COLUMBIA — For some, the death of Osama bin Laden marks the end of an era, while others question what will come next.
"In the next six to nine months there is likely to be a retaliation," said MU political science professor Cooper Drury. "This is important for the military and the CIA, a morale booster. This does not mean the end on the war on terrorism. There are still many terrorists out there."
Another MU professor of political science, Stephen Quackenbush, agreed there may be attempts to avenge bin Laden's death.
"This means the number one target has been eliminated, but it is too early to tell whether his death means the end of al-Qaida," he said. "There is a lot of personal loyalty to him, and I'm sure other people are out there.."
Here, some mid-Missourians share their reactions and responses to the news of bin Laden's death:
"There’s always going to be another one to take his place. There’s probably somebody that has already taken over. The terrorists are probably not happy, and that’s going to make them more mad at the U.S." — Mark Lofgreen, 58, Columbia
"I think it’s a positive thing for the country. I think it’s going to give the troops a reason for being in Afghanistan. It will be some closure to 9/11, and I think the people are going to feel that there was something positive that came from that." — David Barnett, 56, Summersville, Mo.
"The people partying in the streets is ridiculous. What’s to party about someone else’s death? His death will give people an excuse to get drunk." — Sherry Barber, 43, Columbia
"I’m afraid that al-Qaida will come after us now. If I was one of them, I would think that I would have to avenge his death." — Linda Reish, 60, Warsaw, Mo.
"Immediately I think there could be backlash from his death. I think there will be a lot of fighting in the next week." — Erik Knight, 19, Columbia
"I think the world is a better place with him gone. They’re going to use his death as an excuse to do whatever they want now. I think his death will take a lot of the money train away. It’s kind of surreal and impressive that they went in and did a job and no Americans were killed." — Jimmy Knight, 48, Columbia
"I think it’s important to keep going the way we are and not let our fences down. Other freedom fighters might have a chance now." — Elaine Kline, 88, Columbia
"The president should be on his guard most of all. That will make a lot of people happy." — J. A. Strawn, 79, Columbia
"I think it’s good they finally got him, but in the long run it doesn’t make a difference. The ideology is still out there, and radical Islam is still bent on the destruction of our values and our way of life." — Don Strada, 65, Columbia
"I’m glad they got him. If they say peace and safety are ahead, I’d be worried that. You just have to hope and pray that this ends problems for now. They’ve gotten rid of the kingpin, but are they going to bring our people home?" — Patty Stucki, 48, Columbia
"I don’t think it’s right to be excited over someone’s death. Ideally, I would have like to see him captured alive. I think terrorism is still going to exist whether he’s here or not." — Hannah Robbins, 23, Columbia