Why Arrest of Bin Laden Pals Won't Change Much

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Another two alleged Osama bin Laden operatives are behind bars, but it will take more than dogged police work to deal with the terrorist threat to the United States. Two Egyptian nationals appeared in a London courtroom Monday to face extradition proceedings brought by the U.S. for their alleged role in last yearís bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa. Ibrahim Hussein Abdel Hadi Eidarous, 42, and Adel Mohamed Abdul Almagid Bary, 39, who are accused of transmitting faxes claiming responsibility for the blast, bring the total number of suspects in the attack currently in custody to eight, with a further six still at large. Bin Laden himself is currently based in Afghanistan, under the protection of the ruling Taliban militia.

"The arrest of so many suspects reflects excellent police work and intelligence operations," says TIME correspondent William Dowell. "But police work isnít enough to wipe out terrorism. Even if Bin Laden were to be put out of action, others would try to take his place. This isnít a movement based simply on a charismatic personality; itís based on a perception that injustices are being committed against Arabs and Muslims." That perception gives Bin Laden a steady supply of funds and recruits, despite U.S. attempts to put the squeeze on his international network. "To deal effectively with terrorism," says Dowell, "itís also important to revive an effective Middle East process, for example, to counter the perception of injustice and the fertile ground it creates for Bin Laden."