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Osama bin Laden what they are Saying around the World
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May 02 2011, 2:42 pm - By grapevine

What they are Saying....

Barack Obama - US president

Today, at my direction, the United States carried out that operation... they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date against al-Qaeda.

Tonight, we give thanks to the counter intelligence officials who have tirelessly worked, we give thanks to the men who carried out this operation.

Finally, let me say to the families, we have not forgotten your loss, today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country.

Tonight we are once again reminded that American can do whatever we set our mind to ... we can do these things not because of wealth and power but because of who we are.

Pakistan Foreign Office

The death of bin Laden is a "major setback to terrorist organisations around the world".

"This operation was conducted by the US Forces in accordance with declared US policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the US forces, wherever found in the world."

Yousuf Raza Gilani - Pakistani prime minister

We will not allow our soil to be used against any other country for terrorism and therefore I think it's a great victory, it's a success and I congratulate the success of this operation.

Hamid Karzai - Afghan president

The killing of bin Laden is very "important news".

The Taliban must learn a lesson from this. The Taliban should refrain from fighting.

The war against terrorism is in its sources, in its financial sources, its sanctuaries, in its training bases, not in Afghanistan

Ismail Haniyeh - head of Hamas in the Gaza strip

We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him
mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.

We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.

Ghassan Khatib - Palestine Authority spokesperson

Getting rid of Bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods - the violent methods - that were created and encouraged by bin Laden and others in the world.

Benjamin Netanyahu - Israeli prime minister

This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism.

The state of Israel joins together in the joy of the American people after the liquidation of bin Laden.

George W. Bush - former US president

This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

Michael Bloomberg - New York City mayor

The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation - and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation.

New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001

Raymond Kelly - New York police commissioner

Killing of Osama bin Laden a "welcome milestone" for the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

David Cameron - British prime minister

Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen -- for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror.

The news that Osama bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world.

P. Chidambaram - Indian home minister

We take note with grave concern that part of the statement in which (US) President Obama said that the firefight in which Osama bin Laden was killed took place in Abbottabad 'deep inside Pakistan'.

This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan.

Alain Juppe - France's foreign minster

Bin Laden's death is a "victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism".

Angela Merkel - German Chancellor

Last night the forces of peace achieved a victory. But this does not mean that international terrorism has
been defeated yet. We must all remain vigilant.

Silvio Berlusconi - Italian prime minister

This is a great outcome in the fight against evil, in the fight against terrorism, a great outcome for the United States and for all democracies.

Benigno Aquino - Philippine president

The death of Osama bin Laden marks a signal defeat for the forces of extremism and terrorism.

It represents the death of the efforts of one man to stoke the fires of sectarian hatred and to promote terrorism on a scale unprecedented in the history of mass murder.

Franco Frattini - Italian foreign minister

Bin Laden's death at the hands of US forces "is a victory of good over evil, of justice over cruelty".

Anders Fogh Rasmussen - NATO secretary general

This is a significant success for the security of NATO Allies and all the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism to make the world a safer place for all of us.

Robert Fisk - journalist

Osama bin Laden was the founder of al-Qaeda, but to suggest that he was in command, sitting in some computer cave, is completely rubbish.

He spent most of his time hiding, most of his time running from the US authorities.

I never thought he would hang around long in Afghanistan but in Pakistan he had a soft spot. He felt safer in Pakistan than he did in Afghanistan, and I think that is correct.

You have to realise that bin Laden is a very popular mind, even with the royalty.

He was saying things about the West, which their dictators wouldn't say, his condemnation of the West, and he had to say it from a cave.

He is a figure who would be reflected upon.

Steve Clemmons – The New America Foundation

It's game changing news.

We got used to the fact that Osama bin Laden was beyond our reach. He has slipped off the radar screen, he was a pop culture figure with a fanatic bent.

The Muslim world are going to continue to have to deal with those who are inspired by him but of course knocking off a symbol globally is significant.

Imtiaz Gul – political analyst

It has come as a big surprise to most of the Pakistanis, particularly the location. Many believed that he had been long dead.

It is very close to the Pakistani military academy. 

"I'd presume that the Pakistani intelligence was involved to the extent, [since] previous [al-Qaeda members] had been captured with their assistance."

In most cases, the Americans wouldn't tell the Pakistani security institutions where they were headed so in this case they (Pakistani intelligence) were probably on board but probably didn't know where they (the US) were going to.

Mark Kimmit - Military Analyst/US Army Brigadier

This is not the end of the movement, this is not the end of the terrorism but this is the end of the chapter

Capturing or killing bin Laden has more iconic value.

It will have symbolic value, because it has been a number of years since bin Laden has exercised day to day control over operations. We still have an al-Qaeda threat out there and that will be there for a number of years.

This organisation (al-Qaeda) is more than bin Laden, it may be symbolised by bin Laden, but it definitely is more than him.

Welcome to the Grapevine Community
May 02 2011, 2:43 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Payback, Served Cold

There is no doubt America would have rather this day come sooner. Coupled with the phenomenal popular waves of change sweeping the Arab world, 2011 stands to be a watershed year, one that will hopefully allow more people to live their lives free of autocratic and dictatorial rule. 

Let us not forget al-Qaeda's recruiting-well of the 9/11 attacks could be found, at least in part, in the subterranean torture rooms of Egypt under Hosni Mubarak (who in a striking irony might himself become a resident of those very jails before long).

For now, a few quick thoughts on the killing of bin Laden in Pakistan by US operatives:

-Senior Obama Administration officials say a mansion had been under watch in Abbotabad since August 2010. It is clear great planning and, above all else, patience, went into identifying and attacking this target.

While the same can't be said of so many other US-led drone strikes in Pakistan, killing more civilians than most Americans will ever appreciate, one can speculate now those were less about keeping up appearances. 

Anytime al-Qaeda targets were killed in the past few months, it may have been useful to see what news and messages, if any, would have been couriered to that Mansion under watch, and whether other al-Qaeda networks will later be rolled up as a result of today's operation and the extensive surveillance that went into it. 

In their zeal to "kill," one can imagine other US politicians in the Oval, including Republican provocateur Donald Trump, jumping the gun to "show quick results." 

The White House will be sure to encash Obama's handling of the raid, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what Democrat Presidents have been known for in recent memory (see Jimmy Carter's Desert One fiasco over Iran), and an Achilles heel to the Republican argument that "Democrats are weak on defense."

-One of the most important acts is yet to come: releasing pictures and forensic evidence of Bin Laden's body. Forget conspiracy theorists, who may never be convinced. The world will rightfully demand to see that America is not pulling a fast one. This is not about a trophy photo, but about bringing closure to all those who have been victimised by bin Laden, and the world's ham-handed response to him as well.

-Bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri's capture or killing, while important, is less so now for the Obama Administration for the simple reason that most Americans simply don't know who he is.  It would be suicidal for Zawahiri to raise his head anytime soon, and his marginalisation will probably only continue as most understand al-Qaeda had zero to do with liberating Arabs from their dictatorships.

-Obama announced the news with grace toward all Americans involved in trying to kill bin Laden over the years, making clear this was not an operation targeting Islam or against Muslims. As reasoned as it is, going forward there is a lot more explaining that needs to be done. 

During the 2008 presidential contest, Obama pledged to concentrate American focuses on the "real war," namely, to concentrate on Afghanistan and defeat al-Qaeda and take the fight to bin Laden. 

