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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora