World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon, the world's most
wanted terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.
President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader
of Al Qaeda responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, was killed in a
firefight during an operation he ordered Sunday inside Pakistan, ending a
10-year manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist. Here's the full text and following is the video of Obama's speech4:03 pm: The
statements that emerge from the political class can sometime befuddle.
Witness this salvo, from BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
demand that all the terrorists responsible for terror attacks from
across the border must be handed over to India. It is a litmus test for
Pakistan. Government of India must acknowledge this fact in all future
talks with Pakistan. He was killed in Pakistan, almost in the backyard
of its capital, Islamabad. This is the final confirmation of the hard
fact that Pakistan remains the epicentre of global terror where
terrorism and terrorists both are allowed to be encouraged and given
Unexceptionable, so far. But then comes this little
number: "For US, Pakistan is a valuable ally, the fact that it did not
share campaign against terror with Pakistani establishment is
surprising. US should reflect on it."
Really? The US clearly did
not share operational details with anyone -- least of all Pakistan,
where it is no secret that the political, military and intelligence
communities contain secret sympathizers of the various terrorist groups
-- in order to preserve secrecy and surprise. What precisely is the US
supposed to "reflect on", again?
3:50 pm: As
early as 1999, US intelligence had begun picking up information about al
Qaeda's plans to launch a major terrorist strike -- but during the
critical months before 9/11, that information was wasted tangled up in a
complex maze of red tape and the inability of various agencies to
cooperate. Lesson learnt, the US introduced systemic reforms -- and
these, argues Saikat Datta in Outlook, led to the killing of Osama bin
Laden. What did the US learn then? How did it implement those lessons?
And what can India learn from this experience? Read on...
3:37 pm: Pakistan
declared the killing of Osama bin Laden a "major setback" to global
terrorism but it will inevitably come under pressure to explain how the
al Qaeda leader was holed up in a mansion near a military facility. More on Yahoo! India News
3:30 pm: Many
Afghanis who fought against the Taliban are nervous that the Americans
could now withdraw from their country. Osama bin Laden trained
insurgents in Afghanistan, and lived there for many years. The New York Times reports:
"While senior political figures welcomed the news of his death, they
cautioned that it did not necessarily translate into an immediate
military victory over the Taliban, and urged the United States and NATO
not to use it as a reason to withdraw."
3:18 pm: Bollywood
celebrities ranging from Shekhar Kapur and Mahesh Bhatt, to Gul Panag,
Celina Jaitley and others react to the news of Osama bin Laden. Choice quotes here
3:11 pm: In
the US, the killing of Osama has already inaugurated a wave of
self-congratulation and hyper-nationalist sentiment. The killing signals
the emergence of a stronger America, according to Time magazine.
Its political columnist David Von Drehle writes, "The world will greet
the killing of bin Laden with a mixture of delight, fatigue and cynical
objection. Even at home, some may ask how much it matters." And then
comes his analysis: "It matters because people had begun to doubt
whether American power was truly power; and to ask whether its day was
past. In that equation, Osama bin Laden was a unsettling factor, even
though his own power was diminished. As long as he was free, the U.S.
was failing. It was that simple."
3:01 pm: Early
days, but already it is evident that the question of Pakistan's
knowledge, or lack thereof, of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden will
become the single biggest talking point. In Times of India, Chidananad
Rajghatta looks for clues, and cues, in Obama's speech. The money quote:
fact, there was not even a word of thanks for Pakistan. Instead, Obama
said: ''Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken
with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and
historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential
that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaida and its
The finger of suspicion is now pointing squarely
at the Pakistani military and intelligence for sheltering and protecting
Osama bin Laden before US forces hunted him down and put a bullet in
his head in the wee hours of Sunday. The coordinates of the action and
sequence of events indicate that the al-Qaida fugitive may have been
killed in an ISI safehouse.
US analysts uniformly suggested that
the Pakistani security establishment's claim of a role in the operation
is clearly aimed at ducking charges of its military's possible role in
hiding bin Laden. ''This is hugely embarrassing for Pakistan,'' was a
common refrain on US TV channels throughout the night.
top US officials have openly suggested for months that the Pakistani
military establishment was hiding bin Laden. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton came closest to publicly exposing Pakistan's role last May when
she accused some government officials there of harboring Osama bin Laden
and Mullah Omar.
