Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden is DEAD: Celebrations across America as U.S. special forces shoot dead terror chief in mansion hideaway in Pakistan

By Daily Mail Reporter

Pit of evil: A king size bed where Bin Laden may have once slept at the secretive compound in Abbottabad. Blood from a gun battle can be seen at the foot of the mattress

-Terror chief blasted in head after refusing offer to surrender
-Three adults including Bin Laden's 'son' reportedly killed in raid
-Compound was yards from Pakistan's 'Sandhurst' military academy
-Body buried at sea after Saudi Arabia 'declines to take corpse'
-DNA tests 99.9 per cent certain man killed WAS Bin Laden
-U.S. embassies on alert over Al Qaeda reprisal attacks
-Barack Obama declares 'Justice has been done'
-David Cameron says death is 'massive step forward'

Osama Bin Laden has been killed by the U.S. military after a decade-long hunt to avenge the 9/11 attacks, President Barack Obama has revealed.

The 54-year-old leader of Al Qaeda was dramatically killed last night in a firefight with American special forces in a $1million mansion hideout around 60 miles from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

Experts used facial recognition techniques to identify the slain terrorist and performed DNA tests,

which are said to be 99.9 per cent certain man killed WAS Bin Laden.

U.S. officials have told broadcaster CNN that Bin Laden's body has already been buried at sea in order to prevent the grave from becoming a shrine for extremists.

Gun fight: A pool of blood on the floor suggests that one Al Qaeda member was shot close to their bed, while right, a wardrobe pulled open by U.S troops to ensure that none of Bin Laden's clan were hiding in the room

Carnage: Blood can be seen on the floor from where Osama was reportedly surrounded by three men, including his son, and a woman who formed a human shield against U.S. troops

In a dramatic statement late last night, President Obama said the U.S. military had recovered Bin Laden's body and confirmed to the world he had finally been killed.

‘Tonight I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children,’ he said. ‘Justice has been done’.

Officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours. Saudi Arabia reportedly declined to take the body.

Within minutes of the news breaking, Americans began gathering outside the White House to sing the national anthem and chant: ‘USA! USA!'

Deserted: Nestled among trees and in the shadow of Pakistan's mountains, Bin Laden's hideaway stands empty today after a helicopter raid by U.S. troops that killed the terror chief yesterday

Hideout: A large sheet covers the U.S. helicopter that crashed in the grounds of the compound where Bin Laden lived with his youngest wife and his trusted aides

In a spontaneous outpouring of emotion, thousands started cheering and clapping and waving American flags to show their support.

Large groups of Americans still hurting from the 9/11 attacks also gathered at 'ground zero' in New York to celebrate the news.

Paul Lagrandier, a retired New York firefighter who was part of the rescue for September 11 said he felt mixed emotions.

He told MailOnline: 'I'm saddened for the people who were affected by the tragedy and have to go through all this again.'

When asked what he thought about why it took so long to track down the terrorist, he said: 'I just knew we were working at it and we kept working at it. They stayed the course and accomplished the mission.'

Near miss: One of the U.S. helicopters crashed over a wall within the compound after coming under heavy fire from rocket propelled grenades. However, all special forces troops escaped safely

Guarded: Pakistani soldiers today patrol the compound where Bin Laden lived and was last night killed, and right, police stop people as they secure the scene

Clean up: The remains of the U.S. helicopter that crashed during the mission are driven away on a tractor through Abbottabad today

Hideout: The bin Laden compound was found only a few hundred yards from the military academy known as Pakistan's Sandhurst in the garrison town of Abbottabad, Pakistan

But the terror chief's death will undoubtedly put the Middle East on high alert for reprisal attacks. It will also lead to urgent demands from Washington as to how the most wanted man was allowed to seek refuge in a supposedly allied country as Pakistan.

U.S. military sources revealed tonight that Bin Laden had been taken by surprise by the attack by a small team of U.S. Navy Seals who landed in the grounds of the compound under the cover of nightfall.

He had been living at the luxury home with his youngest wife Amal al-Sadah.

The facility, surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, is in a suburban part of Pakistan, although it is unclear if the country's officials or local residents knew that Bin Laden lived there.

Details of his residence - in a major hub for tourists visiting the region - will cast new questions over Britain's relationship with Pakistan. British aid to the country was last year doubled to £60m.

Abbattobad: The remote town in northern Pakistan, named after James Abbott, the British major who founded the town in 1853, sits beneath towering hills

During an operation in which troops were on the ground for just 40 minutes, they stormed the terror chief's hideaway.

Four helicopters took part in the attack on the two-storey house, which is understood to be within 100 yards of a military building in Abbottabad, a garrison town which is home to thousands of Pakistani troops.

According to Pakistani officials in the town, fighters on the roof opened fire with rocket propelled grenades as the aircraft came close to the building. Pakistani officials and local people said one of the helicopters crashed.

