May 24, 2011:
While the dismantling of the intelligence and secret police organizations in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt is great for the people in those countries, counter-terrorism officials in Europe fear that the result will be more terrorist deaths in Europe. That's because, while police states (like pre-revolution Tunisia, Libya and Egypt) are bad news for the people at large, the security forces are particularly harsh on Islamic radicals. Al Qaeda originally went after these Arab police states, but found them too formidable. Retreating to places like Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan, the Islamic radicals decided to go after targets in the West (as they were easier to hit, got more attention from the international media, and created a lot of fans back home). That was supposed to eventually lead to a general uprising in the Moslem world, leading to al Qaeda establishing a worldwide Islamic religious dictatorship. Didnt work out that way. The current rebellions are seeking democracy, something al Qaeda considers heresy and an offence punishable by death.
European intelligence officials report that about a third of the Islamic terrorists they have to deal with are from North Africa. Many came to Europe claiming they were victims of oppression back home, and were granted asylum. But it later turned out that many of these refugees were Islamic radicals fleeing prosecution for terrorist acts. But the European fears may be unfounded, because the Islamic radicals, at least the ones who can handle basic logic, know that it's always going to be easier to set up a religious dictatorship in an Islamic country. So the Islamic radicals who are still back in the old country, will have less interference (for a while) from the police, and this may attract some of the ones who escaped to Europe, to return. Another incentive is European police who are more alert to Islamic radicals and have been arresting, jailing or even expelling more of them.
So while the old Arab secret police won't really be missed by anyone, except perhaps the new Arab democracies, who find themselves vulnerable to increased Islamic radical attack.