It took nearly a decade and more lives and money than anyone actually wants to count to kill Osama Bin Laden. The most recognized face of evil behind Hitler; the mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks, and the embodiment of the terrorist group, al-Qaida, was shot in the head early Monday morning at a well secured hideout – about an hour’s drive outside the Pakistani capital.
How Bin Laden managed to outfox American forces for a decade may never be fully known, but how he was brought to justice makes for a best selling spy novel.
According to the New York Times, American intelligence was handed the single most significant detail in tracking Bin Laden, from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay: a name. The name was a pseudonym for Bin Laden’s personal courier. That information was gleaned some four years ago, but It took two years to pinpoint where the courier was operating. He served as Bin Laden’s link to the outside world.
Bin Laden learned how to survive and carry out al-Qaida’s operations without computers and cell phones, currying his messages and instructions through his courier.
Intelligence officers were reasonably sure that, by last September, they knew where Bin Laden was living. It took another eight months to plan the attack, and the execution was flawless. No soldiers or civilians were killed, just Bin Laden, his son, two unidentified men, and a woman that was used as a human shield.
“Osama bin Laden’s death is heartening news and an important event for our nation and the war on terror. I commend the president, his national security team and our military forces for this successful operation. I also want to thank the U.S. intelligence community and its operatives who have spent years hunting down this terrorist. Osama bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives, and his death is a testimony that America will not tolerate brutal acts of terror on its people,” U.S. Senator. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) said.
It’s widely believed among military strategists that Bin Laden’s death will further weaken al-Qaida, but not the terrorist cells and groups operating out of places such as Yemen and Algeria.
Qaribut Ustad Saeed, a member of the Hezb-e-Islami group, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization, told the Associated Press, “Osama Bin Laden became a symbol and inspiration for the young Muslim extremists,” Saeed said. But the group has expanded into a worldwide movement that is now bigger than bin laden.”
And, while many Americans are a bit of euphoric today, U.S.Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pennsylvania) issued a statement to temper it. “While today’s development does not mean an end to terrorism or the need to remain relentlessly vigilant, the death of bin Laden has enormous significance in American and world history.”
Bin Laden’s body was flown to Afghanistan, and quickly put to rest in the sea.
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