“For Americans, he became the embodiment of the bogeyman for us, that mythical beast that’s a source of fear,” says Hussein Rashid, a Muslim academic from New York who helps to build relations across communities and faiths.

“His death is incredibly cathartic and here in New York, there’s a massive sense of relief, a sense of ‘We’ve got the monster.’ And that’s the mode most Americans will be in for a while.

“It’s incredibly important that we got him, but operationally it is less significant. He hasn’t been the man in charge [of al-Qaeda] and this isn’t the head of the snake.”

Bin Laden’s videos fanned the flames of fear by using language and symbols that alienated Americans, says Mr Rashid, such as once comparing President George W Bush to Hulagu Khan, a Mongol leader who conquered an Islamic empire.

“It was language they didn’t have access to. I had to explain to people why he [Khan] was so important to Muslims and that made it more powerful.”

from Bin Laden: How he haunted the US psyche

The same article in Portuguese.