Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden dead

Nearly 10 years after the traumatic Sept 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon, the world's most wanted terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan. Live updates
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 speech

Bin Laden confirmed dead
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:

"We 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.

Shortly 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 world.

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
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.

Ground Zero Celebration of Bin Laden's Death

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 operation.

1:25 pm:
 If the context weren't so grim, this would actually be quite funny: Pakistan has, since the news broke of bin Laden's death, been unable seemingly to decide whether to claim credit, or not. And in a sense, you can understand the country's dilemma. Claim credit, and it will bear the initial brunt of the jihadists' revenge; claim that it had nothing to do with the raid, and it will further reinforce international perception that it was hiding bin Laden, and hence had been kept in the dark by the US. Finally, Pakistan authorities appear to have decided to take the safe option: welcome the killing of bin Laden, but distance itself from the actual operation while indirectly claiming a measure of credit. Here is the official statement from Islamabad:

"In an intelligence driven operation, Osama Bin Ladin was killed in the surroundings of Abbotabad in the early hours of this morning. This operation was conducted by the US forces in accordance with declared US policy that Osama bin Ladin will be eliminated in a direct action by the US forces, wherever found in the world. Earlier today, President Obama telephoned President Zardari on the successful US operation which resulted in killing of Osama bin Ladin.
Osama bin Ladin's death illustrates the resolve of the international community including Pakistan to fight and eliminate terrorism. It constitutes a major setback to terrorist organizations around the world.
Al-Qaeda had declared war on Pakistan. Scores of Al-Qaeda sponsored terrorist attacks resulted in deaths of thousands of innocent Pakistani men, women and children. Almost, 30,000 Pakistani civilians lost their lives in terrorist attacks in the last few years. More than 5,000 Pakistani security and armed forces officials have been martyred in Pakistan's campaign against Al-Qaeda, other terrorist organizations and affiliates.
Pakistan has played a significant role in efforts to eliminate terrorism. We have had extremely effective intelligence sharing arrangements with several intelligence agencies including that of the US. We will continue to support international efforts against terrorism.
It is Pakistan's stated policy that it will not allow its soil to be used in terrorist attacks against any country. Pakistan's political leadership, parliament, state institutions and the whole nation are fully united in their resolve to eliminate terrorism."

1:17 pm: 
In an earlier update, we had linked to a few of bin Laden's quotes. Here's a far more comprehensive -- and, at times, compelling -- resource

1:11 pm: 
US choppers approached a high-walled compound in Pakistan on a mission to capture or kill one of the world's most notorious terrorist leaders. Less than 40 minutes later, Osama bin Laden was dead along with four others inside the complex. Here an account of how the US forces killed Osama bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden Interview (1998)ABC News sat down with the al Qaeda leader three years before 9/11 attacks.

12:57 pm: 
In the first official reaction out of Pakistan, the foreign office in Islamabad in a statement has said Bin Laden's death is a 'major setback to terrorist organizations around the world'. Elsewhere, anonymous officials are being quoted as saying Pakistani intelligence agency personnel were present when the pre-dawn raid was carried out on bin Laden's hideout.

12:51 pm: 
Within minutes of the news being flashed that Osama was dead, his wikipedia entry had been edited to reflect the news; since then, at least 200 edits have been carried out to the page, with anonymous editors sourcing all available information to update the page. Meanwhile, The Atlantic reports that the location of bin Laden's mansion -- labelled, curiously, an "amusement park" -- is already up on Google maps

12:45 pm: 
Further to the burial at sea story: CNN quotes unnamed US officials as saying it was decided to bury Osama bin Laden at sea to prevent any burial site on land becoming a shrine of sorts for would-be jihadists. The burial, the official is quoted as saying, was in full accordance with Islamic rites and traditions. Analysts however are already beginning to point out that the "hasty" burial could fuel conspiracy theories, and lead to claims that Osama is still alive.

12:40 pm:
 CNN now reports that the body of Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea. Details awaited. 

12:34 pm: 
"Jihad will continue even if I am not around," Osama bin Laden told a Pakistani newspaper back in late September 2001. The Telegraph has a collection of the most-quoted sayings of the al Qaeda chief here

12:30 pm: 
Sometimes, events of considerable import are preceded by smaller events that are so banal as to be scarcely credible. For instance, guess what President Obama was doing Sunday morning, shortly before the final determination to attack the Abottabbad compound? Playing golf. Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy compiles this interesting timeline of the events that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

People cheer Bin Laden's death as victory
People cheer Bin Laden's death as victory

12:20 pm: 
In our 10.40 update, we brought you a comprehensive obituary of Osama bin Laden by the New York Times. Here now is the Guardian's detailed version

12:15 pm:
 Typically of times like this, people look for precedent, read the tea leaves for "significance". As in this Twitter post doing the rounds: May 1, 1945: Hitler confirmed dead. May 1, 2011: Osama bin Laden confirmed dead. 

12:10 pm:
 Confirming the growing use of Twitter as the first place where news breaks, comes this story of how the raid on the Abbottabad farmhouse was first reported, live, on Twitter by a Pakistani national.

12:05 pm: 
Republican leader Sarah Palin, who was John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential elections against the Democratic team of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, on her Facebook page greeted the news of Osama's death with the following message:

"Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible.  It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.

This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda’s other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.

May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!

11:55 am: 
Former ISI chief Gen. (Retd) Hameed Gul said it is possible that ISI was aware that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. There are many failures of ISI as well. ISI is not an organization that knows everything. It is possible that ISI came to know about Osama after the US tip off.

11:53 am: 
Here is an early look at the building where Osama bin Laden was holed out in, and where the firefight led to his death

An image made from Express TV video shows the dead body of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, as seen in Islamabad (AP Photo)

11:50 am: More reactions: In India, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the killing of Osama "deep inside Pakistan" underscores India's concern that terrorists belonging to different organizations find shelter in Pakistan.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain, said "Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen -- for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror."

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, 
says bin Laden's death is "victory for justice, freedom and the common values of every democratic nation that fights shoulder to shoulder in the struggle against terrorism."

11:45 am: 
More from former ISI chief Hamid Gul, who sees CIA orchestration behind the events of early this morning, and says it is possible that Osama had come to the region very recently for treatment.
11:43 am: Worth keeping an eye on in the aftermath of Osama's death is the statements coming out from Pakistan -- especially from those who have strenuously denied that Osama was in the country. In an early reaction, former ISI chief Hamid Gul says "It is quite surprizing that Osama was inside Pakistan." Really.

11:40 am: With Islamic forums reacting mostly with disbelief to the news that Osama bin Laden was killed in a US commando operation in Pakistan, CNN now reports that the US will shortly reveal the al Qaeda leader's body to the media.

11:35 am: Even as crowds gather in Washington DC, New York's Times Square, and other venues across the United States to celebrate the killing of al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden, the US State Department is gearing for the blowback. In a statement, the State Department has warned Americans living in other countries of “enhanced potential for anti-American violence”. “Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, US citizens in areas where events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations," the statement reads. “US Embassy operations in affected areas will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation. US government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. US citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. We urge US citizens to keep in regular contact with family and friends."

11:23 am: 
Senator John F Kerry, who on a Democratic ticket contested against sitting President George W Bush in 2004, reacted to the news with this comment: We are a nation of peace and laws. Understand that our 10-year manhunt was in search of justice, not revenge." 
11:20 am: Osama's wife, children arrested: Dunya TV, based out of Pakistan, is reporting that Osama bin Laden's six children and two wives have been arrested in Pakistan. The TV channel quoted sources as saying Osama's six children, two wives and four close friends were arrested during an operation launched early Monday morning by Pakistani forces in a mountainous area 60 km north of Islamabad.

11:15 am: 
India's Ministry of External Affairs, reacting to the news of the day, put out the following official statement just now:

"President Obama of the United States has just announced that his government has conducted a successful operation that has resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden deep inside Pakistan. This operation brings to closure an almost decade-long search for the head of the Al Qaeda. It is a historic development and victorious milestone in the global war against the forces of terrorism. Over the years, thousands of innocent lives of men, women and children have been tragically lost at the hands of terrorist groups. The world must not let down its united effort to overcome terrorism and eliminate the safe havens and sanctuaries that have been provided to terrorists in our own neighbourhood. The struggle must continue unabated."

11:10 am: 
Apparently, the events of today began with the name of a courier. Given al Qaeda's chronic mistrust of telecommunications based on the fear that all forms of electronic communications can be monitored and their sources traced, al Qaeda senior leadership had relied on human couriers to convey messages among themselves. Identifying and tracking these couriers is a far more laborious process than monitoring electronic communications -- but perseverance apparently paid off, and the identification of one of Osama's most trusted couriers led to the firefight that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden.MSNBC has the story, and it reads like a thriller. Here's a quote from the story, about the hideout itself:

"When we saw the compound, we were shocked by what we saw: an extraordinarily unique compound."
The plot of land was roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. It was built in 2005 on the outskirts of town, but now some other homes are nearby.

"Physical security is extraordinary: 12 to 16 foot walls, walled areas, restricted access by two security gates." The residents burn their trash, unlike their neighbors. There are no windows facing the road. One part of the compound has its own seven-foot privacy wall.

And unusual for a multi-million-dollar home: It has no telephone or Internet service. This home, U.S. intelligence analysts concluded, was "custom built to hide someone of significance."
11:00 am: Pakistani journalist and political analyst Imtiaz Gul called the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden a "big embarassment to Pakistani intelligence", as Pakistan has been claiming, till very recently, that it has information bin Laden has been hiding in the mountainous region bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.

10:50 am: 
From birth to death: The Wall Street Journal has an interactive timeline detailing the life and times of Osama bin Laden

10:40 am: 
Major newspapers have enshrined the practice of keeping obituaries prepared for leading world figures -- and judging by the speed with which this extensive obit of Osama bin Laden appeared on the New York Times site, it must have been kept ready for the day. Here it is -- perhaps the most detailed, extensive obit of the slain al Qaeda chief that you will read today: The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism

10:35 am: Reacting to the news that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight on a farmhouse just 50 km from Pakistan capital Islamabad, the government of India has called on Pakistan to arrest those behind the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai. It is expected that the government of India will use the news to underline its refrain that Pakistan is a haven for terrorists, and demand action.

10: 33 am: 
An advance look at the New York Times front page, which will hit news-stands in the next few hours, that announces the death of Osama bin Laden. 

10:30 am: 
Despite the lateness of the hour -- the news of Osama's death broke on US TV shortly before midnight, and the official announcement by President Barack Obama was made around midnight -- leaders of various stripes have been reacting with joy to the news.

Former President George W Bush, who had in the aftermath of 9/11 vowed to get Osama dead or alive and whose inability to do so caused his second term as president to lose considerable luster, said "This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001."

Former President Bill Clinton said:
 "This is a profoundly important moment not just for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in al-Qaeda's other attacks but for people all over the world who want to build a common future of peace, freedom, and co-operation for our children. I congratulate the president, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al-Qaeda attacks."

Senator John McCain, Obama's Republican opponent in the 2008 presidential elections, said "I am overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist. The world is a better and more just place now that Osama Bin Laden is no longer in it. I hope the families of the victims of the September 11 attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done. I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement. But while we take heart in the news that Osama Bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "After September 11, 2001, we gave our word as Americans that we would stop at nothing to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. After the contribution of millions, including so many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, we have kept that word. The killing of Osama Bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation - and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation. New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001."
Map showing location of Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed
Map showing location of Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed
10:20 am: What is the possible impact on the global terrorist movement of the death of Osama bin Laden? That will form the focus of much analysis in the coming hours, but as we wait for the experts to weigh in, here's a piece worth reading by Tony Karon of Time magazine. A quote:

"But where killing or capturing Bin Laden might once have been imagined to be a decisive turning point in a struggle between the U.S. and its challengers in the Muslim world, today, the death of America's erstwhile nemesis is little more than an historical footnote -- a settling of accounts for a spree of ugly crimes and the elimination of a symbol of global jihadist nihilism, perhaps, offering justice and closure for the victims of 9/11 and other atrocities. But it does little to alter the challenges facing the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan or any other major country in the Muslim world. That's because much to his chagrin, Bin Laden and his movement have achieved only marginal  relevance to power struggles throughout the Muslim world. The strategy of spectacular acts of a terror had briefly allowed a band of a few hundred desperadoes to dominate America's headlines and its nightmares, but on the ground in the Muslim world al-Qaeda had largely been a sideshow, failing miserably in its goal of rallying the Islamic world behind its banners and finding itself eclipsed by such despised rivals in the battle for Islamist leadership as Iran, Hizballah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood."

10:15 am
: CNN reports that neither Pakistan president Zardari nor other members of the political and military hierarchy was informed about the operation because of the high level of distrust the US has, particularly with relation to the ISI.

10: 10 am: 
Abbottabad, where is located the farmhouse Osama bin Laden was hiding out in, is located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakthunkhwa province in Pakistan. It is located just 50 km northeast of Islamabad and, significantly, is home to several key Pakistan military establishments. These two factors put together has analysts suggesting that despite public protestations that it did not know where Osama was, the Pakistan establishment was actively aiding and abetting the al Qaeda leader's attempts to stay out of reach of US authorities.

10: 05 am: Reports indicate that one of Osama's sons -- his identity has not yet been revealed -- was killed along with the al Qaeda leader. Also believed killed are an undisclosed number of al Qaeda personnel believed to be couriers relaying messages from Osama to the terrorist network's leadership.

