|Faked dead Osama photo.|
United States President Barack Obama announced on Monday that US Navy SEALs had found and killed Osama Bin Laden. They apparently located the elusive Al Qaeda leader with satellite facial recognition and launched a raid dubbed the Geronimo "E-KEA." It is also reported that the CIA undertook four years of surveillance of the compounds courier, which led to the intelligence needed to make the raid possible.
The initial image that was released by media was quickly discredited as being faked. The US has not released any photographs they purportedly have stating that to do so would be inappropriate.
Bin Laden was on the American Federal Bureau of Investigation's lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his alleged involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
It has been reported that bin Laden was fatally shot in the head and chest during the raid. However Barack Obama’s address stated that Osama bin Laden had been captured and then shot. Later reports state that Osama bin Laden’s 12-Year-Old Daughter said her Father was shot dead after being captured, which would show that bin Laden was initially captured and then executed. Biometric facial recognition tests were apparently performed and subsequent genetic testing reportedly supported the preliminary identification.
Among those killed in the raid were one of bin Laden's sons, a man described as a courier, and the courier's brother. It appears that none of the people killed were armed with weapons. The day after the raid John Brennan, the White House counter terrorism chief, said that the woman that was killed was one of bin Laden's four wives and was being used as a human shield at the time. Two other women, who were apparently also used as shields, were injured during the raid. However, the next day White House spokesperson, Jay Carney, said that bin Laden's wife had rushed the invading commandos and was shot in the leg, but was not killed. He also said that the al-Qaeda leader put up resistance, but was unarmed. It is reported that bin Laden was shot twice, once above his left eye, which blew away a part of his skull and once in the chest.
|President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011.|
His death attracted protests from people in the city of Quetta, in southwestern Pakistan, who burned U.S. flags and payed homage to the late al-Qaeda leader. The US has stepped up its rhetoric concerning Pakistan making the prospect of an invasion of that country more likely. The death has also caused many to suggest that there will be reprisals in the form of further attacks against Western countries.
The news was quickly welcomed by Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff. However Hone Harawera from the new te Mana party has stated that it was custom for Maori to "honour and mourn the deceased".
"So I acknowledge him and bid him farewell. Return to your ancestors who wait for you beyond the veil of death." Mr Harawera said.
This is in stark contrast to the celebrations America experienced after the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.
U.S. commander in Afghanistan said in December 2009 that al-Qaeda will not be defeated unless its leader, Osama bin Laden, is captured or killed. Testifying to the U.S. Congress, he said bin Laden had become an "iconic figure, whose survival emboldens al-Qaeda as a franchising organization across the world." Despite campaigning to withdraw troops, US President Barack Obama deployed 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan bringing the total US troop strength in the country to more than 100,000.
Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, U.S. government officials named bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization as the prime suspects and offered a reward of $25 million for information leading to his capture or death. On July 13, 2007, this figure was doubled to $50 million. The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association offered an additional $2 million reward.
|Osama bin Laden and imposter.|
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that classified evidence linking al-Qaeda and bin Laden to the attacks of September 11 is clear and irrefutable. The UK Government reached a similar conclusion regarding al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's culpability for the September 11, 2001 attacks, although the government report notes that the evidence presented is not necessarily sufficient for a prosecutable case.
Osama Bin Laden has maintained he was not responsible for the 9/11 attack and to date no evidence has been released publicly to confirm his guilt.
The War on Terror has resulted in between 80,000 and 1.2 million civilian deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia between 2001 and 2007.