News / USA

The Death of Osama bin Laden

South Koreans watch a TV broadcasting a report about the death of Osama bin Laden, at Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 2, 2011.
South Koreans watch a TV broadcasting a report about the death of Osama bin Laden, at Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 2, 2011.

10:08 UTC: Our live updates on this story have now ended. Check VOA's home page for the latest developments.

0901 UTC -The international police agency Interpol is calling for increased vigilance by police forces around the world following reports of the death of Osama bin Laden. In a formal statement Monday, Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said, "The world's most wanted international terrorist is no more." But, he warned that al-Qaida affiliates and others inspired by bin Laden will continue to engage in terrorist attacks. He said the world's police forces therefore "need to remain united and focused in our ongoing cooperation and fight, not only against this global threat but also against terrorism by any group anywhere."

0827 UTC - Senior U.S. officials are telling American media that the body of Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea, less than half a day after he was killed in a firefight in Pakistan. There has been no formal announcement on the disposal of the body, but numerous leading news organizations say they have had the sea burial confirmed by unidentified officials.

During a briefing early Monday, U.S. officials said the corpse would be "handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition." By burying the body at sea, the United States may have hoped to ensure that his final resting place does not become a shrine or a place of pilgrimage for his followers.

0812 UTC - Afghan President Hamid Karzai is claiming the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan is proof of his claim that the source of international terrorism does not lie in Afghanistan. In one of several public comments Monday, the Afghan president said the death of bin Laden shows he has been right to criticize international forces for focusing the fight against al-Qaida in Afghanistan rather than other countries.

Karzai also said in a nationally televised press conference that the Afghan-based Taliban "must learn a lesson from this" and give up their fight against his government. He said he hopes the death of bin Laden will bring an end to terrorist activities.

0805 UTC - Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the news of bin Laden's death highlights India's "concern" that terrorists find "sanctuary" in Pakistan.

0740 UTC - A Pakistani man who appeared to have live-tweeted the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound says he moved to the garrison city of Abbottabad from Lahore in search of peace and quiet.  "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who live-blogged the Osama raid without knowing it," tweeted the Twitter contributor @ReallyVirtual after U.S. President Barack Obama announced details of the raid.

Hours earlier, the writer tweeted as a helicopter hovered above his home at 1 a.m., and then a large explosion shook his windows.

Tweet of the bin Laden raid
Over the following hours, ReallyVirtual exchanged tweets with some of his neighbors as they listened to more explosions and the crash of one helicopter. A taxi driver notified him that Pakistani security forces had cordoned off an area. When the truth finally became clear, he tweeted, "I need to sleep, but Osama had to pick this day to die."

0734 UTC - Asian markets generally rose Monday on optimism that Wall Street shares would rally, after U.S. officials said al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had been killed.

Futures on the Standard and Poor's 500 Index rose, indicating U.S. shares may extend a four-day rally when markets open later Monday.

0717 UTC - Senior U.S. officials say that the plans for the raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden were not shared with any other country, including Pakistan. They said in a briefing early Monday that the operation was kept secret to protect the security of the operation and of the personnel involved. The officials, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity, said that even within the U.S. government, only a very small group of people knew of the operation in advance.

0700 UTC - U.S. officials say the trail that led them to Osama bin Laden began four years ago when they discovered the identity of one of the al-Qaida leader's trusted couriers. It took another two years of persistent efforts to identify the area in Pakistan where the man and his brother operated, and until August last year to track them to their home in in the city of Abbottabad, where Sunday's operation took place.

The officials said in a briefing Monday that the size of the compound and its elaborate security arrangements convinced them that someone important was being sheltered there. Suspicions were also aroused by the lack of telephone or Internet connections in a property valued at about $1 million. Officials then determined that a third family was living in the compound -- one whose size and make-up matched that of bin Laden's family. The final intelligence analysis was that a high-value target was being harbored in the compound, and there was a strong probability that the person was Osama bin Laden.

0640 UTC - A spokesman for Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says the president held an emergency meeting with top security officials Monday morning to discuss the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been killed. The spokesman said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, armed forces chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha were among those in attendance. The spokesman said the foreign ministry was preparing a formal statement.

