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Jihadist Web sites discuss bin Laden death

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Jihadist Web sites discuss bin Laden death
An Israeli vendor reads a Hebrew newspaper in the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem with headlines announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces in Pakistan, May 3, 2011. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo

NEW YORK, May 3 (UPI) -- Messages of disbelief and vows of revenge are appearing on jihadist Web sites over the death of Osama bin Laden, counterterrorism experts say.

Dr. Ely Karmon of the International Institute for Counterterrorism in Israel said the response has been huge but initially it was mainly from the West, the Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday.

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"There are three kinds of reaction so far," Karmon said, "some deploring the death and writing about the martyrdom of bin Laden."

He said others are talking about revenge for his death while two Taliban spokesmen have actually threatened retaliation.

Aaron Weisburd, a West Point terrorism consultant, said he is looking for signs of low morale among the rank-and-file.

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"It may take a little time before the buzz of OBL's martyrdom wears off and they sober up and face the fact that none of them are safe and that God may not be on their side," Weisburd said.

Aaron Zelin, a researcher at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, said some of bin Laden's supporters appear to be in shock and don't want to believe the news that he is dead.

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"Others want to hold off until they've heard from their own sources rather than infidel news services," Zelin told the Monitor.

An analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, William McCants, said jihad supporters are using Facebook and Twitter to spread propaganda but most are still using mainstream forums.

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