News / USA

    Obama: bin Laden Death is 'Good Day for America'

    President Barack Obama speaks about the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden before he awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to two Korean War veterans during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House,  Monday, May 2, 2011
    President Barack Obama speaks about the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden before he awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to two Korean War veterans during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Monday, May 2, 2011
    Kent Klein

    The day after U.S. forces killed terror network leader Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama said it is a good day for America.  And, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser briefed reporters on Monday about the details of the operation that killed bin Laden.  

    President Obama said the killing of the al-Qaida founder shows what Americans can do when they work together.

    "I think we can all agree this is a good day for America," he said. "Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done.  The world is safer.  It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden."

    At a ceremony recognizing the heroism of two U.S. soldiers during the Korean War, Mr. Obama said he could not be more proud of the troops who carried out Sunday’s raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

    U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan gestures during the daily news briefing at the White House, May 2, 2011
    U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan gestures during the daily news briefing at the White House, May 2, 2011

    Later in the day, John Brennan, the president’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, told reporters that U.S. forces were prepared to take bin Laden alive, if possible.  But he said that possibility was remote, and that bin Laden was killed in a firefight at his compound.

    Brennan said the al-Qaida leader was "hiding in plain sight," and must have had help.

    "I think it is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country that allowed him to remain there for an extended period of time," he said.  "I am not going to speculate about what type of support he might have had on an official basis."

    Brennan said U.S. intelligence officials are talking with their Pakistani counterparts, whose cooperation, he said, is crucial to rounding up more terrorists.

    The president’s counterterrorism adviser said Pakistan has captured and killed more terrorists within its borders than any other country.

    Brennan said Sunday’s gathering of the president and his top advisers in the White House Situation Room to monitor the progress of the operation was tense.  He said there was some disagreement among the advisers on how to proceed.

    "It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday,"  he said.  "The minutes passed like days."

    According to Brennan, the tension increased when a helicopter malfunctioned, but he said there was a sigh of relief when word came that Osama bin Laden had been killed.  He said President Obama’s response was, "We got him."

    Brennan said the circumstances surrounding bin Laden’s death reveal his hypocrisy.

    "Here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million-dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield," he said.  "I think it really just speaks just how false his narrative has been over the years."

    Brennan told reporters that al-Qaida has been damaged but remains dangerous, like a fatally wounded tiger.

    "There is always the potential for terrorist groups to try to strike out and avenge an operation like this," he said.  "But also, I think, some of them are asking themselves, 'Bin Laden is dead, the al-Qaida narrative is becoming increasingly bankrupt.'  There is a new wave sweeping through the Middle East right now that puts a premium on individual rights and freedom and dignity."

    Brennan said Pakistani authorities were not notified before the operation.  And as a result, some Pakistani fighter jets were scrambled.  But he said there was no engagement with U.S. forces.

    The adviser said U.S. officials are 99.9 percent sure that the man they killed was Osama bin Laden, and that that confidence increased over time.

    Brennan said bin Laden’s body was buried at sea on Monday.  He said a place for a land burial could not be found in time to comply with Islamic custom.

    John Brennan called the killing of Osama bin Laden a strategic blow to al-Qaida, but not a fatal blow.  He said President Obama’s decision to proceed with the mission was "one of the gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory."

     

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora