Prof. Thomas McDonnell on the US killing bin Laden

Pace Law School Prof. Thomas McDonnell, an expert on terrorism, is available to speak to the media about the potential repercussions of the US killing of Osama bin Laden.

About Prof. McDonnell:

  • Author of The United States, International Law and the Struggle against Terrorism (Routledge, 2009), which discusses critical legal issues raised by US responses to the terrorist threat, analyzing whether the actions taken by the Bush-Cheney Administration and now the Obama Administration have complied with international law. The book highlights such issues as torture, indefinite detentions, right to trial, military commissions, the death penalty, targeted killing, the right of self-determination, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Has taught International Law and International Human Rights Law for more than 15 years

Prof. McDonnell on the likely fallout from the death of Osama bin Laden:

“I have no sympathy whatever for a mass murderer like Osama bin Laden, but disagree with pundits who suggest that the death of Osama bin Laden is a nail in the coffin of Al Qaeda. If anything, some empirical research into religious terrorist organizations suggests that the US’s actions might have strengthened rather than weakened al Qaeda, by turning bin Laden into a martyr. We’ve given him the death that he wanted, and it will likely inspire more terrorist actions by his followers. In my view, it would have been much better if the US had captured bin Laden—though it’s unclear if that would have been possible. But now we must check our jubilation, and continue our resolve to eliminate terrorism, but through law and actions that will dampen the fires of violence rather than inflame them.”


Lauren Rubenstein
Manager, Media Relations
(914) 422-4389

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