He drastically increased ("surged") troops into Afghanistan promising to show effective results by the summer of 2010. And now, with American political support for the Afghan war waning (and the US clearly losing what little ground they had), the Obama Administration now has a face saving excuse to end its failed 10 year entanglement there and to stop killing innocent Muslims.

-Since 9/11, social media has become today's platform for expressing news and views. A sign on Facebook aptly summed President Obama's political rejoinder to Donald Trump: "Sorry it took me so long to get you a copy of my birth certificate. I was too busy killing Osama bin Laden." Meanwhile, on Twitter, a Pakistani in Abbotabad named Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual) unwittingly reported of the compound strike and ensuing helicopter crash, scooping everyone.

-Passing healthcare reform and killing bin Laden are two seminal domestic political victories for Barack Obama. But the Arab and Muslim world will look for more substantive policy changes as it is logical the US obsession with al-Qaeda should curtail and change the conversation. 

It is not a "policy" to kill "terrorists." It will be for the Obama Administration to finally resolve issues that create terrorism, including the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands. To that end, Obama still has his work cut out for him if he wants to earn that Nobel Prize for acts of peace, rather than war.

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May 02 2011, 2:46 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Obituary: Osama bin Laden

With his long beard and wistful expression, bin Laden was one of the most instantly recognizable people on earth.

In his death on May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden kept a promise made in a 2006 audio message.

Alluding to the United States' hunt for him, the al-Qaeda leader stated his determination to avoid capture: "I swear not to die but a free man." 

His death ends the largest manhunt in history that began a decade ago involving thousands of US troops in Afghanistan and tens of thousands of Pakistani soldiers in the rugged mountains along the border.

Whether reviled as a terrorist and mass murderer or hailed as the champion of oppressed Muslims fighting injustice and humiliation, bin Laden changed the course of history.

Challenging the might of the US, the most powerful nation ever, he masterminded a string of attacks against it and then built a global network of allies to wage a war intended to outlive him. 

The man allegedly behind the suicide hijack attacks of September 11, 2001, was the nemesis of former US President George Bush, who pledged to take him "dead or alive" and whose two terms were dominated by a "war on terror" against his al-Qaeda network founded in 1988.

With his long grey beard and wistful expression, bin Laden became one of the most instantly recognisable people on the planet. His gaunt face stared out from propaganda videos and framed a US website offering a $25 million bounty. In 2007, that bounty was doubled.

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1957, one of more than 50 children of millionaire businessman Mohamed bin Laden, he lost his father while still a boy.   

Osama's first marriage, to a Syrian cousin, came at the age of 17, and he is reported to have at least 23 children from at least five wives. Part of a family that made its fortune in the oil-funded Saudi construction boom, bin Laden was a shy boy and an average student, who took a degree in civil engineering.   


A book by US writer Steve Coll, The Bin Ladens, suggested the death in 1988 of his extrovert half-brother Salem was an important factor in Osama's radicalisation.   

The elite Al Thagher Model School in the Saudi city of Jeddah also exposed him to the ideas of political Islam.

Steve Coll wrote that “bin Laden's introduction to Islam as the basis for political, and potentially violent-activism, was through informal sessions run by the Al Thagher's teachers”.

A key influence on Osama was Dr Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian professor and member of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.

During his stay at Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, Osama was hugely influenced by Azzam's radical views.

It is believed that Azzam encouraged bin Laden to solicit funds and recruit Arab fighters for the Afghan war against Russians.

The US' Central Intelligence Agency provided a conduit for him to join the fight in Afghanistan.

Osama's slide away from the US was first observed when he raised objection to US military presence in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war against Iraq.

The Saudi monarch smelled rebellion in Laden and expelled him 1991. He was stripped of his Saudi citizenship in 1994 and his assets were frozen.

Trail of attacks   

He declared war against the very United States which had spent billions of dollars bankrolling the Afghan resistance in which he had fought.     

Al-Qaeda embarked on a trail of attacks, beginning with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six and first raised the spectre of Islamist extremism spreading to the United States. 

Bin Laden was the prime suspect in bombings of US servicemen in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996 as well as attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that killed 224.

In October 2000, suicide bombers rammed into the USS Cole warship in Yemen, killing 17 sailors, and al-Qaeda was blamed.    

Disowned by his family and stripped of Saudi citizenship, bin Laden had moved first to Sudan in 1992 and later resurfaced in Afghanistan before the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996.  

With his wealth, largesse and shared radical Muslim ideology, bin Laden soon eased his way into inner Taliban circles as they imposed their rigid interpretation of Islam.  

From Afghanistan, bin Laden issued religious decrees against US soldiers and ran training camps where fighters were groomed for a global campaign of violence.  

Recruits were drawn from Central, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and even Europe by their common hatred of the United States, Israel and moderate Muslim governments, as well as a desire for a more fundamentalist brand of Islam.

After the 1998 attacks on two of its African embassies, the United States fired dozens of cruise missiles at Afghanistan, targeting al Qaeda training camps. Bin Laden escaped unscathed.   

The Taliban paid a heavy price for sheltering bin Laden and his fighters, suffering a humiliating defeat after a US-led invasion in the weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks. 

Escape to Pakistan 

Al-Qaeda was badly weakened, with many fighters killed or captured. Bin Laden vanished -- some reports say US bombs narrowly missed him in late 2001 as he and his forces slipped out of Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains and into Pakistan.

But the start of the Iraq war in 2003 produced a fresh surge of recruits for al-Qaeda due to opposition to the US invasion.

Apparently protected by the Afghan Taliban in their northwest Pakistani strongholds, bin Laden also built ties to an array of south Asian militant groups and backed a bloody revolt by the Pakistani Taliban against the Islamabad government. 

Amid a reinvigorated al-Qaeda propaganda push, operatives or sympathisers were blamed for attacks from Indonesia and Pakistan to Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Spain, Britain and Somalia. 

Tougher security in the West and killings of middle-rank al-Qaeda men helped weaken the group, and some followers noted critically that the last successful al Qaeda-linked strike in a Western country was the 2005 London bombings that killed 52.


But, by his own account, not even bin Laden anticipated the full impact of using 19 suicide hijackers to turn passenger aircraft into guided missiles and slam them into buildings that symbolised US financial and military power.  

Nearly 3,000 people died when two planes struck New York's World Trade Center; a third hit the Pentagon in Washington, and a fourth crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania after passengers rushed the hijackers.  

"Here is America struck by God Almighty in one of its vital organs," bin Laden said in a statement a month after the September 11 attacks, urging Muslims to rise up and join a global battle between "the camp of the faithful and the camp of the infidels". 

In video and audio messages over the next seven years, the al-Qaeda leader goaded Washington and its allies. His diatribes lurched across a range of topics, from the war in Iraq to US politics, the subprime mortgage crisis and even climate change.  

A gap of nearly three years in his output of video messages revived speculation he might be gravely ill with a kidney problem or even have died, but bin Laden was back on screen in  September 2007, telling Americans their country was vulnerable despite its economic and military power. 

The vulnerability still remains, as death could make him an even more powerful motivator for his supporters.

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May 02 2011, 2:47 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Zeroing in on bin Laden

Years of investigation and months of planning culminated in a 40-minute raid that finally killed al-Qaeda leader.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a 40-minute raid that followed months of planning and years of investigation, US officials said on Sunday.

Bin Laden went into hiding shortly after the September 11 attacks, so his communications with the outside world were handled by trusted couriers. US spies have been monitoring many of those couriers for years, the CIA said on Sunday.

