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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid