The leader of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US military operation which targeted his hideout in Abbottabad, about 61km north of Islamabad in Pakistan. President Barak Obama made the announcement of the notorious leader’s death on Sunday night which was met by a flurry of congratulations and pleased responses
Significant Achievement for the US
Obama said in a prepared statement which interrupted regular television programming that, “Tonight, I can report to the people of the United States and the world, the United States has carried out an operation that has killed Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist responsible for killing thousands of innocent people.
“The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date against al-Qaeda.
“We must also reaffirm that United States is not and will never be at war against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, in fact, he slaughtered many Muslims,” Obama added
The New York Times reported that bin Laden’s body was recovered from the compound and then buried at sea.
A former president of the United States, George Bush, declared that the killing of bin Laden is a “momentous achievement.”
Crowds formed outside the White House as well as at the site of the destruction of the World Trade Center as the news spread of bin Laden’s demise.
Rosalind Jordan, a reporter for Al Jazeera in Washington, DC, said that the successful operation was the culmination of nine to ten months of planning.
“The fact that it happened inside Pakistan, there have been suggestions that Pakistani intelligence may have been protecting them,” she said.
Another Al Jazeera journalist, Patty Culhane, added that the US was able to utilize intelligence that was acquired last September, and using this information they were able to track bin Laden down via his couriers. They were then able to follow the couriers to bin Laden’s million dollar hideout.
Kamal Hyder, reporting from Pakistan for Al Jazeera explained that this outcome had surprised a lot of people.
“He was considered by many as a hero, but not to the extent that people would come out on the streets. The reaction so far has not been strong on the streets, perhaps a protest here or there by the religious parties,” Hyder said.
Osama bin-Laden Held Responsible for Massive Attacks on the US
The United States holds bin Laden and his al-Qaeda group as responsible for several serious attacks, including the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing over 200 people, which first put bin Laden on the ‘most wanted’ list; the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, an American destroyer anchored in Yemen, killing 17 US soldiers; and most famously, the attacks of 2001 on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, which involved the hijacking of four separate planes and resulted in massive death and destruction with over 3,000 people murdered in one day.