Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Anglican leader left uneasy by shooting

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on 9-11, at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on 9-11, at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama is applauded as he meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
New York city police officers detain a man near Ground Zero as President Obama leaves a ground zero, Thursday, May 5, 2011 in New York. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Marine One, with President Barack Obama aboard, comes in for a landing on the South Lawn to the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 5, 2011, as he returned from New York. The Washington Monument is in the background. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) carries a wreath with New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (4th L), New York FIre Department firefighter Joseph Lapointe (5th R) and Port Authority Police Department officer John Adorno (4th R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A crowd waits for President Barack Obama to make an appearance at the fire station for Engine 54 Ladder 4 Battalion 9 in New York Thursday, May 5, 2011. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses bow their heads at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero, after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama meets with firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama meets with police officers and first responders at the First Precinct before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The Presidential motorcade leaves the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Obama visited Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: A view of construction at the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama is visiting Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA- MAY 05: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden lays a wreath during a ceremony to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, on May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama pauses after laying a wreath at the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, Thursday, May 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) carries a wreath with 9-11 first responders New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (3rd L) and New York Fire Department officer Joseph Lapointe (R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) bows his head during a moment of silence with 9-11 first responders New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (L) and New York Fire Department officer Joseph Lapointe during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 05: U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (C), and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2nd-L) participate in a wreath laying ceremony to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 05: A wreath stands at the wall of the Pentagon to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack at the Pentagon, May 5, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed during a special force led operation in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs Diane Wall, whose husband Glen Wall perished in the twin towers on September 11, 2001, as other victims' family members look on at a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama (center) walks through the World Trade Center site on May 5, 2011 in New York City. President Obama visited Ground Zero today to participate in a wreath laying ceremony and to mark the death of Osama bin Laden. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Archbishop of Canterbury said the killing of Osama bin Laden while he was not armed has left him with "a very uncomfortable feeling".

Bin Laden was shot dead in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and it later emerged he was unarmed when US commandos fired at him.

Dr Rowan Williams said: "I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done.

"In those circumstances I think it's also true that the different versions of events that have emerged in recent days have not done a great deal to help.

"I don't know the full details any more than anyone else does. But I do believe that in such circumstances when we are faced with someone who was manifestly a war criminal in terms of the atrocities inflicted it is important that justice is seen to be served."

The former head of the British Army, General Lord Dannatt, who is a practising Anglican, defended the action of the US special forces.

He said that while in "ideal circumstances" they would have arrested bin Laden, in the event his killing had been "unfortunate but necessary".

"The special forces troops going in had been briefed, perfectly reasonably, that if bin Laden was anything other than naked, he could be assumed to be wearing a suicide vest," he told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

Sir Paul Stephenson, Britain's most senior police officer, said terrorist action in the UK is now highly likely and could occur without warning at any time.

"Osama bin Laden led an organisation which is responsible for the injury and death of thousands of people worldwide in the name of an extreme and perverted ideology, committed to the use of terror and murder to achieve their aims," he said.

"However, one man's death does not mark the end of an ideology and we must remain alert to the continuing threat from al-Qaida, its affiliates and those acting alone."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph