Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden shot dead!


The mastermind of the worst terrorist attack on American soil is dead, U.S. President Barack Obama announced late Sunday night, almost 10 years after the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people.

Osama bin Laden -- the longtime leader of al Qaeda -- was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

In an address to the nation late Sunday night, Obama called bin Laden's death "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda."

"Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan," Obama said. "A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world were placed on high alert following the announcement of bin Laden's death, a senior U.S. official said, and the U.S. State Department should be sending out a new "worldwide caution" for Americans shortly. Some fear al Qaeda supporters may try to retaliate against U.S. citizens or U.S. institutions.

In the President's speech, he reiterated that the United States is not at war with Islam.

"I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released a statement Monday morning welcoming the death of bin Laden.

How U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden

The mission that killed one of the world's most notorious terrorist leaders was carried out by U.S. forces with the cooperation of Pakistan, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday night.

Osama bin Laden -- the longtime leader of al Qaeda -- was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

Members of Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, were on site in Abbottabad during the operation, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said.

Bin Laden resisted the assault and was killed in a firefight, senior administration officials said.

The Pakistani intelligence official said he did not know who fired the shot that actually killed the terror mastermind.

U.S. sources including a senior official and a congressional source familiar with the operation said bin Laden was shot in the head.

Three other men were also killed in raid, as was a woman who was being used as a human shield, senior administration officials said.

The U.S. team was at the compound for about 40 minutes, the officials said. There were no casualties on the American side, although a U.S. helicopter crashed during the raid due to mechanical problems. The helicopter was then destroyed for security reasons, senior administration officials said.

A senior administration official told reporters that Obama's administration did not share intelligence gathered beforehand with any other country -- including Pakistan -- for security reasons.

The official said only a small group of people inside the U.S. government knew about this operation ahead of time. Another official said a "small U.S. team" was involved in the operation; but the official would not confirm any U.S. military involvement.

However, a senior defense official said U.S. Navy SEALs were involved.

Source: CNN

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