Although the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, marked a triumphant day for the United States, the death of the charismatic leader of al-Qaeda did not mark the end of his terrorist organization.

Al-Qaeda continues to operate globally and still poses a severe threat to international and homeland security. Of particular interest to the United States is how al-Qaeda has exploited the political weakness and instability in the horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula:

Terrorist organizations need several things to be effective: an ideological platform, financial wherewithal, and physical space to train, equip, and plan operations. Counter-terrorism efforts focus on denying both financial support and physical space, while simultaneously attempting to undermine terrorist ideology.

During the past two decades, the shifting organizational structure within terrorist organizations, from large units to smaller more autonomous cells, has made their identification and targeting more difficult. These cells and their networks operate globally. Therefore, counter-terrorism efforts must be global.