Osama Bin Laden is dead. Justice has been served, but peace may not necessarily have been forwarded. With the leader of the Al-Qaeda dead there is a “power vacuum” that will undoubtedly be filled. Experts are already warning us that the violence of terrorism is not over and may be escalate in the near future. The coming months may find peaceful countries all over the world caught up in the “Group Monkey Dance” of the members of Al-Qaeda as they fight for dominance over the group.
The Group Monkey Dance (GMD) is another dominance game. In this ritual, members of a group compete for status and to show their loyalty to the group by showing how vicious can be to someone perceived as an “outsider.” – Sgt. Rory Miller
With the death of Bin Laden a major hole is opened within the Al-Qaeda leadership. There will be many within the organization that desire to take his place as the leader of the group. Even if his leadership was mostly “figurehead” in nature, the fact that he is gone will cause an ascendency struggle within the larger group. The fight for dominance and status will likely turn outward. Instead of the political “infighting” that you see in peaceful groups when a leader is lost, a violent ideological group such as the Al-Qaeda is more likely to turn their violence outward.
Those leaders in Al-Qaeda who are looking to become the next Bin Laden are likely to follow the path of the Group Monkey Dance. To prove that they are strong enough and worthy of the status of leader of the entire group they will ramp up terrorist activity. These would-be leaders will look to increase frequency and destructive power of their attacks as they prove their loyalty to group and commitment to the cause.
Our vigilance and commitment to self-defense cannot be dropped. It may very well be that the most dangerous period of time in the history of the Al-Qaeda has just begun. Until the Al-Qaeda is completely destroyed they will see non-believers as “outsiders” and any reaction to their violence will serve to prove our “outsider” status. As they struggle to reorganize after the death of Osama Bin Laden the frequency and viciousness of the Al-Qaeda supported and perpetrated terrorism is likely increase. We must stay alert and be prepared to protect our loved ones as the “Group Monkey Dance” within the Al-Qaeda begins.
Quote taken from “Meditations on Violence” by Sgt. Rory Miller. YMAA Publishing Center, 2008.