''I am not saying they are at the highest
level...but I believe somewhere in this government are people who know
where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and where Mullah Omar and the
leadership of the Taliban are,'' Clinton said on May 10 last year,
adding, ''We expect more cooperation (from Pakistan) to help us bring to
justice capture or kill those who brought us 9/11.''
together with President Obama's pointed reference to President Zardari
and leaving out any mention of Pakistani forces' involvement, it would
seem that Washington believes that Pakistan's military intelligence
establishment, including the ISI, was sheltering bin Laden. The ISI was
accused as recently as last week by the top US military official Admiral
Mike Mullen of having terrorist links, and named as a terrorist support
entity by US officials, according to the Guantanamo cables."
2:53 pm: BBC
reports: The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and
the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, have
issued this joint statement: "Osama Bin Laden was a criminal responsible
for heinous terrorist attacks that cost the lives of thousands of
innocent people. His death makes the world a safer place and shows that
such crimes do not remain unpunished... The European Union continues to
stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States, our international
partners and our friends in the Muslim world in combating the scourge of
global extremism and in building a world of peace, security and
prosperity for all."
2:47 pm: A reaction from
former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra: "If anyone in the world
believes Pakistan was unaware of where bin Laden was living, I just
laugh at that."
2:40 pm: The BBC gives a detailed account
of what happened this morning. Women and children were inside the
compound with Obama when the Americans landed in their helicopters. The
Pakistani troops arrived only after the Americans had attacked and
killed Osama, the BBC quotes its correspondents as saying. Pakistani
soldiers have now completely taken over the area.
2:33 pm: Rana
Banerjee, former RAW special secretary, believes the ISI top brass knew
where Obama was hiding. The Americans started developing their own
agents when they realised that the Pakistanis wouldn't reveal Osama's
location, he told NDTV.
2:23 pm: With so much detail surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden being open to speculation, here's a link to an extensive briefing
provided by the US State Department. One key takeaway: no, the US did
not share details of the raid with Pakistani authorities prior to the
fact, no matter what anyone is claiming now. Key quote:
shared our intelligence on this bin Laden compound with no other
country, including Pakistan. That was for one reason and one reason
alone: We believed it was essential to the security of the operation
and our personnel. In fact, only a very small group of people inside
our own government knew of this operation in advance.
after the raid, U.S. officials contacted senior Pakistani leaders to
brief them on the intent and the results of the raid. We have also
contacted a number of our close allies and partners throughout the
Sine 9/11, the United States has made it clear to Pakistan
that we would pursue bin Laden wherever he might be. Pakistan has long
understood that we are at war with al Qaeda. The United States had a
legal and moral obligation to act on the information it had."
2:12 pm: After
bin Laden, what? That is one question there is no immediate answer for,
though judging by the advisories being issued by Interpol, and by the
US State Department, the sense is of a global bracing for the backlash
from jihadists bent on revenge. After bin Laden, who? That question
seems relatively easier to answer, with the consensus being that Ayman
al-Zawahiri will now become the tentpole figure within the al Qaeda
network. Additional to our 1.45 pm update, we bring you more compelling
reading: a compelling profile authored by Lawrence Wright for the New Yorker, back in September 2002, of the Egyptian doctor who became a terrorist mastermind.
1:55 pm: As browsers clamour for news on Osama from Pakistan, the website of Dawn,
that country's foremost English-language newspaper, has crashed. In a
small message on its home page, the paper says its site is experiencing
"extraordinary traffic". It also requests browsers to "proceed with the
security verification". The link provided for "security verification"
doesn't help. This is the message we got when we clicked on it: "Error
establishing a database connection." We've heard of security
verification at airports, but at a newspaper website?
1:49 pm: Father
Federico Lombardi, spokesperson for the Vatican, says Osama bin Laden
will now have to answer to God for having killed many people and
exploited religion to spread hate. While Christians do not "rejoice at
death", he said, the events of today serve to remind everyone of "each
person's responsibility before God and men."
1:45 pm: Egyptian-born
doctor and surgeon Ayman al-Zawahri is al Qaeda's second-in-command
expected to succeed Osama bin Laden following his killing in a firefight
with U.S.forces in Pakistan. Zawahri has been the brains behind bin
Laden and his al Qaeda network, and at times its most public face,
repeatedly denouncing the United States and its allies in video
messages. Reuters has the story
Abbottabad: The place where Osama was killed
1:35 pm: G
Parthasarathy, former Indian high commissioner in Pakistan, believes
Osama's killing in Abbotabad provides conclusive proof that Pakistan
knew all along where he was hiding. Americans therefore had enough
reason to keep Islamabad in the dark when they went out to eliminate
Osama, he told Headlines Today.
1:30 pm: Osama's killing a victory for the
people of Pakistan, said former president Musharraf but feels the
Pakistan authorities should have been kept in the loop about the