Master Terrorist Osama Bin Laden Killed by US Forces in Pakistan
I congratulate the US government and their special forces for successfully tracking down and eliminating Osama Bin Laden, who was captured in his hideout located 60km north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
You would have to have been living in a cave (pun intended) to have not heard this by now, but just in case, here are some fantastic articles with timelines, details and lots of photos:
I wish to add my few cents to this ordeal.
No doubt that it was a disappointment that he was not captured alive, so that he could be interrogated and provide information on other terrorists, but considering the circumstances, this was an unlikely scenario.
I expected Bin Laden’s life to end this way – to be killed in a military operation and become a “shahid” or “martyr”. This is the way he would have wanted it. I am just surprised that it took so long. In the aftermath of the World Trade Centre attack on 9th September 2001, the US demanded that the Taliban government of Afghanistan hand Bin Lander over to them to prevent a military conflict. I expected the Taliban to relent to to guarantee their survival as the dominant force in Afghanistan, but they didn’t.
During the military operations in Afghanistan, he was apparently located several times by various parties (including the Australian SAS), but was tipped off by double agents, and was able to make his escape. I am shocked that the $25 million bounty on Bin Laden was not claimed by anyone. That amount of money could go a long way in Pakistan, which is a poor country by world standards. Sadly, I consider this to be an indicator of Bin Laden’s popular support amongst the people of Pakistan.
Like most people, I believed that he was likely to be hiding in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is mountainous and poorly controlled. That is why it came as a shock when it was revealed that he was located well inside Pakistan, in a location that was not only close to the capital, but a town that was also a military garrison. It is reported that his hideout was a custom built house that was 8 times the size of an average dwelling in the area, and surrounded by 12ft high walls.
Pakistan is officially a US ally. I find it hard to accept the denials of Pakistan military leaders that they did not know that Bin Laden was living there, or that the distinctive appearance of this hideout did not arouse suspicion. Even here in Sydney, if someone built such a large unusual house with high walls around it, people would be asking many questions about who was building it and what it was being used for. If I were to make a guess, I would say that the Pakistan military is not one solid cohesive unit, and the people located down the chain of command may not share the official views of those at the top.
The success of this operation will do much to improve the popularity of US President Barack Obama and the Democrats, who had been waning in popularity in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.
The other question is whether this will reduce or increase terrorism. In the short time, it is likely that there will be a reprisals from Bin Laden’s terrorist sympathisers. Nonetheless, Bin Laden’s death has shown that it is practically impossible for a terrorist to hide indefinitely, even an Islamic country like Pakistan, and this will perhaps make other Islamic terrorists cautious about following in Bin Laden’s footsteps.