“One courier in particular had our constant attention,” a senior administration official said. “We identified him as both a protege of [September 11 plotter] Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and [alleged al-Qaeda member] Abu Faraj al-Libi.”

The US spy agency learned his name four years ago; two years later, it tracked the courier and his brother to a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan.

“We were shocked by what we saw, an extraordinarily unique compound,” a CIA official said. “It has 12-to-18-foot walls, topped with barbed wire; internal walls sectioned off different areas of the compound; access was restricted by two security gates.”

The five-year-old compound even burned its own trash, to prevent anyone from snooping through the garbage, and had no phone or internet connections to the outside.

And the brothers who lived there “had no visible source of wealth,” leading the CIA to believe that other people lived in the compound.

US officials eventually came to believe that those “other people” were bin Laden and his family, and presented their assessment to US president Barack Obama in September.


Several months of investigation followed, and then Obama chaired a series of five national security council meetings to decide on a course of action.

The council decided on an operation to capture bin Laden. Administration officials will not say whether the operation involved military personnel, CIA officers, or both; whoever conducted the raid, they rehearsed it several times beforehand.

“The president made the decision to undertake the operation at 8:20am on April 29th,” the White House said.

The operation itself was launched two days later, on May 1. Obama met senior officials around 2pm to review final preparations; US personnel then launched a helicopter raid on the compound, which took less than 40 minutes, according to a senior administration official.

The goal of the raid was to capture bin Laden - but the al-Qaeda leader “did resist the assault force,” officials said.

Shortly before 4pm, Obama learned that bin Laden had been “tentatively identified.” Three hours later, the president was told there was a “high probability” that bin Laden was killed; his identity was later confirmed with DNA from his late sister.

Three other people were killed in the raid, including bin Laden's son and a woman who allegedly acted as a human shield, and at least two more wounded. One US helicopter crashed during the assault.

Bin Laden's body “will be handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition,” an administration official said, though he refused to say where the body would be taken for burial.

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May 02 2011, 2:49 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Analysis: Killing the alibi

Washington has less reason or justification to wage a war in Afghanistan now that bin Laden is no more.

The killing of Osama bin Laden is a major symbolic victory for the Obama administration, but is it a game changer for the US strategy in the "Greater Middle East"?

After 10 years of pursuing al-Qaeda's leader, responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US has closed a chapter, but not the book, in its war on al-Qaeda and "international terrorism".
Since the attacks on New York and Washington, "al-Qaeda central" which was being run from the Pakistani Afghan border, has mutated into a global network of affiliates.
US "terrorism experts" have been split over the relevance of "al-Qaeda central" under the direct leadership of bin Laden and his lieutenants, in comparison to the global network of smaller cells and hardcore fighters who pledged allegiance to the leadership, or to put it bluntly, to the brand: "al-Qaeda".
Those who discount the importance of the 'disconnected and on-the-run' al-Qaeda leaders on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan underline the importance of the decentralisation of the group.
They refer to it as SPIN (segmented, polycentric, ideologically networked) group, where al-Qaeda fighters in various parts of the world have increasingly acted on their own without direct orders or logistical and financial support from "al-Qaeda central".
In that way, al-Qaeda was more of a global and post-modern creature or phenomenon than a religious one.

What now?
While it has continued to invoke Islam and Jihad to rally support and to incite against non-Muslims, in reality its organisation and outreach, whether through the web or the use of modern technology, has been at the heart of its appeal as a global network.
Be that as it may, the physical death of bin Laden will no doubt lead to a serious psychological and inspirational setback for al-Qaeda fighters and their causes.
But for the Muslim world, bin Laden has already been made irrelevant by the Arab Spring that underlined the meaning of peoples power through peaceful means.
It is also worth recalling that bin Laden's al-Qaeda and its affiliates have killed far more Arabs and Muslims than they did Westerners.
And it was only after they failed to garner real support in the Arab world that they ran back to Afghanistan and began to target the West.
After long hijacking Arab and Muslim causes through its bloody attacks on Western targets, al-Qaeda has been discredited since 9/11 and its organisational capacity diminished by Western counter terror measures.
Al-Qaeda's bin Laden has provided the Bush administration with the excuse to launch its disastrous and costly wars in the greater Middle East.
As expected, Washington's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan continued to provide al-Qaeda with fresh recruits and support in the Muslim world and perpetuate a cycle of violence that ripped through the region for the last decade.
However, it has been the more implicit and less costly US and Western intelligence services that succeeded to a large degree in curtailing al-Qaeda activities, limiting the movement of its leaders that eventually led to his killing.
So what will this mean for the US war in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Certainly Washington has less reason or justification to wage a war in Afghanistan now that bin Laden is no more.
It might also find more readiness among certain Taliban leaders in the absence of the thorniest issue of al-Qaeda, to make a deal that insures a power sharing arrangement in favour of the Taliban in return for curbing the use of Afghanistan by al-Qaeda to export "terrorism".
Bin Laden will continue to be a distraction for the short term, and especially if some of al-Qaeda groups muster revenge attacks.
But in the long term, it is the historical transformations in the Arab and Muslim world that will eventually close the book on al-Qaeda.

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May 02 2011, 2:51 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Osama's death 'a good career move'?

Al-Qaeda's leader might appear to have died with a bang, but he had long since died with a whimper.

For Osama bin Laden, violent death must have come as a blessing. It has given him, at least fleetingly, a seeming prominence that in fact had long since ebbed away, not only in the Muslim world, but even within al-Qaeda itself.

To many in the US, for whom bin Laden's demise is indeed an important event, president Barack Obama's announcement represents long-delayed justice for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the fulfillment of a long-standing promise from two quite different US presidents. But in the Muslim world, where bin Laden and the movement he spawned produced the vast majority of their victims, the enigmatic Saudi's passing represents something quite different.

One supposes that for bin Laden, if he had any clear conception of his place in the world nearly 10 years after the attack which brought him to global prominence, life must have become unbearable. For the violent extremists whom bin Laden has sponsored and encouraged, it is a mark of pride that they seek death for what they believe. And even for those among them who hide in the shadows, it is with the conviction that they live today to strike at their enemies tomorrow. 

But for bin Laden, who might well have met martyrdom with many of his followers at Tora Bora, such was his megalomaniacal conception of his importance that he believed his greatest contribution to the movement would be to ensure his own survival, even as those around him were martyred for the cause.

Consider, then, what it must have been like for such an ego to fade into functional obscurity. As he was reduced to issuing occasional audio tapes of increasing irrelevance, even the core of the organisation he founded learned to live without him. And the scattered little groups around the globe which had appropriated the al-Qaeda name in fact had little connection to bin Laden's organisation, and still less to bin Laden himself.

'Good career move'

Indeed, what must have been most crushing for bin Laden was the rise of the so-called Arab Spring. The very people in the Arab world whose concerns bin Laden claimed most importantly to represent have revealed the utter fallacy at the heart of Sheikh Osama's message. 

The al-Qaeda leader had long professed that the only means of liberation for the Muslims was to strike at the Western powers who propped up their repressive leaders, and thereby to undo the vast US-led conspiracy to subjugate them. What the Arab youth have shown is that the means of their liberation is in their own hands, and has always been. Indeed, they have shown that in the face of their moral example, the Western world, more often than not, will be forced to support them.

Even more importantly, the world which those responsible for the uprisings throughout the Arab world are trying to construct for themselves looks nothing like the dark, obscurantist vision of bin Laden and his core followers. Even the most radically anti-western of the genuine religious leaders in the Muslim world have long since soundly rejected the Takfiri doctrines perpetrated by al-Qaeda. 

What remains of bin Laden's movement, while it may still represent a lethal threat on a tactical scale, has been clearly bypassed and marginalised by the historical evolution of those whom it would pretend to represent and to lead. 

That is as true in South Asia, where local opposition to western involvement in Afghanistan has given al-Qaeda a seeming prominence which in fact it does not merit, as it is elsewhere in the Muslim world.

It may seem an odd analogy, but I am put in mind of a former Hollywood celebrity who had long since been personally repudiated by the public, whose death a number of years ago was described unkindly by one wag as a "good career move". 

The same might easily be said of Osama bin Laden. He might appear to have died with a bang. But he had long since died with a whimper. 
Robert Grenier retired from the CIA in 2006, following a 27-year career in the CIA's Clandestine Service. He served as Director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) from 2004 to 2006, coordinated CIA activities in Iraq from 2002 to 2004 as the Iraq Mission Manager, and was the CIA Chief of Station in Islamabad, Pakistan before and after the 9/11 attacks.

Earlier, he was the deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, and also served as the CIA's chief of operational training. He is credited with founding the CIA's Counter-proliferation Division. Grenier is now a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is Chairman of ERG Partners, a financial advisory and consulting firm - and speaks and writes frequently on foreign policy issues.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

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May 02 2011, 2:52 pm - Replied by: grapevine

What next after bin Laden death?

Osama bin Laden's death is politically momentous for the US, but may not sound death knell for al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death is politically momentous for US president Barack Obama - witness the cheering crowds which gathered outside the White House even before his speech on Sunday night.

Its impact on al-Qaeda, though, is harder to measure.

Peter Bergen, an American journalist, said on CNN that bin Laden's death marked “the end of the war on terror". But many other analysts would disagree: Al-Qaeda, after all, is a very different organisation in 2011 than in 2001, with a new cadre of leaders and a wider range of affiliate groups.

Analysts have long debated the extent to which bin Laden - and his deputy, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri - direct al-Qaeda's operations. The two men have largely been in hiding since September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, leaving their subordinates to handle many of the group's day-to-day operations. Affiliate groups, like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, already operate with relatively little direction from the “leadership” on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

“It is often assumed that their principal roles, particularly in bin Laden's case, are as propaganda leaders or even mere figureheads,” said Barbara Sude, a former CIA al-Qaeda analyst, in a policy paper released last year.

Indeed, a series of younger leaders - some of them now deceased - emerged to play leading roles in the group over the past few years, broadening its leadership. They include Abu al-Yazid; Abu Yahya al-Libi; and Atiyah abd al-Rahman.

If bin Laden is only a figurehead, then one could argue that he has already served his purpose: His ideology and strategy has permeated throughout al-Qaeda, both the central organisation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its affiliate groups elsewhere.

“This is an enormous blow to the jihadi network in multiple ways, but it does not kill al-Qaeda,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorist Radicalisation at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “The jihadi group possesses other leaders who can step in to serve as figureheads for the group.”

Bin Laden's death, in other words - while symbolically significant - may mean little for al-Qaeda's capabilities.

'Catastrophic if it is authentic'

Reaction from al-Qaeda and its sympathisers has so far been muted. The group's propaganda wing has not yet issued a video tribute to bin Laden, nor has it commented on the reports of his death.

On internet forums sympathetic to al-Qaeda, a majority of commentators seem shocked by the reports of bin Laden's death.

In the past, when US officials announced the death of high-ranking al-Qaeda members, commentators often rejected those reports out of hand. But the latest announcement by Obama, on the other hand, seems to be viewed as somewhat more credible.

“If it is true then we must thank Allah that America was not able to capture him alive,” one commentator wrote. “Else they would be humiliating him like Saddam Hussein.”

“God willing, news is not true. Catastrophic if it is authentic,” another wrote.

The US state department issued a worldwide travel alert for American citizens, and the US military increased its “force protection” level, which measures threats to military bases. A senior administration official said there were no specific threats reported, though.

'No other country was informed'

One pressing question is what bin Laden's death means for the already strained US-Pakistani relationship. The two countries have clashed publicly in recent months over US drone strikes in northwest Pakistan and over the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor arrested for murder in Lahore and then released after “blood money” was paid to the families of his victims.

Obama had in the past praised the Pakistani government for its co-operation in the hunt for bin Laden. And some officials in the ISI, Pakistan's spy agency, reportedly played a role in his eventual killing, according to media reports.

But the White House quickly rejected that claim: In a conference call on Sunday night, a senior administration official told reporters that Pakistan was not briefed in advance on the operation which led to bin Laden's death.

“An operation like this has the utmost operational security attached to it,” the official said. “No other country was informed, and a small circle of people within the United States knew about it.”

Obama, in offering praise for Pakistan, also seemed to admonish the country's leadership, calling it “essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaeda". Other administration officials went further, describing bin Laden's long hideout in Pakistan as a cause for concern and a potential source of friction in the relationship.

“We are very concerned about the situation in Pakistan… but this is something we need to work with the Pakistani government on,” a senior official said.

Also unclear is whether bin Laden's death will have any impact on the war in Afghanistan, now in its tenth year. Obama did not mention any changes to strategy during his speech; bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, not Afghanistan; and US officials admit that only a handful of al-Qaeda members remain in Afghanistan.

In other words, the war - started to punish the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks - may well outlast the architect of those attacks.

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May 02 2011, 2:53 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Bin Laden death: Views from Pakistan

While Americans rejoice, many Pakistanis are apprehensive of the future after al-Qaeda leader's death.

Years on the run before finally being killed by the US forces - that is how Osama bin Laden met his end but the interest in his story will not wane easily - and definitely not in Pakistan, the country where he was killed.

To the surprise of many, he was not found in the lawless tribal region of Pakistan where he was believed to have been hiding but in a compound in an upscale and busy part of Pakistan's garrison city of Abbottabad - home to its military academy - and about 60km from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

And then the reports that his body has already been buried at sea, which the US authorities say has been done according to the Islamic Sharia Law, has raised many eyebrows in Pakistan.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, General Hameed Gul, the former head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), said that "We knew all along that it (the war on terror) will eventually come to Pakistan".

"And now with this incident, they have the reason to justify what they have been saying all along that there are al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan.

"Pakistan has been the target of this so-called 'war on terror'which began in Afghanistan, then was taken to Iraq and finally has come to Pakistan.

"The anti-Pakistan lobby can now say 'go for Pakistan'– they knew that they couldn' go against a nuclear Pakistan so the best way forward was to create internal problems and then ultimately come up with the stance that Pakistan's nukes were not in safe hands."

The surprise factor

For many like Khurshid Kasuri, Pakistan's former foreign minister, the news has come as a surprise. He told Al Jazeera that "the news has surprised the entire world but it is not surprising that he was still alive.

"When I was foreign minister (2002 - 2007), there was incorrect information about Osama bin Laden's arrest – it turned out that a lookalike had been arrested.

"Again it is not surprising that he was not found in the tribal region, there had been rumours circulating that he was living in Karachi because he needed medical care.

"I myself read reports which clearly stated that he was not in the tribal region so it is not a surprise that they found him in a city.

'Political win'

Pakistan has paid a heavy price for the "war of terror" being waged by the US.

Shahzad Chaudhry, former air vice marshal Pakistan Air Force, said: "We may ignore for a second if Pakistanis agree with the war or not, but we cannot ignore the fact that the government and armed forces have been heavily involved in this war.

"It is a massive political win for the US. And [President Barack] Obama will now be able to implement his Afghan withdrawal plan very easily.

And then there are doubts about the operation having been 'managed' as Gul said, "There is a big question mark over the timing – Obama can now say Mission Accomplished! And his re-election campaign will get a tremendous boost.

Speaking on Pakistan's Geo News TV channel, General Pervez Musharraf, former Pakistani president, said that "I do not believe the conspiracy theories that it has been managed."

"Incidentally, it has happened at a time when it will definitely benefit Obama. But it will be a crucial mistake on the part of US if they believe that the war on terror is over - that is not the case, a battle has been won but the war continues.

"So they shouldn't think that it is alright to just wrap up and leave, that will be a huge mistake.

Pakistan role?

President Obama, in his announcement of bin Laden's death, acknowledged Pakistan's cooperation in the hunt for him.

However, it has not yet been established, to what extent did the intelligence agencies of US and Pakistan work together.

Gul said: "If they carried the operation without the cooperation of ISI, then it will definitely be seen as a direct attack on Pakistan's integrity and its sovereignty.

"And if ISI and CIA cooperated on this operation then this entire rhetoric of tense relations between the two agencies was a complete drama."

"Given that the helicopters flew at night, and helicopters fly very low so there is no way that they could have escaped the radar of Pakistan intelligence," said Kasuri.

"So this indicates that there was a degree of cooperation. Now what we do not know is the extent of the cooperation."

Ayaz Amir, a Pakistan-based columnist, says it is highly unlikely that "the Pakistani intelligence agencies would have known where he was. They couldn't have played this high-risk game of knowing his whereabouts and pretending otherwise".

"And it is surprising that it took place near a very busy road, it shows sheer audacity that on his part that he chose to seek refuge in a compound in that area.

"The US forces couldn't have carried out the operation on their own so the question is who gave them the tip-off?"

Many did believe he was already dead - including some CIA officials.

And General Pervez Musharraf, during his time as the President of Pakistan, also said that the man was probably dead but speaking to Geo News on Monday, he said that, "If I had the intelligence report, then I could have confirmed his whereabouts.

"I used to get agitated if someone made a claim that they knew where he was – I have to say I was surprised to find out that he was found in Abbottabad."

"When I held the presidential office, in terms of military operations, intelligence cooperation, human intelligence was always ours.

"We had zero technical expertise - no aerial surveillance so we started developing it. But we needed technical support from CIA and gradually we developed our own which was still not comparable to that of the US.

"The policy was clear that only Pakistani troops will operate, no foreign troops will operate. US forces were never allowed, Pakistani forces always operated independently."

And like many others Musharraf acknowledged that "US had always said that in case of actionable intelligence, we will act. But it is a violation of our country, we have well-trained troops."

Worry for Pakistan?

The initial surprise and disbelief have already started to transform into worry for many Pakistanis.

"Pakistan has the most to fear in terms of the reaction, from wherever al-Qaeda has strength in the Islamic World, including Asia and Middle East," said Kasuri.

"In the short term, there will be many more incidents by terrorists, these will be acts to avenge Osama bin Laden's death......and not just in Pakistan but across the globe.

"In the medium term, US public opinion has been swayed, they feel that justice has been done and it will help Obama finalise his exit strategy from the region.

"In the long term, there will be a quiet debate in the US quarters on how did the phenomenon (of al-Qaeda) come about, they will not acknowledge it but they will talk about it.

Imran Khan, Chairman Movement for Justice, who staged a sit-in just over a week ago to stop NATO supplies to protest US drone strikes in Pakistan says that, "It will be very difficult for Pakistan now.

"If our leadership fails to handle it properly, there will be a backlash from Osama bin Laden's followers who will hail him as a martyr and try to avenge his death.

"And on the other hand, the idea will be presented to the world and is already being presented by the US media that Pakistan is the hub of terrorism.

Just a symbol

Osama bin Laden, the man who indeed founded al-Qaeda although was no longer the chief operations commander of the outfit, will surely be missed by many of his followers.

Raja Zafar-ul-Haq of Pakistan Muslim League says that "he had just been a symbol (of terrorism) for the last few years but we must remember that the network is still present.

"There will be anger, and the target will not just be US but also Pakistanis so the Pakistan government as well armed forces need to strategise."

Musharraf reminded of a true threat that he believes is very much present still despite the death of the man.

"Al-Qaeda will not just crumble and disappear, whenever someone gets eliminated from their leadership campaign then new people come and take charge, so we must all realise that it is a long drawn campaign."

"Technical training of Pakistani Taliban such as preparing and using IEDs, suicide jackets, all this training has been given by al-Qaeda... so it is actually al-Qaeda not Osama, that is Pakistan's main enemy.

"No foreigner has the right to spread terrorism on Pakistan' soil."

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May 02 2011, 2:54 pm - Replied by: grapevine

After Osama: Stop feeding the beast

Bin Laden's discovery in a wealthy suburb of Abbottabad raises questions over US military funding to Pakistan.

After years of former Pakistani military dictator General Musharraf assuring the world that bin Laden was either dead or in Afghanistan, he was found and dispatched by US special forces in the town of Abbottabad, a mere 30 miles 50km as the crow flies from the capital Islamabad.

Abbottabad is a colonial era army "cantonment" or garrison town and home to the Pakistan Military Academy PMA Kakul, less than two miles from the compound in question. To put it in perspective, it is like capturing Carlos the Jackal just down the road from West Point or Sandhurst.

The notion that Pakistan's all pervasive Army-controlled Inter-Services Intelligence was unaware of bin Laden's presence beggars belief.  

Although Bush-era National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley feigned total surprise about the location and its implications in an on-air interview after the news broke, WikiLeaks, as well as other sources such as investigative journalist Bob Woodward's most recent book, tell a very different story.

By 2008, the United States political and military leadership had lost all remnants of faith in the trustworthiness of the Pakistani military and its intelligence wing, the ISI, internally acknowledging that it consistently "hunted with the hounds and ran with the hares", including the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqanis, and the Lashkar-e-Taiba and was involved in planning terrorist attacks from Kabul to Mumbai.

Pakistani intelligence has had a close relationship with bin Laden since the early 1980s, when he acted as a courier, transferring funds from Saudi intelligence and its establishment to the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami to support the anti-Soviet jihad.

It is no surprise that bin Laden chose to relocate to eastern Afghanistan, an area within Pakistan's sphere of influence, in 1996 after he was expelled from Sudan under US pressure.

Of course, the relationship has never been smooth Pakistan's opportunism alienated al-Qaeda just as much as such behaviour alienated the United States but also made it just as indispensable.

Funded by the US taxpayer

Despite this, the United States continued to funnel billions to the Pakistani armed forces in sophisticated weapons and cash most recently a $2 billion package announced in October 2010 under the State Department's Foreign Military Finance Program.

The US is paying, not only for the use of Pakistan as a logistical corridor to its troops in Afghanistan, but for the privilege of conducting an increasingly aggressive covert counter-terrorism campaign on Pakistani soil often against the Pakistani government's client groups.

Analysis by SISMEC, the New America Foundation and others showed a massive increase in drone strikes in the tribal area of North Waziristan after the summer of 2008, largely aimed at pro-ISI groups such as the Haqqani network.

Most recently, US security contractor Raymond Davis was held in Pakistan for almost two months (17 January to March 16, 2011) after fatally shooting two alleged ISI agents, when he was believed to be surveilling the LeT in Lahore.

As for Davis' claim that he thought he was being robbed, well that one's for the birds. The Davis saga came at the same time that the Obama administration was reportedly finalising plans for the killing of Osama bin Laden, a coincidence that we are sure we will be hearing more about.

America's first attempt to kill Osama bin Laden came 13 years ago in August 1998, when president Bill Clinton launched "Operation Infinite Reach" in retaliation for the suicide bombings that devastated US embassies in Nairobi and Daressalam.

Sixty six cruise missiles were launched from the Arabian Sea at camps in eastern Afghanistan to kill Al Qaeda's senior leadership who were due to meet in a shura council.

Pakistan's military leadership was informed by US counterparts shortly before the missiles entered their airspace, just in case they mistook it for an Indian attack (India and Pakistan had just tested nuclear weapons earlier in May).

Shortly after, bin Laden cancelled his planned meeting. Many US officials believe the Pakistani Army and the ISI tipped bin Laden off.

Covert operations

It is this long and frustrating history that explains why the US chose to conduct this mission covertly and unilaterally.

In spite of face-saving Pakistani claims of joint execution, it was conducted in much the same way the US might have in a semi-hostile country, such as Syria in October 2008, rather than its proclaimed "frontline ally" in what used to be called the "war on terror".

It seems that Pakistani authorities had no clear idea of what was going on until it was all over, and a US helicopter bearing the SEAL team and bin Laden's body touched down at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

There is an inevitable question about timing. Why on earth did it take the US so long to succeed?

The standard, official defence was that this was a rugged area, filled with implacably hostile tribesmen. Today, questions are being finally asked about the Pakistani Army's complicity.

The truth is deeper, and more unpleasant, and has much to do with the ways in which dictators around the world manipulate US policy with embarrassing ease.

For almost seven years after 9/11, General Musharraf, a warmonger who seized power in a coup in 1999, assured Bush that he was the only man who could hold back the violent fundamentalists and prevent them from seizing control of Pakistan's government and its nuclear weapons.

The US should not push too hard, but rather leave Musharraf to crush the extremists.

The reality was that the Pakistani government deliberately supported the takeover of extremist parties such as the Islamist MMA alliance in 2003 and facilitated the comeback of the Taliban, all the while profiting handsomely from generous US aid and the lifting of nuclear sanctions.

This was despite the fact that democratically elected governments in both Afghanistan (Karzai's 2004 election was accepted as free and fair) and India complained vociferously of the Pakistani military's support of extremist groups in both their countries.

Eventually a newly amalgamated Pakistani Taliban turned on their former patrons in the government.

Despite this, Pakistan continued to support the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani group, and the LeT, and the political leadership in the US continued to enrich a militarist dictatorship that fanned the flames of extremism at the cost of thousands of Asian and American lives.

A new approach

Since Bush's final year in power, freed from the baleful influence of Donald Rumsfeld, the US has taken a much firmer line with Pakistan's military calling its bluff by acting more directly against extremists, and demanding ever greater accountability (for example the Kerry-Lugar bill) for the billions in assistance poured into Pakistan.

However these measures were totally inadequate for the stew of militarism, illiteracy, and bad governance.

The Arab Spring has eroded many of the conventional assumptions about the relationship between dictators, Islamists and the West.

In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, we heard dictators playing the Islamist card for three decades "support us unless you want the terrorists to win".

The reality has been quite different. Dictators from Musharraf to Mubarak have relied on terrorists and extremists to bring in the US aid they so desperately need to survive.

In the case of the Pakistani Army, they have been only too happy to feed the hand that bites them.

Musharraf, having worn out the patience of both the Pakistani public and his US patrons was finally forced out in August 2008.

He has been replaced with a weak civilian government that has served as little more than a useful facade for an army that remains addicted to both jihad and US money.

It is a stark warning of what the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt can turn in to unless people remain vigilant.

Today, the US continues to lavishly fund the Pakistani military, while using drones and secret soldiers such as Raymond Davis to attack the extremist forces that the same regime supports. It is up to the US to stop feeding the beast.

Leila Hudson is associate professor of Near Eastern Studies, Anthropology and History and director of the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC) at the University of Arizona.

Johann Chacko is an MA candidate in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the University of Arizona and a SISMEC Research Assistant who has worked in the private sector as an open source analyst of military conflicts.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

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May 02 2011, 3:54 pm - Replied by: grapevine

How did they find Bin Laden?

Senior White House officials said early Monday that the trail that led to Osama bin Laden began before 9/11, before the terror attacks that brought bin Laden to prominence. The trail warmed up last fall, when it discovered an elaborate compound in Pakistan.

"From the time that we first recognized bin Laden as a threat, the U.S. gathered information on people in bin Laden's circle, including his personal couriers," a senior official in the Obama administration said in a background briefing from the White House.

After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "detainees gave us information on couriers. One courier in particular had our constant attention. Detainees gave us his nom de guerre, his pseudonym, and also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden."

In 2007, the U.S. learned the man's name.

In 2009, "we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. They were very careful, reinforcing belief we were on the right track."

In August 2010, "we found their home in Abbottabad," in an isolated area.

"When we saw the compound, we were shocked by what we saw: an extraordinarily unique compound."

The plot of land was roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. It was built in 2005 on the outskirts of town, but now some other homes are nearby.

"Physical security is extraordinary: 12 to 16 foot walls, walled areas, restricted access by two security gates." The residents burn their trash, unlike their neighbors. There are no windows facing the road. One part of the compound has its own seven-foot privacy wall.

And unusual for a multi-million-dollar home: It has no telephone or Internet service.

This home, U.S. intelligence analysts concluded, was "custom built to hide someone of significance."

Besides the two brothers, the U.S. "soon learned that a third family lived there, whose size and makeup of family we believed to match those we believed would be with bin Laden. Our best information was that bin Laden was there with his youngest wife."

There was no proof, but everything seemed to fit: the security, the background of the couriers, the design of the compound.

"Our analysts looked at this from every angle. No other candidate fit the bill as well as bin Laden did," an official said.

"The bottom line of our collection and analysis was that we had high confidence that the compound held a high-value terrorist target. There was a strong probability that it was bin Laden."

This information was shared "with no other country," an official said. "Only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance."

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May 02 2011, 3:57 pm - Replied by: grapevine

Osama Bin Laden Buried at Sea


Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea.
The Belmont Club reported:

The Associated Press has quoted a US official saying that the body of Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea. Reuters confirms this, saying “the body of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was taken to Afghanistan after he was killed in Pakistan and was later buried at sea, the New York Times reported on Monday.”

An ABC News report said that Bin Laden's corpse would be handled in accordance with Islamic custom.

Under Islamic tradition, ABC's Zunaira Zaki reports, the body would be washed by Muslim men and buried as soon as possible, usually by the next prayer (Muslims pray five times a day), although there may be delays under certain circumstances (for autopsies, for example). The body is usually buried in a simple white sheet — whether buried in the ground, or at sea.

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May 05 2011, 3:17 am - Replied by: grapevine

Hariri: Bin Laden got what he deserved

BEIRUT: Osama bin Laden's death is the fate of murderers and villains, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday, adding that counter-terrorism was an Arab and Muslim responsibility.


“Murderers and villains deserve such a fate and the fight against all its shapes and forms should not stop and is first and foremost the responsibility of Arabs and Muslims who have the duty of liberating Islam from its kidnappers,” Hariri said, referring to the news of the death of Al-Qaeda leader bin Laden.


