Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Jubilation over Osama bin Laden death sweeps across the US

Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed.
Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed.
Osama bin Laden is seen in this undated photo taken from a television image. (Photo by Getty Images)
Osama bin Laden is seen aiming a weapon in this undated photo from Al-Jazeera TV. (Photo by Al-Jazeera/Getty Images)
Osama bin Laden
Afghan men point at a television screen as the killing of Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is announced in Kabul
A man who said he was dressed as "Captain America," cheers early Monday, May 2, 20111, across the street from the White House in Washington, as people gather to cheer the United States after it was announced that Osama bin Laden has been killed. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Osama Bin Laden, the al Qaida leader, appears on this layout for an FBI poster after he was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list in June 1999, in connection with the bombings of the U.S.
A crowd outside the White House in Washington, cheers Sunday, May 1, 2011, upon hearing the news that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is dead. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
A driver and passengers celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden in the streets of Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, May 1, 2011. President Barack Obama announced Sunday night, May 1, 2011, that Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation led by the United States.(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A crowd in New York's Times Square reacts to the news of Osama Bin Laden's death early Monday morning May 2, 2011. President Barack Obama announced Sunday night, May 1, 2011, that Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation led by the United States. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Dustin Fredrickson, of New York, center, holds up an American flag as he stands on a fire truck amongst those gathered in New York's Times Square reacting to the news of Osama Bin Laden's death early Monday morning May 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
A man who said he was dressed as "Captain America," cheers early Monday, May 2, 20111, across the street from the White House in Washington, as people gather to cheer the United States after it was announced that Osama bin Laden has been killed. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Smoke, flames and debris erupt from one of the World Trade Center towers after a plane strikes it, in New York.
A U.S. Park Police officer is handed a flag as crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
This April 1998 file photo is thought to show exiled al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
Osama Bin Laden has been killed in a US operation (AP)
1998 file photo, onlookers stand at the foot of the damaged buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, after a huge explosion ripped apart a building in the Kenyan capital, heavily destroying the U.S. Embassy. Osama bin Laden, leader of the al-Qaida organization behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States and blamed for the 1998 embassy bombing in Kenya and Tanzania, is dead, a person familiar with the situation said late Sunday. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim, File)
In this undated still from video released Sept. 10, 2003, Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, left, and his top deputy Ayman al-Zawahri appear. A person familiar with developments on Sunday, May 1, 2011 says bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body. (AP Photo/Al Jazeera via APTN)
In this Oct. 7, 2001, file photo, Osama bin Laden, left, with his top lieutenant Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahri, are seen at an undisclosed location in this television image broadcast. A person familiar with developments said Sunday, May 1, 2011 that bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body. (AP Photo/Al Jazeera, File)
Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

US citizens streamed to the site of the World Trade Centre and the gates of the White House to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden - cheering, waving flags and belting out the national anthem.



Ground Zero, more familiar these past 10 years for bagpipes playing Amazing Grace and solemn speeches and arguments over what to build to honour the September 11 dead, became, for the first time, a place of revelry.

Lisa Ramaci, a New Yorker whose husband was a freelance journalist killed in the Iraq war, said: "We've been waiting a long time for this day.

"I think it's a relief for New York tonight just in the sense that we had this 10 years of frustration just building and building, wanting this guy dead, and now he is, and you can see how happy people are."

She was holding a flag and wearing a T-shirt depicting the twin towers and, in crosshairs, bin Laden.

Nearby, a man held up a cardboard sign that said: "Obama 1, Osama 0."

In Times Square, dozens stood together on a clear spring night and broke into applause when a New York Fire Department vehicle drove by, flashed its lights and sounded its siren.

A man held an American flag, and others sang The Star-Spangled Banner.

In Washington, in front of the White House, a crowd began gathering before President Barack Obama addressed the nation late last night to declare: "Justice has been done."

The crowd grew, and within half an hour had filled the street in front of the White House and begun spilling into nearby Lafayette Park.

Marlene English, who lives in Arlington, Virginia, and lobbies on defence issues, said: "It's not over, but it's one battle that's been won, and it's a big one."

She said she has baked thousands of biscuits to send to friends serving in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years and she was at the White House because they could not be.

The celebrations came together late last night after Americans began hearing about the death of bin Laden from bulletins on television, texts and calls from family and friends, and posts on social networking sites.

Bin Laden was killed in his luxury hideout in Pakistan, early today local time and late Sunday night in the United States, in a firefight with American forces. Mr Obama said no Americans had been harmed in the operation.

When news of the president's announcement began to filter across the country, the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies were in the middle of a game in Philadelphia, and chants of "USA! USA!" began among the crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

Fans could be seen all over the stadium checking their phones and sharing the news.

The chant - "USA! USA!" echoed in Dearborn, Michigan, a heavily Middle Eastern suburb of Detroit, where a small crowd gathered outside City Hall and waved American flags.

Across town, some honked their car horns as they drove along the main street where most of the Arab-American restaurants and shops are located.

At the Arabica Cafe, big-screen TVs that normally show sports were all turned to news about bin Laden. The manager there, Mohamed Kobeissi, said it was finally justice for the victims.

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