Breaking: Osama Bin Laden Dead
In shocking news, President Barack Obama has announced that the conservative Islamist Osama Bin Laden, responsible for some of the most horrifying terrorism in the world has been killed by a small American strike team in Abbottabad, Pakistan. He stated, “Justice Has Been Done.” Bin Laden’s body was taken from the scene, and a DNA check confirmed his identity.
Twitter has been a buzz with this breaking news, with hundreds of outlets reporting on the event. CNN has breaking video of this, although all across the main stream media, reports still appear to be firm yet sketchy in actual details. FreakOutNation reports “Mission Accomplished” and aired a video online of the speech by President Obama. Fox News unsurprisingly reported “OBAMA Bin Laden Dead”.
Abbottabad is a city [of 120,000] located in the Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, formerly NWFP, of Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, 150 km north of Islamabad and 200 km east of Peshawar at an altitude of 4,120 feet (1,260 m). The city is well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high standard educational institutions and military establishments. –wiki
The Atlantic claims to have the precise location of the Mansion and compound where Osama Bin Laden was hiding out. Above is a Google maps aerial view of the location. Below is an oblique photo of Abbottabad. More photos can be found on Flickr, Travbuddy, and ViewPhotos.
Massive crowds are currently gathering at the gates of the White House in celebration. The US military forces around the world have gone on a state of high alert in preparation for possible retaliatory attacks by Al Qaeda.
He was in a mansion in Abbottabad, 90 miles north of Islamabad, Pakistan instead of hiding in a cave as commonly thought. CNN reports it was not a drone strike, but a manned team, and that some family members may also have been killed. The Pakistani Intelligence Service was NOT also involved in this operation as initially reported. His location in a mansion brings up the spectre that there might have been a certain degree of collusion with some powerful elements within Pakistan to keep him hidden and safe, although that is speculative at this point. The second in command of Al Qaeda, Ayman Muhammad Rabaie al-Zawahiri was not at the mansion.
Two helicopters of Navy Seal special forces flew into the high-walled compound, which seemed very out of place in the affluent neighborhood, and custom designed to hide someone. Hand to hand combat ensued. One of Bin Laden’s sons was also killed with another person on the compound. One of the American helicopters was destroyed in the raid, although there were no American casualties and everyone made it out.
President Bill Clinton had originally and secretly directed the Special Activities Division of the CIA to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden during his second term in office. He also ordered the military to fire 66 cruise missiles into a Bin Laden terrorist training camp near Kost, Afghanistan in 1998. Bin Laden escaped injury.
President Bush continued the hunt for Bin Laden, and it is widely believed that after the rough battles near Tora Bora in a mountainous Afghan region, he hid in caves and eventually escaped across the border to tribal regions in Pakistan. Strangely enough, Osama Bin Laden was killed 8 years to the day after Bush’s infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech.
For years there were no reliable intelligence reports about the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden, leading to some speculation that he was actually killed previously. That speculation has proved to be inaccurate in lieu of today’s announcement.
President Obama continued the hunt for Bin Laden, although it is currently unknown how the intelligence was gained that provided the location of his whereabouts that led to today’s raid. Obama reportedly received intel that Bin Laden was hiding at this location in February, but that was not confirmed until a month ago. It is unknown when the assassination op was given the green light.
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (March 10, 1957 – April 2011) was a member of the wealthy Saudi bin Laden family and the founder of the jihadist organization al-Qaeda, most widely recognized for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets. As a result of his dealings in and advocacy of violent extremist jihad, Osama bin Laden lost his Saudi citizenship and was disowned by his billionaire family. On Sunday, May 1st 2011, U.S. officials announced that bin Laden was dead. –wikipedia
Osama Bin Laden has been on the run and hiding out since shortly after the terrorist strike in the US on 9/11 where over 3000 people were killed. There is an excellent series of videos released by PBS that provides a lot of background to who the man is, how he built up his religious extremist network of terror, and other factors.
Edit 02May2011 2:10pm: Alternet has an excellent article that expands on peripheral aspects of this story, titled Inside His Mansion, Inside the Mission, Inside the Media Reaction.
More information as it becomes available…