Osama bin Laden killed by US

The United States has killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden nearly 10 years after the September 11 2001 attacks, US President Barack Obama said in a dramatic televised address on Sunday.

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children,” Obama said in a surprise late night White House address.

The world’s most wanted man had been killed in a Pakistani compound in an operation on Sunday, which had been carried after cooperation from Islamabad, the US leader said.

Obama said in the historic address from the White House that he had directed the US armed forces to launch an attack against a compound in Pakistan on Sunday acting on a lead that first emerged last August.

“A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.”


British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday hailed news of in Laden’s death, saying it would “bring great relief to people across the world”.

American celebration
Joyous crowds descended on the White House and spontaneously erupted with chants of “USA, USA” as news of Osama bin Laden’s death was welcomed by ordinary Americans.

With some brandishing US national flag, they punched the air and sang The Star Spangled Banner, even before the announcement of his death by Obama in a hurriedly-organised address to the nation.

Starting with just a few dozen people, the crowd quickly built to hundreds pressed against the fence outside the White House, in what rapidly became a party atmosphere as Obama confirmed details.

The news was welcomed by Americans across the country, even though his death was only confirmed shortly before midnight on Sunday.

“I’m proud to be an American tonight,” Kenneth Specht, a New York fireighter on 9/11, told CNN, paying tribute to the victims of the attacks in New York and Washington.

“Tonight they are first and foremost in our minds,” he said.

“Its a long time coming,” hotel clerk Becky Grant (26) at the Fairfield Inn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, told Agence France-Presse, before asking a passing guest: “Did you hear the news? Bin Laden’s been killed.”

The internet, including the Twitter and Facebook social networking websites, were also deluged with reaction to the al-Qaeda leaders death, killed by US forces in Pakistan.

“Finally! I can now sleep tonight knowing this. He was hiding for years and was finally caught and killed. I am so happy right now,” said Stewie on a Yahoo message board.

Travel alert
The US State Department on Sunday issued a global travel alert to all US citizens following the death of bin Laden, saying there could be an outbreak of anti-American violence.

“The US Department of State alerts US citizens travelling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan,” it said in a statement.

“Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, US citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.”

It added that the warning would remain in effect until August 1. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Extract: Gunning for Bessie’s head, from ‘The Terrorist Album’

Jacob Dlamini’s new book, The Terrorist Album, tells the stories of people saddled with that catch-all phrase during apartheid and how their presence on that list made them fair game

The pandemic has shifted patterns of conflict in Africa

Although the overall rate of conflict has remained steady in Africa during the past 10 weeks of the pandemic, the nature of this is changing in subtle but significant ways

The journalist who was shot in cold blood

Ahmed Divela was one of Ghana’s most fearless investigative journalists. This edited excerpt about his killing is from Faces of Assassination

We cannot reform ourselves out of the times we are in

To end racism, we will have to change the structures from which it draws its mandate, and get rid of liberal and right-wing politicians who give it oxygen while we are being asphyxiated

Armed militants wage war on Burkina Faso’s schools

A survivor tells of how Islamists carrying AK-47s arrived on motorbikes, forced fleeing children to lie on the ground and beat teachers before setting a building on fire

After disastrous Zuma years, Ramaphosa must provide foreign policy clarity

For a country that is guided by ubuntu, South Africa has a record of embarrassing international blunders
Advertising

New education policy on gender violence released

Universities and other higher education institutions have to develop ways of preventing or dealing with rape and other damaging behaviour

Cambridge Food Jozini: Pandemic or not, the price-gouging continues

The Competition Commission has fined Cambridge Food Jozini for hiking the price of its maize meal during April

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday