Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 July 2015

America will always get its man, whatever the cost

By Sharon Owens

Published 05/05/2011 | 08:00

Local people and media gather outside the perimeter wall and sealed gate into the compound and a house where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed late Monday, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011.  Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American commando strike team as they retreated, while Pakistan's leader on Tuesday denied suggestions that his country's security forces had sheltered Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Local people and media gather outside the perimeter wall and sealed gate into the compound and a house where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed late Monday, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American commando strike team as they retreated, while Pakistan's leader on Tuesday denied suggestions that his country's security forces had sheltered Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Pakistani police officer secure a street close to the house, seen on background, where it is believed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari denied suggestions his country's security forces may have sheltered Osama bin Laden before he was killed by American forces, and said their cooperation with the United States helped pinpoint the world's most wanted man. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
A Pakistani youngster shows metal pieces collected from wheat field outside a house, seen background, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American commando strike team as they retreated, while Pakistan's leader on Tuesday denied suggestions that his country's security forces had sheltered Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
A view of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, after a U.S. military raid late Monday which ended with the death of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and others inside the compound. U.S. Navy SEALs swept through the massive compound Monday in pursuit of their target, bin Laden, and it is revealed Tuesday by White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan that the U.S. already was scouring through items seized in the raid, said to include hard drives, DVD's, a pile of documents and other items. (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 03: A detail from the grave marker of a solider killed during Operation Enduring Freedom in Arlington National Cemetery's Section 60, where troops killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, May 3, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. About 1,500 American troops have died in the war in Afghanistan, sparked by the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States which were masterminded by the Saudi-born terrorist Osama Bin Laden. News of Bin Laden's death Sunday during a U.S. Special Forces raid of his compound in Pakistan lead to mixed reactions around the world. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 03: Ricky Parada of Stafford, Virginia, visits the grave of his brother, U.S. Marine Corporal Nicholas Parada Rodriguez, at Arlington National Cemetery May 3, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. After hearing the news about the death of Osama Bin Laden, Ricky Parada thought of his brother said to himself, "Man, I've got to go and talk to him." Parada Rodriguez was killed May 16, 2010 during the Marja offensive in Afghanistan. It was his third combat tour and second tour of Afghanistan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - MAY 03: The first page of the Italian newspaper La Stampa is displayed on May 3, 2011 in Milan, Italy. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has upped the security in Italy as fears about retalliation attacks spread following the killing of Osama Bin Laden, who was was killed two days ago in an operation by U.S. Navy Seals in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Local people and news media gather round the compound and house, seen on right, of Osama bin Laden as authorities eased the security and allowed people to approach the perimeter of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, after a U.S. military raid late Monday which ended with the death of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and others inside the compound. U.S. Navy SEALs swept through the massive compound Monday in pursuit of their target, bin Laden, and it is revealed Tuesday by White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan that the U.S. already was scouring through items seized in the raid, said to include hard drives, DVD's, a pile of documents and other items. (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed)
Media and local residents gather outside the house where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American commando strike team as they retreated, while Pakistan's leader on Tuesday denied suggestions that his country's security forces had sheltered Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Supporters of Pakistan's religious party Jamatut Dawa offer funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led by the United States, President Barack Obama said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
Police officers secure the perimeter, with a sealed gate into the compound and a house where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed late Monday, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Local residents showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that Washington said malfunctioned and was disabled by the American commando strike team as they retreated, while Pakistan's leader on Tuesday denied suggestions that his country's security forces had sheltered Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Local people and news media gather round the compound and house, seen on right, of Osama bin Laden as authorities eased the security and allowed people to approach the perimeter of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, after a U.S. military raid late Monday which ended with the death of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and others inside the compound. U.S. Navy SEALs swept through the massive compound Monday in pursuit of their target, bin Laden, and it is revealed Tuesday by White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan that the U.S. already was scouring through items seized in the raid, said to include hard drives, DVD's, a pile of documents and other items. (AP Photo/Aqeel Ahmed)
This image released by the White House shows US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's reaction as she watches the attack on Osama bin Laden''s hideout
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden
Penn State senior Jake Librizzi holds an American flag as he and others fill Beaver Canyon Avenue in downtown State College, Pa., around midnight on Sunday, May 1, 2011
BOSTON, MA - MAY 2: Flowers and an American flag lay on the Garden of Remembrance May 2, 2011 in the Boston Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Families of local victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks gathered at the 9/11 memorial to reflect upon the death of Osama Bin Laden. Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: People look out at Ground Zero a day after the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: A U.S. soldier walks by newspaper clippings on a wall at Ground Zero heralding the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SHANKSVILLE, PA - MAY 2: Scott and Walter Neilly, brothers, from Bradford, Pa look over the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011
Angry supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam burn representation of the United States during a rally to condemn the killing of Osama bin Laden in Quetta, Pakistan on Monday, May 2, 2011. al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden was slain in his hideout in Pakistan early Monday in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a decade. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)(AP Photo/Arshad Butt)
