by Sola Fasasi
In the early hours of this morning, US President Barack Obama announced that Al Qaeda leader and September 11, 2011 mastermind Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a US Navy SEAL helicopter raid. The operation took place in a mansion where Bin Laden resided in Abbottabad, an affluent city located in the north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.
The US President held 5 intelligence meetings in mid-March about Bin Laden and on the 29th of April, gave the go-ahead for the May 1 raid in which Bin Laden was killed. A report from Al-Jazeera News Network stated that one of Osama Bin Laden’s sons also appears to have been killed in the raid as well.
‘The whole operation took forty minutes,’ said a CNN reporter, as the network broke the news this morning. In a statement made by the US President, he recalled memories of the 9-11 attacks. ‘Nearly 3000 citizens taken from us leaving a gaping hole in our heart,’ he said.
The news is reported to have leaked on Social Media early in the day when a blogger and coffee shop owner from Islamabad, Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual) tweeted about helicopter activity and blasts in the area. US President Obama, who a few years ago promised to kill the terrorist, stated that no Americans were harmed in the operation and declared: ‘We will be relentless in defense of our citizens’.
Diane Massaroli, a 9-11 widow was interviewed at Ground Zero, the site of the fallen World Trade Centre spoke of her reaction to the news. ‘I cried when I heard…I feel a sense of relief and peacefulness… I feel a sense of justice,’ said the woman who’s husband worked on the 101st floor of one of the World Trade Centre buildings.
Osama Bin Laden’s body has already been disposed of at sea, where he was buried according to Islamic traditional rites.