0636 UTC - U.S. officials say the operation that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden was carried out by a small helicopter-borne special operations team and lasted for less than 40 minutes. The raid, in the military garrison city of Abbottabad, was staged against a large compound with thick walls topped by barbed wire, few outward facing windows, and two security gates. It had no telephone or Internet service.

The officials told reporters early Monday that the mission was designed to minimize collateral damage and risk to non-combatants. They said three adult males besides bin Laden were killed in a firefight, one of whom is believed to have been bin Laden's adult son. One woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, and two other women were injured.

The officials said one U.S. helicopter was lost during the operation, due to mechanical failure, and was destroyed at the site. They said no Pakistani military personnel were encountered during the operation.

0630 UTC - An image made from Geo TV video shows flames at what is thought to be the compound where terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday, May 1, 2011, in Abbatabad, Pakistan.

bin Laden compound

0620 UTC - U.S. officials say President Barack Obama approved the mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden on Friday, shortly before he flew to Alabama to view the destruction from a wave of deadly tornados. The officials said Mr. Obama and his top security officials reviewed the final preparations at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Less than two hours later, the operation was over and the president had been told that a person tentatively identified as bin Laden had been killed. At about 7 p.m., he was told there was a "high probability" that bin Laden was dead.

0608 UTC - Abbottabad, the city where Osama bin Laden met his death on Sunday, has a long history dating from the days of British rule as a military station. It remains today the headquarters of a brigade in the Second Division of Pakistan's Northern Army Corps, and is dotted with military buildings and home to thousands of army personnel. The Associated Press says the house where bin Laden died is just 100 yards from a Pakistani military academy. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, was in the city last week for a  passing-out parade, where he said, "The terrorists' backbone has been broken and God willing we will soon prevail."

0545 UTC - The United States is warning its citizens around the world to be on the alert for potential anti-American violence in response to the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death. The State Department issued a statement early Monday saying U.S. citizens in sensitive locations "are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.'' The statement said U.S. embassies would maintain operations insofar as possible but may be forced to limit some services.

0539 UTC - Thousands of people poured into the streets in New York early Monday in a spontaneous celebration at the reported death of Osama bin Laden, mastermind of attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in the city on September 11, 2001. At "Ground Zero," where the World Trade Center once stood, crowds waved American flags and sang the national anthem.

NYC celebration

At Times Square, a crowd was joined by members of the New York Fire Department, which suffered dozens of members killed and injured when the twin towers collapsed. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was quoted describing the death as a "welcome milestone."

Watch the celebration as shot by a participant in the crowd in New York City

0535 UTC - Twitter says there were more than 4,000 tweets per second during President Obama's announcement


0519 UTC - Pakistani military sources are telling VOA they agree the body recovered after an operation early Monday is that of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The sources confirmed reports by U.S. officials that the operation was mounted with helicopters in Abbottabad, approximately 100 kilometers north of Islamabad, and say it was carried off without death or serious injury to either U.S. or Pakistani personnel. They say other individuals who were inside the house have been killed. The area is now cordoned off and controlled by Pakistani authorities.

0516 UTC - U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the death of Osama bin Laden "sends a signal that America will not tolerate terrorism in any form." In a formal statement following President Barack Obama's announcement of the death, Cantor said the families of more than 3,000 people who died on 9/11 " have grieved for far too long." He added that the United States "will not relent in our fight against terror and our efforts to keep America safe and secure."

0508 UTC - Former U.S. president Bill Clinton says the death of Osama bin Laden is a "profoundly important moment" for the families of those who were killed on September 11, 2001, and for others around the world who "want to build a common future of peace, freedom, and cooperation for our children." In a formal statement late Sunday, Mr. Clinton offered his contratuations to President Barack Obama, members of his national security team and to the armed forces of the United States.

0500 UTC - Former U.S. President George W. Bush says the everlasting gratitude of Americans will go to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence communities who have devoted their lives for almost 10 years to capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. Mr. Bush was president when al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Septermber 11, 2001.  In a statement issued late Sunday, he said that in announcing the death of bin Laden, "the United States has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

Watch President Obama's Announcement:

U.S. reaction to the announcement:

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