WASHINGTON - MAY 02: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks as Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd (L) listens during a post-meeting joint press availability May 2, 2011 at the State Department in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton said in a statement earlier that the death of Osama Bin Laden does not end the battle with al-Qaida. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 2: An armored Park Police vehicle sits parked at the base of the Washington Monument May 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. The DC area and other places around the nation have stepped up security after it was announced that Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11th terror attacks, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Kevin Van Orden, whose brother is in the U.S. Army, celebrates outside the World Trade Center site after the death of accused 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was announced May 2, 2011 in New York City. Bin Laden was killed in an operation by U.S. Navy Seals in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Ground Zero is viewed a day after the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: A woman poses near the back of a newspaper vendor displaying a paper heralding the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Imagecs)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: A passer by looks at newspaper headlines reporting the death of Osama Bin Laden, in front of the Newseum, on May 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Workers at Ground Zero listen as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at Ground Zero following the announcement of the death of al Qaeda founder and leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Workers at Ground Zero listen as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at Ground Zero following the announcement of the death of al Qaeda founder and leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stands with dignitaries and family of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks at news conference at Ground Zero following the announcement of the death of al Qaeda founder and leader Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan (L) and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
SHANKSVILLE, PA - MAY 2: Jeff Ray and his wife, Barbara, of Shanksville, Pa look over the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
SHANKSVILLE, PA - MAY 2: Jeff Ray of Shanksville, Pa holds a sign he made as he looks over the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
SHANKSVILLE, PA - MAY 2: Visitors Kathy Reid and Donna Warren look over the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
SHANKSVILLE, PA - MAY 2: Jeff Ray and his wife, Barbara, of Shanksville, Pa look over the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MAY 02: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd (L) approach the podiums for a post-meeting joint press availability May 2, 2011 at the State Department in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton said in a statement earlier that the death of Osama Bin Laden does not end the battle with al-Qaida. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 2: New York City Police officers and a K9 stand in a subway station May 2, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Security presence has been escalated as a precaution after U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: A member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Emergency Service Unit stands guard at Grand Central Station a day after the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Massachusetts family members, from left, sisters Danielle and Carie Lemack who lost their mother Judy Larocque; Christy Coombs who lost her husband Jeffrey; and Irene Ross who lost her brother Richard Ross, all on ill-fated Flight 11 from Logan Airport on 9/11 grieve in Boston Monday, May 2, 2011 during a moment of silence at the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial dedicated to the 206 Massachusetts victims of September 11, 2001. The event was held in the wake of news of the death of Osama bin Laden. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
In this handout image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama listens during one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 1: In this handout image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama shakes hands with Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Green Room of the White House, following his statement detailing the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. CIA Director Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are pictured at left. U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 1: In this handout image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama talks with members of the national security team at the conclusion of one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 1: In this handout image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama edits his remarks in the Oval Office prior to making a televised statement detailing the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 1: In this handout image provided by The White House, Senior administration officials listen as President Barack Obama delivers a statement in the East Room of the White House on the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Police officers keep watch at a makeshift memorial on the fence surrounding the World Trade Center site after the death of accused 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was announced May 2, 2011 in New York City. Bin Laden was killed in an operation by U.S. Navy Seals in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
This undated artist rendering handout provided by the CIA shows the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan where American forces in Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/CIA)
Joe Pisciotta of Falls Church, Va., left, and Eric Tcotco, of Washington, who have never met before, have their photo taken together by an American flag in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 2, 2011, the day after Osama bin Laden was killed. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
John Flowers, graduating WVU basketball forward, center, prepares to jump as hundreds of fellow students celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden in Morgantown W.V. early Monday, May 2, 2011. Osama bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was killed in a firefight with elite American forces in Pakistan on Monday, May 2, 2011 then quickly buried at sea. (AP Photo/Daily Athenaeum, Matt Sunday)
This frame grab from video obtained exclusively by ABC News, on Monday, May 2, 2011, shows a section of a room in the interior of the compound where it is believed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was tracked down and shot to death in Pakistan, Monday, May 2, 2011, by an elite team of U.S. forces, ending an unrelenting manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade. (AP Photo/ABC News)
This frame grab from video obtained exclusively by ABC News, on Monday, May 2, 2011, shows a section of a room in the interior of the compound where it is believed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was tracked down and shot to death in Pakistan, Monday, May 2, 2011, by an elite team of U.S. forces, ending an unrelenting manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade. (AP Photo/ABC News)
This frame grab from video obtained exclusively by ABC News, on Monday, May 2, 2011, shows a section of the compound where it is believed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was tracked down and shot to death in Pakistan, Monday, May 2, 2011, by an elite team of U.S. forces, ending an unrelenting manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade. (AP Photo/ABC News)
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)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 02: A giant flag covers the Green Monster as the national anthem is played before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels on May 2, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Both teams lined up on the baseline to observe a moment of silence to honor those that have died from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 02: A giant flag covers the Green Monster as the national anthem is played before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels on May 2, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Both teams lined up on the baseline to observe a moment of silence to honor those that have died from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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)
al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden

So Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaida, has been shot dead in a Pakistan compound by US special forces. He was offered an opportunity to surrender, they said. Clearly, this opportunity was not taken up.

The body of bin Laden was treated with respect, confirmed by experts, offered to Saudi Arabia, refused by Saudi Arabia, and swiftly buried at sea. It was all so sudden after almost 10 years of the biggest and most expensive manhunt in modern history.

Most of us still remember 9/11 in vivid detail: that worse-than-apocalyptic day in September 2001 when hijacked passenger planes crashed into New York's Twin Towers and then the Pentagon.

A fourth plane - possibly destined for the White House or Capitol Hill - was brought down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania by a passenger mutiny.

Thousands of innocent civilians died and America's sense of military omnipotence was challenged for the first time.

At the time of 9/11, I remember saying to myself, it isn't known yet who did this, or why they did it, but I know one thing: Americans will not let this outrage go unpunished.

The United States of America is one nation you just don't want to take on in a fight, either in a conventional war, or in a guerrilla war, or in any kind of war.

It's useful to remember this if you have a grudge against the US, for this nation may be based on personal freedom, but it comes down hard on offenders, both native and foreign.

This is the country that dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 and which, alone of all the Western democracies, still employs the death penalty in some states for capital crimes.

So who in their right mind, knowing all this, would mount a terrorist attack on some of America's most cherished national symbols? As the months and years wore on, it turned out to be the brainchild of the son of a Saudi billionaire building merchant, one Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden, the 17th child of a reported 52 children, was himself a husband to several wives and father to many children. His motivation: a hatred of the West. And, gradually, the name of al-Qaida entered popular consciousness.

I'm still baffled, even today, as to how or why bin Laden thought he was ever going to get away with it.

Westerners will never give up their hard-won personal freedoms and become part of a global Islamic family ruled by Sharia or any other form of religious law. How could bin Laden have ever thought this was possible? I've no doubt whatsoever that, if Westerners thought there was even the remotest chance of a takeover by Islamic extremists, they wouldn't hesitate to dust off the old nukes once again.

How could bin Laden have brought this hellish situation to his family, to himself, to the global Muslim population?

Before the smoke and dust of 9/11 faded away, the CIA would have been planning its retaliation. 'Wanted Dead or Alive' the posters used to declare in the lawless Wild West and, eventually, bin Laden's bearded and turban-topped face would appear beneath those iconic words.

A bounty of $25m was placed on bin Laden's capture. The US vowed to do whatever was deemed necessary to see justice done. And now, apparently, it has.

The saddest thing about 9/11 is the legacy of intolerance it has left behind. Not for generations will Muslim and Christian nations feel completely at ease with each other. For now we are defined more than ever by the labels of our birth and not by our humanity.

Once, Westerners looked at their eastern neighbours and saw mystery and beauty: now they see a rigid religious ideology that repels them. Once our eastern neighbours looked at us and saw discipline and achievement: now they see decadence and oil-grabbing.

A message to all terrorists out there: think twice before planting that bomb, or hijacking that plane. Please consider the consequences of your actions before you start killing innocent men, women and children.

And, if you plan to attack the US, well, make a will before the deed because your own days are surely numbered.

And while terrorists ply their deadly trade around the world, remember this: 24,000 children die every day, of hunger. How many meals and medical clinics could be bought with what the world collectively spends on defence and military intelligence?

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