* Strongest support for bin Laden death in U.S., India
* Argentina, Indonesia weakest supporters of U.S. mission
By Michelle Nichols
TORONTO (Reuters) - A 22-nation survey released
Tuesday found three-quarters of those polled believed the
United States was justified in killing al Qaeda leader Osama
bin Laden for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
But the Ipsos poll of about 17,000 people -- conducted a
week after bin Laden was shot on May 2 by U.S. forces who
stormed his compound in Pakistan -- found that only 11 percent
felt safer now that he was dead.
"What is especially surprising is that majorities in nearly
every country believe that the U.S. was justified in its
actions," said Darrell Bricker, chief executive officer of
Ipsos Global Public Affairs.
The poll showed that countries that were part of the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan
were among those with the highest approval rating, led by the
United States with 95 percent, France and Britain with 87
percent and Australia, Belgium and Canada with 85 percent.
In other ISAF nations, Poland had 83 percent who felt the
killing was justified, followed by Italy (81 percent), Hungary
(79), Germany (76), Sweden (71), Turkey (71) and Spain (70).
There was 63 percent support in both South Korea, an ISAF
member, and Japan, which has pledged billions of dollars in
reconstruction aid to Afghanistan, the poll showed.
India's 95 percent support matched the United States' while
Brazil had 77 percent, South Africa 76 percent and Russia 75
Two-thirds of Mexicans felt bin Laden's death was
justified, along with 54 percent in Indonesia, the world's most
populous Muslim nation, and 45 percent in Argentina.
No Middle Eastern nations were polled.
Bin Laden's death came almost a decade after nearly 3,000
people were killed when al Qaeda hijackers crashed commercial
planes into New York City's World Trade Center, the Pentagon
outside Washington and a field in Pennsylvania.
"Even the usual U.S. critics, like France, Germany and
Russia are on side with what the U.S. did," Bricker said. "This
is because terrorism has become a cross-national problem and
the desire to stamp it out is now universal."
Fifteen percent of those polled said bin Laden's death will
result in fewer al Qaeda attacks, while more than 40 percent
said it will lead to more. Only 11 percent feel safe now bin
Laden is dead and 26 percent feel less safe.
"The world's citizens recognize that killing one man won't
eliminate terrorism. Terrorism was here before bin Laden and
will be here long after him," Bricker said.
"In the U.S., this is as much about satisfying the sense of
justice that Americans have as it is about the practical
aspects of curbing terrorism."
The Ipsos online poll covered India, United States, France,
Great Britain, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Poland, Italy,
Hungary, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Russia, Sweden, Turkey,
Spain, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Argentina.
The survey had an estimated margin of error of plus or
minus 3.1 percentage points, Ipsos said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bill Trott)
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