9:55 am: The United States State Department has sent out alerts to all its embassies worldwide, asking for increased vigilance against possible reprisals. The alerts, it is believed, where sent out before the news of Osama's death was made public.

9:50 am: As details of the killing of Osama bin Laden continue to come in, analysts point out that the news has two immediate implications. Firstly, the fact that Osama has been hiding in plain sight, in a well guarded compound in Abbottabad, just about an hour and a half outside of the Pakistan capital Islamabad, casts doubt on the Pakistan political-military hierarchy -- this is not the tribal regions, analysts say; Osama does not have a network here, and if he was living on this farmhouse for months, it had to be with the knowledge and support of senior members of the Pakistan military and political hierarchy.

Equally importantly, analysts point out, as Pakistanis wake to the news of a US military operation on Pakistan soil, both the Pakistan military and the US will have to brace for a backlash. After a couple of weeks of relative quiet, last week saw the Pakistan Taliban step up operations; in three different bomb attacks on buses carrying Pakistan naval personnel, at least four were killed and several dozen wounded.

9:40 am: 
In course of his speech, President Obama said he had first received credible intelligence regarding the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden as of August last year. "Finally, last week I determined we had enough intelligence to take action," he said, adding that at his direction, an operation was launched to attack the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama was believed hiding in a luxurious mansion. Osama was killed in the resulting firefight involving a tight group of US commandos, Obama confirmed, adding that no US military personnel, or other civilians, were killed in the attack. "Justice has been done," the president said.

9:35 am: 
In course of his speech, Obama said "The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's struggle to defeat al Qaeda. We must and will remain vigilant at home and abroad." He also took care to dissociate Osama from Islam, saying the "US is not and never will be at war with Islam." Osama was not, the president pointed out, a Muslim leader; he was rather "a mass murderer" whose victims had included hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
Even as he spoke, crowds swelled outside Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington DC, with the focus being the open space in front of the White House. Carrying US flags, the crowds sang the Star Spangled Banner and We are the Champions.
9:30 am: US analysts, in immediate reactions to the news that Osama is dead, say the killing of the al Qaeda head will have more "iconic" than "practical" value. It has been a long time, analysts say, since Osama was actively involved in planning al Qaeda strikes, and therefore the killing of Osama does not automatically mean that the terrorist organization is crippled. However, they point out, Osama has a halo effect for the organization, with many flocking to al Qaeda ranks simply because of the image of its founder. To that extent, they say, the killing of Osama will have a dampening effect in a symbolic, if not a real, sense. Analysts also said that the US and allies will now likely be doubly vigilant, as the prospect of retaliatory attacks cannot be ruled out.

9:25 am: 
Even as President Obama confirmed the news that US counter terrorism personnel had killed Osama bin Laden and family members in a firefight at a location outside Islamabad, Pakistan, hundreds of Americans, mostly young people, began gathering outside the White House, waving US flags and celebrating the killing of the man held responsible for the 9/11 terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center and other locations.

9:20 am: 
Would like to thank the intelligence personnel and officials involved in the operations for their relentless efforts, said Obama.

9:18 am: 
Mr Obama said after "a firefight" US forces took possession of his body.

9:16 am: 
The death of Mr. Bin Laden is a huge punctuation in the American-led war on terrorism. What remains to be seen is whether the death of the leader of Al Qaeda galvanizes his followers by turning him into a martyr, or whether it serves as a turning of the page in the war in Afghanistan and gives further impetus to the Obama administration to bring American troops home.
9:15 am: A crowd outside the White House in Washington, cheer Sunday, May 1, 2011, upon hearing the news that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is dead.

9:13 am:
 The fate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Al Qaeda number two in command, was unclear.

9:10 am: US launched a targeted an operation at the mansion outside Islamabad. There has been no casualty of US or civilians in the operation. After a fire fight at the mansion, Osama Bin Laden was killed, said Obama.

9:05 am: US President Barack Obama has confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden

9:00 am: 
Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush made capturing Bin Laden a key national security priority. Obama has called the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan the “epicenter of violent extremism,” where he said al-Qaeda leader bin Laden was hiding. 

8:50 am: 
It is believed that bin Laden was killed in a mansion not far from Islamabad, Pakistan, with members of his family.
8:45 am: Obama will deliver the news to the nation in an address from the White House, almost 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks that bin Laden orchestrated. Bin Laden was killed by U.S. assets in a mansion outside Islamabad, Pakistan, along with other members of his family, an official said.

8: 30 am: A US administration official said that Osama's body is in US custody.

8:30 am: Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden is dead and US President Barack Obama is to make a statement shortly, CNN reported Monday.

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