Osama Bin Laden Hunted Down And Killed By US
By Brad Norington for The Australian
Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan and his body retrieved by a US strike team nearly 10 years after the September 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon killed more than 3000 people.
Announcing “justice has been done”, Mr Obama said bin Laden had been found hiding in Pakistan and a targeted operation launched today by a small US team.
“After a firefight they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” Mr Obama said, adding that no Americans were harmed in the assault.
“The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s efforts to defeat al-Qa’ida,” the President said. “His demise should be welcomed by all that believe in peace and human dignity.
“It’s important to note our counter terrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he had been hiding.” “Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.
“There is no doubt that al-Qa’ida will continue to pursue attacks against us. “We must and will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
Despite the decade that has elapsed since the September 11 attacks, the event, one of the most traumatic in US history, still stirs raw emotions, and his demise will be celebrated across the United States.
Chants of “USA, USA” rang out from tourists outside the White House as the news of bin Laden’s death sent an electric charge through Washington.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the fence of the presidential mansion and sang the US national anthem and started shouting and cheering. Mr Obama said the United States people understood the cost of war, but would not stand by if threatened.
“As a country we will never tolerate our security being threatened nor stand idly by when our people have been killed,” he said. “We will be relentless in defence of our citizens and our friends and allies.
“We will be true to the values that make us who we are. “And on nights like this one we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qa’ida terror, justice has been done.”
The location of bin Laden and his family confirms recent speculation that he was hiding in comfortable surroundings and close to civilisation, not in the remote mountains dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan.
US armed forces have been hunting the Saudi terror kingpin for years, an effort that was redoubled following the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon which killed 3000 people. But bin Laden always managed to evade US armed forces and a massive manhunt.
The death of bin Laden will raise huge questions about the future shape of al-Qa’ida and also have steep implications for US security and foreign policy 10 years into a global anti-terror campaign. It will also raise fears that the United States and its allies will face retaliation from supporters of bin Laden and other Islamic extremist groups.
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family and the founder of the jihadist organisation al-Qa’ida, most widely recognised for the September 11 attacks on the US and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets.
As a result of his dealings in and advocacy of violent extremist jihad, bin Laden lost his Saudi citizenship and was disowned by his billionaire family.
Bin Laden evaded US capture in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and since then he and his organisation have been major targets of the US war on terror.
Bin Laden and fellow al-Qa’ida leaders are believed to have been hiding near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, in tribal areas that lie outside government control.