding.
    Problem is that the Muslims think that the Americans and the Westerners are evil.. And they are. And the Americans and the Westerners think that the Muslims and the Terrorist as evil. And they are.

    May 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    Yet, while our own economy flounders and we are ravaged by floods etc. We continue to flood these nations with our money. We cannot buy loyalty and radical islam will grow and will hit us again.

    May 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Dennis Sielaff

    Dear Anderson;
    During the recent Assassination of Bin Laden (which I whole-heartedly support; and, yes, he was assassinated, the heart shot wasto put him down, the second shot to the head was too make sure he was dead!)
    -And, I agree it was a correct and right decision to take, and oboma deserves praise.
    -however, where was the scathing critizism reference the risk/and probable loss of secret technology on the stealth helocopter to the Chinese? If they were going to risk it, then they should have planned on totally destroying the technology: If the raid was so thought out, then they should of had 'what if' plans also. Your thoughts?

    May 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm |