News / Asia

Obama Announces Death of Osama bin Laden

Photo of a section of a poster taken from the FBI website shows Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was tracked down and shot to death, May 2, 2011, in Pakistan by an elite team of U.S. fo
Photo of a section of a poster taken from the FBI website shows Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was tracked down and shot to death, May 2, 2011, in Pakistan by an elite team of U.S. fo

At 11:35 pm EST on May 1, President Barack Obama made an announcement that the American people had waited almost 10 years to hear: 

"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-Qaida and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Obama said.

Most wanted

Osama bin Laden has been the world’s most-wanted terrorist since more than 3,000 people were killed in al-Qaida’s attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

The president said he was briefed last August on a possible lead to bin Laden’s location.  He said the terrorist leader had been hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Abbottabad is a relatively affluent area about 50 kilometers north of Islamabad. 

Obama said he authorized a mission last week to "get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice."

Firefight

The president said a small team of Americans Sunday carried out the operation on the compound.

"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body," Obama said.

Burial at sea

An official said three other men were killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, and that a woman was killed while being used as a human shield by a male combatant.

An administration official says bin Laden's remains are being handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.  News reports say a U.S. official has said bin Laden's body has been buried at sea.

Attacks expected


The president acknowledged that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against the United States, and he warned Americans to remain vigilant.

"I have made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9-11, that our war is not against Islam, because bin Laden was not a Muslim leader.  He was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own."

Watch President Obama's Announcement:



Pakistan helped


Obama said counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead U.S. forces to bin Laden.  He said he called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to notify him of bin Laden’s death.  The president said Pakistani officials agreed that this was a "good and historic day" for both nations.

Phone call to Bush


Obama also called former President George W. Bush, who was president on September 11, 2001, and who launched the U.S. war on terror.  In a written statement, Bush called bin Laden’s killing a "momentous achievement" and a "victory for America."  He said "No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

Bin Laden vendetta

Osama bin Laden was born March 10, 1957 to a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia.  

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, bin Laden joined the Afghan mujahedin Islamic fighters.  Several years later, he used his wealth to form his own militia force, later called al-Qaida, Arabic for "the base."

In 1996, bin Laden declared a holy war against the United States, which he accused of looting the natural resources of Muslim nations and helping Islam’s enemies.

Terror mastermind

While hiding in Sudan, bin Laden is said to have plotted attacks on the U.S. military in Somalia and Saudi Arabia.  He also orchestrated the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Within weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States led a coalition that overthrew Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which had refused to turn bin Laden over to the U.S.

For almost 10 years, U.S. soldiers and intelligence officers combed the mountainous area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, trying to find bin Laden.

Americans react

Shortly before President Obama announced that bin Laden had been killed, a jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House, chanting, cheering and singing.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has put its embassies on alert and warned Americans of possible al-Qaida reprisal attacks.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid