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    Bin Laden killed by US forces claims Obama

    by Rumbold
    2nd May, 2011 at 8:52 am    

    The question is, what happens now? Does this change anyone’s strategy? Clearly Al-Qaeda can carry on operating, and the Taliban and related groups remain. So is this just a symbolic victory?

    Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan, President Barack Obama has said.

    Bin Laden was killed in a ground operation outside Islamabad based on US intelligence, the first lead for which emerged last August.

    Mr Obama said after “a firefight”, US forces took possession of his body.

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    Filed in: Current affairs

    52 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blogged: : Bin Laden killed by US forces claims Obama http://bit.ly/lBxCbu

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    1. Tom O'Neill — on 2nd May, 2011 at 9:05 am  

      This victory is of course absolutely pivotal in both America’s domestic and foreign politics. Firstly, it’s safe to say that Obama has secured a second term as President after todays news.
      It will be interesting to see how U.S foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan changes after today. Will Osama’s death spark an early withdrawal from Afghanistan? If so then that can have serious ramifications, Osama was of course trained by the U.S during the Afghan war with Russia and the US’s lack of providing proper support in the aftermath probably sparked his attacks on the west.
      Pakistan is also in an intriguing position here. It is presumably Al Qaeda’s main position of power now and one has to wonder whether or not there will be increased military operations within its borders.
      This could only be the beginning

    2. Akela — on 2nd May, 2011 at 9:16 am  

      It’s weird news to wake up to. Did Bin Laden deserve death? Possibly. I’m no supporter of the death penalty or indeed cold blooded killing in anyway but common sense says you can’t live by the sword without eventually having someone stick a sword in you.

      Is it a reason to celebrate? I can’t say I’m in anyway sad to hear of the death of this man, yet neither do I think that anyone’s death is a reason to celebrate as I have seen pictures of some people doing. It should, if anything, be a somber moment to reflect.

      Is it the end of the story? Not in anyway. He was a figure head rather than a real leader. The whole sorry mess in the middle east will just go on and on.

    3. Hermes — on 2nd May, 2011 at 9:31 am  

      Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice….I hope the ‘virgins’ who greet Bin Laden at the gates kick him in the testicles and send him back to earth as a goat.

      But apart from that I don’t really have any strong views on the matter.

    4. Paul — on 2nd May, 2011 at 9:40 am  

      I belive that most people with the exception of the Islamists and the hard left will be happy with the news this sunny bank holiday Monday :)

    5. Cauldon — on 2nd May, 2011 at 11:31 am  

      Not sure it changes much in one sense. People who hated OBL before will rightly rejoice. People who liked him before will now look at him as a martyr. Pakistanis will remain in denial about the pivotal role their people, society and diaspora play in spawning and harbouring all kinds of terrorists, religious fanatics and violent misogynists.

      The only way this might really be a game changer is if Obama uses this as an opportunity to declare victory and get the hell out of there. If that happens, American taxpayers win while Likud politicians, Pakistani generals and central Asian strongmen lose - these being the main beneficiaries of US largesse and heightened involvement in the middle east since 9/11

    6. The Judge — on 2nd May, 2011 at 11:57 am  

      Just one small point: you and the corporate media are all assuming that the US is telling the truth. What independent corroboration do we have for their story? In the light of this, disposing of the alleged corpse in the sea seems a little too convenient.

      I’m not saying that Obama et al *are* lying, mind; it’s just that given their track record a degree of healthy scepticism wouldn’t come amiss at this point.

    7. damon — on 2nd May, 2011 at 12:42 pm  

      Glad I’m not in Pakistan today.

      According to the BBC’s Frank Gardner, either the ISI isn’t as all knowing as is thought, or they knew he was there.
      I wonder where the mission was launched from.
      From bases inside Pakistan?

    8. Mango — on 2nd May, 2011 at 12:44 pm  

      URGENT – War Crime Alert!

      Why wasn’t Bin Laden captured to stand trial for his many terrorist attacks and crimes?

      Human Rights groups will be appalled that Osama was simply shot in the head, along with one of his sons, in a dusty town in Pakistan. The US forces also mercilessly shot a woman used by Bin Laden as a human shield.

      To battle, brave human rights warriors. Demand accountability and a full UN investigation, NOW!

      Don’t fail us in this hour!! :) :) :)


    9. Sarah AB — on 2nd May, 2011 at 1:57 pm  

      damon - I’d conjecture that there are people in ISI who fully support the American action - and others who would have been happy to tip OBL off?

    10. Hermes — on 2nd May, 2011 at 2:59 pm  

      Is anyone now going to seriously deny that Pakistan is and has been a breeding ground for terrorists? OBL was living in comfort a few yards away from that country’s military academy FFS. Did they seriously not know who their neighbours were?

    11. Dr Paul — on 2nd May, 2011 at 4:02 pm  

      When al Qaeda didn’t follow up demolishing the World Trade Center with, say, motor-borne bombs every month in major US cities or other similar acts, I reckoned on its being a one-shot outfit, with the WTC being its peak point. Yes, it has subsequently committed atrocities in some major cities, including London where I live, but has only really established itself in one place — Iraq — and that as a direct result of the chaos ensuing from the US-led invasion (talk about an irony of history).

      For all the publicity generated by it and about it, the countless speeches by politicians and experts, and despite the personal tragedies of its victims, on an historical scale al Qaeda is a footnote. I wondered shortly after the WTC went down if the footage would in 50 years’ time be like the Hindenberg crash — a televisual spectacle, an horrific image, but meaning little else. Terror groups, some more destructive than al Qaeda, have come and gone leaving little trace.

      Al Qaeda could not establish what any effective political group requires: a national base. It was tolerated in some places for a while, but that’s not the same thing. Its modus operandi of exclusively terror activities precluded its ever being a mass movement, or even any size of movement working in the open; its clerical obscurantism precluded any real support outwith the most harsh parts of the Islamic world, and beyond the bounds of the most extreme Islamists. It had no way of connecting its immediate demands about the Middle East, which are not unexceptional, with its maximum programme of a World Caliphate — it had no transitional strategy from one to the other.

      Al Qaeda was always and is more so today only of nuisance value to the big powers. Even had the WTC bombing been followed up by regular attacks, it could not destabilise the US state. Will it outlive its leader’s death? Almost certainly. Its ascetic, violent brand of Islamism will continue to appeal to a tiny number of young Islamists around the world, and it might pick up some support if Libya and Yemen disintegrate à la Iraq. Whilst manifestations of Islamist politics and violence will continue to occur, not least in response to ill-advised Western policies in the Middle East and beyond, will al Qaeda be anything more than an historical footnote? I very much doubt it.

    12. halima — on 2nd May, 2011 at 4:32 pm  

      I woke to the news in Islamabad this morning in a bit of a trance.

      Having travelled to Abbottabad previously, I was surprised to learn this to be the location. It is quite a Christian place.

      Everyone I have spoken to in Islamabad this morning is just as surprised and shocked and working out the puzzle.

    13. John Christopher — on 2nd May, 2011 at 6:03 pm  

      Until I see absolute proof of death, I’m not saying thing. This is Easter after all!

    14. Boyo — on 2nd May, 2011 at 6:33 pm  

      Well, at least he lived long enough to catch the Royal Wedding.

    15. Boyo — on 2nd May, 2011 at 6:37 pm  

      “Everyone I have spoken to in Islamabad this morning is just as surprised and shocked and working out the puzzle.”

      Who would ‘av thought it, that nice mister Obama who used to pick up his Daily Express every morning…. I used to joke with him - you ought to be careful mate, tall fella like you could be mistaken for that Bin Laden geezer!

    16. dan clark — on 2nd May, 2011 at 10:04 pm  

      Obviously, It would have been so much better if they had captured him and made him do some community service. Perhaps clean up chewing gum or help build a girls school or something. Seriously, would have made him look silly.

    17. Dr Paul — on 2nd May, 2011 at 10:17 pm  

      I have to smile at the US citizens dancing with joy. Just think, you’ve lost your job, you’ve lost your house, your medical insurance has suddenly been deemed invalid just when you’ve fallen ill, the economy is down the dunny but the bankers are still laughing at you and taking home whopping big bonuses… But, never mind, the wicked witch is dead.

      The words ‘mass destraction’ come to mind. If our rulers here can fool the masses with a royal wedding, O’Bama & Co can do the same with a shoot-out in Pakistan.

    18. cjcjc — on 3rd May, 2011 at 7:25 am  

      In what sense have we been “fooled” by the royal wedding?

    19. Trofim — on 3rd May, 2011 at 8:46 am  

      “Just think, you’ve lost your job, you’ve lost your house, your medical insurance has suddenly been deemed invalid just when you’ve fallen ill, the economy is down the dunny ”

      Yes, Dr Paul, all 307 million americans are in that position. Oh, alright, 153.5 million of them.

    20. Mill 7 — on 3rd May, 2011 at 8:50 am  

      “In what sense have we been “fooled” by the royal wedding?”

      We’ve all been fooled into forgetting the cuts and the hard reality of many of our lives, cjcjc. We’ve been wandering around as if in a drug-induced haze since the wedding and the government will keep using this in coming years to control us.

      Only the visionary elect like Dr Paul can see through this and resist it…

      Yeah, okay, he’s just a pompous prat who likes to feel superior.

    21. Nadeem — on 3rd May, 2011 at 9:51 am  

      I don’t think anyone of us has completey forgotten the current harsh economic reality as a result of the Royal Wedding. I think you discredit us by suggesting that people in the UK have such short attention spans.

      If people want to use this minor distraction to meet up with friends/have a party/talk about the dress etc it is really not a terrible thing. The idea that “our rulers” are using this as a kind of mind control drug is a bit far-fetched IMO.

    22. AbuF — on 3rd May, 2011 at 10:18 am  

      Everyone I have spoken to in Islamabad this morning is just as surprised and shocked and working out the puzzle.

      The puzzle consists of three pieces, on which are inscribed the letters S, I, I.

      The puzzle is solved by putting them in the right order.

    23. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2011 at 10:41 am  

      All that needs to be said is read the obituary in today’s Guardian. I might even spend £1 for a paper copy it is that good.

    24. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd May, 2011 at 11:39 am  

      Yeah, he was a bad man. But the papers screeching ‘justice is done’ just goes to show how warped our sense of justice has become. What’s he charged with again? Other than screeching hysteria and jingo lingo accusations, where’s the proof he masterminded 11/9? Of course we’ll never know now, nor will any revelations about the CIA’s chummy chummy days with Osama in the Afghan/soviet days come to the sane light of a balanced courtroom. The bad man is dead. Shut up and rejoice. Seriously. Humanity has lost the plot

    25. Shamit — on 3rd May, 2011 at 12:08 pm  

      Kismet -

      Get a dose of reality.

      He was responsible for 9/11 and many other attacks on US buildings and navy ships. There has been enough intelligence chatter to prove his complicity and his messages since 9/11 haven’t been any better.

      So - not humanity you have lost the plot. This is one death I have no problems being happy about.

      Secondly, I am happy that once again the duplicitious nature of the Pakistan Armed Forces and ISI is brought to light. It is a failed terrorist state and must be forced to give up its nuclear weapons otherwsie all aid should be stopped.

      Their MPs went on the street yesterday pledging to avenge the death of the martyr.

      Third, the US Special Forces apparently did ask them to surrender. I guess when being shot at, they should have stood idly by or go away. No in any situation like this, the law enforcement officers would shoot back and this was no different.

      And if you are dumb enough to go into a firefight with US navy seals well its your choice. And the right side won the fight.

      Oh, believe me President Obama would have loved to put him on trial in the US - and get a death sentence and sweep the 50 states in 2012. Too bad, Osama was not going to go that far to help him.

      So who’s lost the plot? Seems like Pakistan and Kismet Hardy.

      Not humanity definitely.

    26. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2011 at 12:13 pm  

      Kismet Hardy -

      ‘Of course we’ll never know now, nor will any revelations about the CIA’s chummy chummy days with Osama in the Afghan/soviet days come to the sane light of a balanced courtroom.

      I can only refer you to the Guardian:

      ‘It was to the seven Afghan mujahideen groups, and only to them, that the Pakistanis disbursed American and Saudi aid. Likewise, it was only the Afghans who received training. Bin Laden was not, despite later claims, created by the CIA, who had no contact with such people.’

    27. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd May, 2011 at 12:13 pm  

      So if the Muslim world had ‘intelligence’ that the reason terrorism has been breeding in its quarters was down to an American bloke called George Bush, who, like, masterminded an illegal war that killed and pissed off lots of muslim folk, and the Pakistani secret service slipped into America without telling the Americans and killed this bloke, then that’d be all right, innit?

      Have you completely lost the ability to see how things look from the other side?

    28. damon — on 3rd May, 2011 at 12:21 pm  

      I got The Sun this morning, because of their headline ”Bin Bagged”. I wondered how this story would be going around prisons that have muslim prisoners. Whether it would be used to have a pop at muslims in general.
      It’s got that disrespectuful Sun style about it.
      Is ”Bin” common in people’s names?

    29. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2011 at 12:35 pm  

      Kismet Hardy -

      ‘Have you completely lost the ability to see how things look from the other side?’

      No, just I don’t buy into the narrative of moral equivalence that has poisoned debate.

      There is a qualitiative difference between the actions of democratically elected Western leaders whose countries are under attack and the actions of terrorists.

      That you can not see that qualitative difference speaks to a mindset which sees the world’s religions tensions as a political stick with which to beat elected policitians, rather than as anything to better understand the world we live in.

    30. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd May, 2011 at 1:49 pm  

      Damon, bin means ‘son of’

      Maid, I know I make a sketchy point, but my irritation over America playing Marvel comic style vigilante Avengers all over the world still stands. And here’s another sketchy observation to round my rant off:

      Osama Bin Laden is like the Pussycat Dolls. There’s one huge hit you can all name (although you can’t be bothered to check if they really wrote it), and while some people can name one or two other hits, most people agree they hate them. But you accept they must be big because everyone seems t bangs on about them.

      You know very well what the front person looks like, but haven’t got a clue who the other players are, and are convinced if the lead player disappears, the band will cease to exist.

      Only Nicole Scherzinger has left Pussycat Dolls, but they’re carrying on anyway, and those in power who were using them for their own gains carry on as they were…

    31. Don — on 3rd May, 2011 at 4:53 pm  


      Oh, believe me President Obama would have loved to put him on trial in the US

      I doubt that. They would have had to accommodate him somewhere for the months - even years - before a trial and always in the knowledge that the verdict might be not guilty. OK, a remote possibility but stuff happens.

      the trial would have taken months and OBL would have been the centre of world attention as well as a focus for more terror attacks.

      And even if the death penalty was handed down, the process can take years to complete. Sometimes decades.

      I feel reasonably confident that this was always a ‘kill’ operation.

    32. AbuF — on 3rd May, 2011 at 5:13 pm  

      Ibn means “son of”. “Bin” is a corruption induced by forename ending with a vowel.

      I still think it is marvellous that, for the first time ever, the bin was taken out on a Bank Holiday…

      I’ll get my jallabiyah.

    33. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd May, 2011 at 6:11 pm  

      A prince gets married. The villain is dead. Disney rules the world…

    34. Sarah AB — on 3rd May, 2011 at 6:46 pm  

      Kismet - I can’t believe I never thought to compare OBL with the Pussycat Dolls before - ;-)

    35. Shamit — on 3rd May, 2011 at 7:29 pm  

      Don - I agree. You are right.

    36. Hermes — on 3rd May, 2011 at 8:00 pm  

      That reminds me, AbuF. My Bin is well Laden…must remember to put it out for the rubbish collection.

    37. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2011 at 11:03 pm  

      Don @ 31,

      It would also always have been their intention to dump him at sea. I would have thought that some thought went into that method of burial.

      No shrine, no holy relics, etc, etc…

    38. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2011 at 11:12 pm  

      Kismet Hardy @ 30,

      Even when you’re sketchy, you are one hell of an edgy.

      I do not know whether I agree with your analogy but it is probably the most unlikely comparison that will ever be written about this affair.

      Brilliant, and off the wall!

    39. AbuF — on 4th May, 2011 at 12:07 am  

      I believe Osama had an errant wild child:

      All Summer Bin Largin’ it.

    40. grouchie marks — on 4th May, 2011 at 3:52 am  

      “Why wasn’t Bin Laden captured to stand trial for his many terrorist attacks and crimes? ”

      because human rights groups, lefties and muslims (aren’t they all the same these days?) would demand OBL gets community service at a kibutz or a madrasah?

      isn’t it only muslim extremists that liberals allow to execute their captives?

      And who cares…AQ & OBL are last years model…Arabs are mostly doing it for themselves these days without blaming the west (for absolutely everything;)

    41. Kismet Hardy — on 4th May, 2011 at 2:27 pm  

      More than the bin laden execution video, I’d like to see the video of Obama as he watched it live to see if he winced when Osama’s wife was shot

      Ah, heck, she deserved it right? All women who marry violent men deserve nothing less

      And oh, despite the ‘news’ papers ‘coward till the end’ claims that he used wifey as a shield, turns out they might have bended the truth shocker


    42. Don — on 4th May, 2011 at 5:13 pm  

      @Douglas #37

      Too right, the aftermath was as planned as the operation. No standing around asking what now. Deep sixed, fait accompli, move on.

      There was a bloke on TFTD suggesting that the Arabian Sea itself might become a place of pilgrimage as the ‘Sea of Martyrs’. A somewhat diffused place of pilgrimage, I’d have thought.

      ‘Omar, why do you spend so much time on that beach where the tourist women lewdly sprawl in their bikinis?’

      ‘Just thinking of Osama, baby, just thinking of Osama.’

    43. Kismet Hardy — on 5th May, 2011 at 11:02 am  

      Never heard of this chap until today: anwar al walaki

      But now that The Sun have branded him ‘THE NEW OSAMA’ I bet we all will, a lot

    44. Kismet Hardy — on 5th May, 2011 at 2:44 pm  


      the photoshop part is head shaking

    45. Rita Banerji — on 6th May, 2011 at 5:35 am  

      @Shamit and @Don,

      I agree with Don too. But could it be possible that he’s just captured, shot (not in the room but outside somewhere with a daughter as witness) but not killed. They hold him somewhere, extract information and then kill him when they’re done?

    46. damon — on 6th May, 2011 at 8:48 am  

      Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Douglas Murray were good value on Question Time last night I thought. Just what the programme needed to split the audience right down the middle and turn it into a bit of a pantomime.
      I’m not that fussed that much one way other about what happened to Bin Laden, but watching the reaction of some people is quite entertaining.
      And the reaction of the Pakistanis is very funny.
      They are hopping mad, and their petulance over this is rather unbecoming.

    47. damon — on 6th May, 2011 at 10:29 pm  

      So will anyone own up to being part of the ”pity-for-Osama lobby”?
      Or is it another strawman argument from those dreadful ‘contrarians’ at that awful website?


      It didn’t take long for these apparently decent lovers of justice over violence to expose their real fears: that the sight of a few young Americans chanting ‘U-S-A!’ in response to OBL’s death might invite even more Islamist retribution upon us. One writer described this ‘frat boy reaction’ as ‘abhorrent’ – it is ‘sickening’, she said, and, more revealingly, it has ‘no dignity’. A British columnist said the anti-OBL shindigs were the products of a ‘patriotic reflex’ – that is, a nationalist kneejerkism amongst America’s unthinking classes – which is apparently ‘intense and pervasive’. In response to the chant of ‘We killed bin Laden!’, the columnist said: ‘If “they” killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, then “they” also bombed a large number of wedding parties in Afghanistan, “they” murdered 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha and “they” gang-raped a 14-year-old before murdering her, her six-year-old sister and their parents near Mahmudiyah.’ Yep, that’s right – if you celebrate the killing of OBL then you are also implicitly celebrating American atrocities overseas, including rape. Gang-rape-loving dunderheads.

      There was some of that on QT last night, and I’m listening to George Galloway’s show on the radio right now and you can hear some of this sort of view from him (a bit) and particularly from his more nutty callers.

    48. tinku patel — on 27th May, 2011 at 10:12 pm  

      how did goldstein die in orwell’s 1984?

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