Let's kill Mullah Omar next

In the first 24 hours after bin Laden’s death, the one visible proponent of putting Mullah Omar up next in the crosshairs was Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. He told Italian radio: “In our opinion, the next object should be Mullah Omar, but the goal of our decisive actions, which we continue to develop as an international coalition against terrorism, is the elimination of all terrorist centers.”…

As more facts become known about how factions of the Pakistani military must have known bin Laden was hiding in the very town that hosts their elite military academy, the U.S. will hope that international embarrassment may force Pakistani intelligence to turn up more al Qaeda leaders. But the one who might be the biggest threat globally is in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric who is skilled at recruiting via the Internet but has no experience in warfare.

For the Pakistanis, it may be easier to turn over—or kill—a disputatious Egyptian, Zawahri, than a pious neighbor like Omar from Afghanistan. The death of Mullah Omar, the religious leader whose harsh edicts and philosophy have a spiritual hold over many radicalized Muslims, would likely provoke far more turmoil across Pakistan. Imagine if the Italian police had to choose between turning over the head of the Mafia or the pope. It is the realization of that spiritual power that makes the Italian foreign minister’s choice of target so compelling.