U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday that Special Forces had Sunday tracked and killed bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. which left more than 3,000 people dead.


Hariri also described bin Laden as an enemy to the Arab world and Islam, saying: “The harm inflicted by Osama bin Laden to the image of Islam and Arab causes is equal to the harm inflicted by the enemies to the causes of Muslims everywhere.”


“[Bin Laden] represented over two consecutive decades a black mark in this history and who introduced the culture of killing, terrorism, destruction and sabotage in to minds of thousands of youths,” Hariri said, adding that bin Laden had placed Islam in a hostile position toward other cultures.


“Osama bin Laden and his followers did not only harm the United States and Western countries, and put Islam in confrontation with the other civilizations, but also turned Islam into a Trojan Horse to spread evil and division in the Arab and Muslim countries … which were all victims of bombings and terrorist acts executed by the suicide bombers of bin Laden,” He said.

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May 05 2011, 3:19 am - Replied by: grapevine

Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran

Obama Seeks to 'VindicateBush'


In hisspeech after the alleged capture of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, didPresident Obama confirm that he plans to pursue the 'war on terror' the way GeorgeW. Bush did? This editorial from Iran's state-run Kayhan newspaper warnsthat like Bush, Obama has shown that he is 'hell-bent on reinforcing U.S.hegemony and preserving a uni-polar world.'




May 3, 2011


Islamic Republic of Iran - Kayhan - Home Page(English)


Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast (above) said yesterday that with the death of Osama bin Laden, the United States has no excuse to remain in the region. 

PRESS TV, IRAN [STATE-RUN]: Dispue between U.S. and Pakistan Accelerates, May 3, 00:03:55.RealVideo

Osama bin Laden, hunted asthe “alleged mastermind” behind the supposed terrorist attack on U.S. soil, wasreportedly killed in a firefight on Sunday, May 1, at a compound in Abbottabad,Pakistan. The United States claims that the attack was carried out by the JointSpecial Operations Command under the CIA. The U.S. also claims that DNAtesting confirms it was bin Laden.


Pundits have already begunanalyzing the implications, which initially center on how this seminal eventwill be used to justify American policies and its so-called war on terror. Whenbreaking the news Sunday night, U.S. President Barack Obama said that this isn'tthe end of the conflict and that “the cause of securing our country is notcomplete.” He further said, “There's no doubt that al-Qaeda will continue topursue attacks against us. We must - and we will - remain vigilant at home andabroad.”


This announcement signals aclear intent to vindicate the decisions of the past decade (read: crimes againsthumanity in the name of the war on terror), and to continue on a similar coursein places like Iraq, where Washington continues to sow the seeds of discordamong Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, in order to justify the presence of its forcesbeyond the agreed upon deadline for withdrawal in 2011.


In other words, Obama usedthe reported death of a single individual to justify the deaths of hundreds ofthousands of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Healso remedied all legal and moral defects connected with a decade of usingenhanced interrogation methods and extraordinary renditions, and validated the open-endedwaging of global warfare under false pretexts by the criminal BushAdministration.


In the near term, the realityof this retrospective confirmation will have serious implications. The Bush andnow Obama Administration's used their illegal war as a justification forundermining the most respected principles of international law. They gave the worldnothing but abuse of human rights standards, detentions, the murders ofthousands of men and women, the condoning of torture, and the permanentoccupation of Muslim lands.


So make no mistake, the U.S.“war of terror” won't end with the death of a single individual. America ishell-bent on reinforcing its hegemony and preserving a uni-polar world, and itwill do so at any cost and in collaboration with its Western allies, Zionist stoogesand regional puppet regimes.


But that doesn't mean thatthe rest of the international community will sit down and watch. In fact, theMuslim world in particular has already begun a regional struggle against U.S.hegemony. Men, women and children from across North Africa, the Middle East andPersian Gulf have been taking to the streets over recent months with onelegitimate purpose in mind: restoring their dignity and pride by ousting pro-U.S.puppet regimes.


With the ouster of tyrants inplaces like Egypt and Tunisia (and soon Yemen and Bahrain), American hegemonyhas lost its influence. But it's still too early to assume that the MuslimWorld's transition to democracy will be easy. Quite the contrary, in fact.   



The brutal crackdown inBahrain and Yemen by remnants of tyrant governments and in collaboration withother illicit regimes like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman serveas further proof that the hegemonic powers still aren't ready to give up theirillicit “privileges.”


The unfortunate slaughter ofpro-democracy protesters in Bahrain and Yemen, as well as the ongoing terrorismand carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan, suggest that the future of the Muslimworld will be just as contentious as the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.


But things aren't just doomand gloom. God Almighty says in his Holy Quran that the future belongs to therighteous, which are those who wish to attain the promised victory: “Those who believein him [the Holy Prophet Mohammad, Peace Be Upon Him], respect him, support himand followed the light that came with him are the successful ones.” [Quran 7:157].

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May 05 2011, 3:20 am - Replied by: grapevine

The Daily Jang, Pakistan

Operation Against BinLaden Spells Trouble for Pakistan 


"ForIslamabad, the entire affair is something of an embarrassment. Despite years offervent denial, Osama bin Laden was found on Pakistani soil. And now that America'sbrazen operation in Abbotabad has occurred, there may be attempts to go afterkey militants in other urban centers."




May 3, 2011


Pakistan - The Daily Jang - OriginalArticle (English)


A man from Pakistan's Jamatut Dawa Party cries at a funeral service for Osama bin Laden in Karachi, May 3.  

AL-JAZEERA NEWS: Live coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden.RealVideo

The death of Osama bin Ladenends the story of a man who, over the last decade, dominated much of the globalnews, even after his post-September 11 disappearance - presumably into themountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. A hero to some and a villainto many others, bin Laden remained al-Qaeda's leader until the end, even ifthere is some doubt about how much actual day-to-day command he wielded. That suchdelight over his death in a U.S. operation should pour in from many parts ofthe world comes as no surprise. While Washington has led the chorus, the restof the West has chimed in. And not unexpectedly, India and Afghanistan havewasted no time in repeating allegations that Pakistan harbors terrorists. WithinPakistan though, except amongst extremist groups, there will be relief that aman whose operatives claimed lives in cities across the country is no more.


Certainly, the astonishing waybin Laden's killing was carried out left us all gasping in astonishment. bin Laden,and it appears at least two other people, including a woman, were killed inwhat the U.S. says was a gunfight, as helicopters swooped toward the palatial homewhere he, his guards, and some family members apparently lived. The estate stoodnot in some remote mountain valley, but in a peaceful suburb of Abbotabad, justkilometers from the Pakistan MilitaryAcademy in Kakul. Pakistan's failure to detect the presence of the world'smost wanted man is shocking, though it remains unclear what role, if any, oursecurity and intelligence apparatus played in the affair.


In addition, it's hard tobelieve that foreign aircraft could have flown undetected and unchallenged sodeeply into our airspace. The initial delay of any kind of official responseonly added to the confusion. After an emergency meeting with the president, oneForeign Office spokesperson finally issued a statement saying that the operationagainst bin Laden had been carried out in accordance with America's policy ofgoing after him anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, President Obama spoke of Pakistanicooperation and discussed the operation with President Zardari and PrimeMinister Gilani, describing bin Laden's death as a victory.


Many questions still hang inthe air. We may soon find answers to some of them, but others may long remain amystery.


