The ten years long chase after al Qaeda leader is over. Osama bin Laden is dead, killed by U.S. operatives. The number one international terrorist was located in a new (five year old) compound located at the town of Abottabad in Pakistan, about 50 km north of the capital Islamabad.
The raid, conducted by U.S. operatives took under 40 minutes. The forces arrived at the scene by helicopters, one was lost in the fight. Bin Laden and his guards resisted the assault force; Bin Laden, his adult sons and two couriers were killed in the firefight. The body was recovered by the US military and was ‘burried at sea’ after positive identification done by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s identity was confirmed, by DNA samples taken from the body, compared with DNA samples on record from his dead sister.
The operation was the result of eight months of intelligence work, with Obama giving the order to carry out the operation last week. It is assumed that the operation was CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command.
After failing to capture Bin Laden in Tora Bora, in South-Eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. launched a massive campaign lead by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launching attacks against suspected al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan. To support the campaign the CIA has established its own intelligence network inside Pakistan’s tribal areas, ‘assisted’ by unenthusiastic support from the Pakistani intelligence service.
Obama said that the operation couldn’t have happened without Pakistani cooperation. But the senior administration official says that the Pakistanis didn’t know about the raid until after it occurred, citing the need for the “utmost operational security.”
- The official announcement from the White House
- Spencer Akerman’s post on ‘Danger Room‘
- UPI: Bin Laden killed in Pakistan
- Obituary: Osama bin Laden – BBC