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GVSU expert: bin Laden death ‘symbolic victory’

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Jonathan White speaks to reporters during a press conference at Grand Valley State University.

Counter-terrorism expert Jonathan White heads GVSU’s Homeland Defense Initiative. White consults for local, state and federal groups involved in counter-terrorism efforts.

White says bin Laden’s death will inspire those planning terrorist attacks, but he says they’d still be planning those attacks if bin Laden was alive.

“I try to keep all of this in perspective. More children are going to die from malnutrition this month than will die of terrorism this entire year. More people are going to die from snake bites around the world than from terrorist assaults.”

White is happy about the news but he says bin Laden’s death doesn’t mean the threat of terrorist attacks has passed.

“This will be an inspiring event for people who are planning an attack but they were planning attacks anyway.”

White says terrorist cells will continue as long as those groups desire vengeance, have access to weapons, and can travel easily.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Enterprise Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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