Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was reported tracked down today and executed by American Special Forces inside Pakistan. There was no involvement by Pakistan’s military. President Barack Obama reported that American forces entered a residential compound inside Pakistan, engaged in a firefight with bin Laden protectors, and shot Osama bin Laden in the head. Brain tissue DNA from bin Laden’s body was verifed that it was bin Laden’s remains that were snatched by American forces. His body remains in American custody.
President Obama said the operation began last August on a tip to American interests in the region. The President said that Pakistani officials helped along the way in providing crucial information that led up to the attack. It was carried out in an isolated area near Abbottadad, well north of Islamabad.
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Here are some thoughts from a few Newport area residents on the death of the al Qaida leader in Pakistan.
Updated information as to the assault on bin Laden’s hiding place Click here.
Comment on the death of bin Laden from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley:
“I salute President Obama and his exceptional team on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. The President’s resolute determination and the hard work, perseverance, and bravery of so many in the United States intelligence community and military ensured that attacks on Americans would not go unanswered. We will never forget the more than 3,000 American lives that were lost on September 11, 2001 and in other al Qaeda attacks, and this is a welcome measure of justice for their families and our nation. As we continue the offensive against al Qaeda and terrorist extremists wherever in the world they may be, this milestone will serve as a reminder that when America commits itself to a goal, it will prevail.”
From Oregon’s other U.S. Senator Ron Wyden:
“Osama bin Laden was more than a killer, he was the founder and leader of a terrorist organization determined to make a name for itself by taking thousands of innocent lives and spreading chaos and fear around the globe. I congratulate the service members and intelligence professionals who made the operation that led to his death yesterday possible, as well as the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have fought and sacrificed for a future free of that fear.
“While killing bin Laden can not bring back the innocents whose lives he took, it is my hope that the news of his death will bring some measure of peace to their loved ones. But it is important for the world to understand that the operation that led to bin Laden’s death was not an act of revenge – it was an act of war.
“Al Qaeda has now lost its founder and leader at a time when the organization is under intense pressure and is already in crisis. The peaceful revolutions that have been spreading throughout the Middle East directly refute bin Laden’s core claim that violent terrorist acts are the only way to bring change to the Muslim world. It is my hope that bin Laden’s death will be seen as a milestone, as people around the Middle East continue to push forward on their path towards freedom and opportunity, while al Qaeda continues on a path of decline.”