For Islamabad, the entireaffair is something of an embarrassment. Despite years of fervent denial, binLaden was found on Pakistani soil. And now that America's brazen operation inAbbotabad has occurred, there may be attempts to go after key militants in otherurban centers. It's not a comforting thought considering the implications forour national sovereignty.    



Security at U.S. consularbuildings has been stepped up in all cities. There have been reports ofsporadic protests and it is yet to be seen whether they will spread. A lot maydepend on how the operation and Pakistan's role in it are perceived. TheWestern jubilation we are seeing on our TV screens should not distract us fromthe fact that militancy will continue. It has not died with bin Laden. Over theyears, al-Qaeda has splintered and given rise to many other organizations.These will not only continue, but they may attempt to take revenge. So tragically,the dangers we face are far from over, even if the killing of bin Ladendelivers a demoralizing blow to militants everywhere.


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May 05 2011, 3:21 am - Replied by: grapevine

Dar al-Hayat, SaudiArabia

Bin Laden and His WholeWay of Thinking - are Dead


"The Arabrevolutions have a different lexicon. They demand pluralism, the transfer ofpower, transparency and respect for differing opinions. They want to belong tothe modern world and participate in building it. Their demands are from alexicon that stands in stark contrast to that of bin Laden."


By Ghasan Charbel


Translated By Jenny Oliver


May 3, 2011


Saudi Arabia - Dar Al-Hayat - OriginalArticle (Arabic)


A man from Pakistan's Jamatut Dawa Party cries at a funeral service for Osama bin Laden in Karachi, May 3.  

AL-JAZEERA NEWS: Live coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden.RealVideo

George Bush was longing forthis moment. To stand before the American people and the world and declare thatAmerica had killed the man who brought down the Twin Towers. Bush had managedto take out the Taliban, the regime which had refused to hand over custody oftheir guest, Osama bin Laden. And without any convincing justification, he wasable to take out Saddam Hussein's government, and he then watched Hussein'scorpse swing to and fro. And he dreamed of that third big kill. Empires arelike individuals, in that they need revenge in order to cleanse their wounds.But luck and time weren't on his side. It was Barack Obama's fortune to appear beforethe world for the big announcement. Another president had other methods. Andwho knows, time may show that Obama, because of his ability to take out regimesand governments, is more dangerous than Bush and bin Laden put together!


A decade ago, Osama bin Ladenrocked the world and brought the war to America. He targeted the symbols ofAmerican success and prestige in New York and Washington. The entire worldstood dumbstruck as they watched the twin attacks. America emerged wounded fromthat day and launched her massive military machine, demonstrating anunprecedented capacity to strike - and to make mistakes.


America can only defeat anenemy whose address is known. Bin Laden, a stubborn rival with no address, woreout the United States. He may be in a cave, or he may be in a house, andnothing seemed to lead to him. He didn't use the phone or the Internet.Fighting him was harder than fighting a ghost. Every time the Americans triedto close in on him, they came up empty handed. At the same time, the man provedvery expensive. Enormous sums of money were spent to improve security atairports, ports, and embassies throughout the U.S., the West and Western-friendlycountries. He was also expensive for the world that he created [the Arabworld], which eventually declared its desire to lift the injustice he brought.


Bin Laden had lost the battlebefore he was killed. He lost it in Saudi Arabia where he attempted to destabilizethe country. His fiercely confrontational approach, with all of its dimensions interms of security and intellectual and religion thought, reduced the popularityof the man. He became isolated by a way of thinking that stemmed from despair,frustration and extremism. He also lost his battle in Pakistan, where he had dreamedof changing the nature and situation of the government - his only victory beingthat the country's intelligence services turned a blind eye to him.


In recent months, bin Ladensuffered major losses that showed how isolated al-Qaeda had become. Protestersin Tunis held up no photos of him and his photo went unseen in Cairo's TahrirSquare. Protesters in Yemen and Libya never attempted to associate themselves withhim. The Arab revolutions and protests have a different lexicon. They demandpluralism, the transfer of power, transparency and respect for differingopinions. They want to belong to the modern world and participate in buildingit. Their demands are from a lexicon that stands in stark contrast to that ofbin Laden. Bin Laden tried to burn away the line of contact between Muslims andthe West, and he achieved a certain success, especially among the ranks of certaincommunities. But the winds of the previous months have demonstrated the desireof Arabs and Muslims for freedom, dignity and advancement, as well as theirlonging to belong to the modern age, rather than resigning from it.   



The killing of Bin Ladendoesn't mean the end of al-Qaeda, nor does it mean the end of terrorism. Itmight be considered an important incident in the battle of symbols, and itemphasizes the principle of punishing the perpetrator, whoever it may be. Butthe battle against terrorism will remain. Eradicating the roots of terrorismrequires a battle against injustice, poverty, marginalization - and occupation.It requires freedom, unhindered prospects, development, reform andparticipation. Perhaps that is why Obama may turn out to be more aggressivethan Bush and more dangerous than bin Laden.


Osama Bin Laden has come andgone. He was suicide bomber in thought, method and language. He kindled fires inthis capital and that, and ended up setting himself alight. His comrades maytry to avenge his death, but that won't change the fact that he is a closedchapter. Osama WAS here.


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May 05 2011, 3:22 am - Replied by: grapevine

OutlookAfghanistan, Afghanistan

The U.S. MustPursue Mullah Omar as it did Osama bin Laden


"Inorder to bring peace to Afghanistan, the region and the world, the Taliban mustbe defeated. Like al-Qaeda, the Taliban must be expunged from Afghanistan. And likethe Osama bin Laden, Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar must also be found andtargeted."




May 3, 2011


Afghanistan - Outlook Afghanistan -Home Page (English)


Elusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar: Should the United States push on with its 'war on terror' until Omar, like his friend bin Laden, is history?  

AL-JAZEERA NEWS: Live coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden.RealVideo

Undoubtedly, the killing ofOsama bin Laden is a huge achievement for America's fight against militancy,although it comes after almost a decade. Osama bin Laden's death means progressin regaining the public trust by the U.S. and its allies. We noted in the pastthe drastic drop in public support for the Afghan War. With the conflict headedin a completely vague direction, there has been tremendous pressure on Westerngovernments to withdraw. Aside from the political benefit of bin Laden's death,the value of the U.S. dollar rose, as did stock indexes across the world.


After bin Laden's death, allexperts maintain that the war on terror must continue until complete victory.The Taliban remain at large in Afghanistan and pose a serious threat to thelives of Afghanistan's peace-loving people. In order to bring peace toAfghanistan, the region and the world, the Taliban must be defeated. Likeal-Qaeda, the Taliban must be expunged from Afghanistan. And like the Osama binLaden, Taliban supreme leader MullahOmar must also be found and targeted. For the people of Afghanistan,justice will not be completely done until the fate of Omar is the same asOsama's. Mullah Omar murdered thousands of Afghans and foreigners and destroyedAfghanistan. Whoever supports him and his followers is equally responsible forthe blood that was shed and is being shed by the Taliban. 



Like bin Laden, Mullah Omarand many other Taliban have been successful in hiding themselves over the pastten years. But from time to time in Pakistan, Taliban leaders have beenarrested or killed by Pakistani security forces. MullahAbdul Ghani Brader's arrest last year is an example. There is a very goodpossibility that Mullah Omar, along with thousands of other Taliban, escaped toPakistan's tribal areas and then moved to safer places. Criminals ultimatelysuffer the consequences of their acts. This is the iron rule of nature proventhroughout history: Hopefully, the same will happen to Mullah Omar and justicewill be fully done.


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