In a dramatic finale, it is said that Bin Laden was offered the chance to surrender. But the leader, who had always said he would not be captured alive, refused and was blasted in the head by troops.

Three of the terror leader's men, including a man believed to be his own son, were also killed in the raid alongside a woman. They reportedly tried to act as a human shield in a furious firefight.

Scroll down to view footage of President Obama's announcement

Announcement: Barack Obama announces the death of Bin Laden during a special address to the nation from the White House, ending an almost ten-year hunt

U.S troops returned to the damaged helicopter, but they were forced to carry Bin Laden's body to a working aircraft.

Pictures showing a bloodied face were later played on Pakistani TV. The beard and hair are both noticeably darker than they have appeared to be in previous videos of Bin Laden, and there were later suggestions that the picture had been faked.

In his televised statement Mr Obama said that Bin Laden was killed in a helicopter raid by a small group of U.S. Navy Seals who stormed his mansion in an affluent area 80 miles from Islamabad.

They were working on a tip which first surfaced last August after ‘years of painstaking work’ from the CIA and had taken months to run it into the ground.

‘Last week I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action and authorised an operation to get Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice,’ Mr Obama said.

They day they had waited for: Dionne Layne, facing camera, hugs Mary Power in the shadow of the Freedom Tower in New York as they react to the news of the death of Osama bin Laden

Mixed emotions: Grief etched into his face, a father among cheering crowds outside the White House clutches the pictures of his son killed on 9/11, while right, two supporters pain their faces with the colours of the USA

Peace: A woman makes a sign for peace as she celebrates among the crowds who chanted 'USA, USA' outside the White House shortly after Obama made the announcement

Justice: For these New Yorkers the memory of the atrocity committed on 9/11 still real, but there was a glimmer of hope today as they converged on the site of the World Trade Centre

'Today at my direction the U.S. launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. After a firefight they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body.’

Experts said that by taking out Bin Laden, American special forces had cut off the 'head of the snake'.

But U.S. military posts around the world had been put on alert in case of retaliation attacks by Islamic radicals.

The State Department warned of the heightened possibility for anti-American violence after the news of Bin Laden's death.

The department issued a worldwide travel alert shortly after Mr Obama's announcement. They warned of an 'enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan'.

It continued: 'Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent 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.'

CIA Director Leon Panetta said al Qaeda would 'almost certainly' try to avenge bin Laden's death.

'Though Bin Laden is dead, al Qaeda is not. The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must - and will - remain vigilant and resolute,' Panetta said.

Confirmed kill: The FBI changed their most wanted terrorists site to show that Bin Laden is now 'deceased'

Attacked: A picture claiming to show Bin Laden's bloodied face was played on Pakistani TV although claims later emerged that the image had been faked

The alert said U.S. embassy operations would continue 'to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation'.

It noted that embassies and consulates may temporarily close or suspend public services, depending on conditions.

Mr Obama said that for more two decades Bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s ‘leader and symbol’ who has continued to plot attacks against America the West.

‘His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity,’ he said.

‘On nights like this one we can say to those family’s who have lost loved ones to Al Qaeda: Justice has been done’.

News of Bin Laden's death was welcomed today by political leaders around the world. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the move was ' a massive step forward' while Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a 'triumph for justice'.

In a televised statement later at Chequers, Mr Cameron said: 'This news will be welcomed right across our country.

'Of course, it does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terrorism. Indeed, we will have to be particularly vigilant in the weeks ahead. But it is, I believe, a massive step forward.

A decade of hurt: The powerful headlines in the New York Post and the New York Daily News reflected the public anger towards Bin Laden

World news: How The Wall Street Journal and USA Today reported the death of Bin Laden

'Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children right across the world - people of every race and religion.

'He was also responsible for ordering the death of many, many British citizens, both here and in other parts of the world.

'I would like to congratulate the US forces who carried out this brave action. I would like to thank President Obama for ordering this action.

'And I think it is a moment when too we should thank all of those who work day and night, often with no recognition, to keep us safe from the threat of terror.

'But above all today, we should think of the victims of the poisonous extremism that this man has been responsible for.

'Of course, nothing will bring back those loved ones that families have lost to terror. But at least they know the man who was responsible for these appalling acts is no more.'

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed the killing as a coup in the fight against terrorism, but he too warned it did not spell al Qaeda's demise.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC: 'I believe it was the right thing for the US to do and I think we should be relieved that Osama Bin Laden's terror - his own personal role in that terror - is now at an end.'

Welcoming Bin Laden's death, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: 'This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism.'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned the Taliban 'you cannot wait us out' in Afghanistan, urging the insurgents to break with Al-Qaeda and enter a peaceful political process.

'Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today, it may have even greater resonance,' Clinton said. 'You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon Al-Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process.'

September 11: Bin Laden became a byword for terrorism around the world after he ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in 2001

source: dailymail

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