The world's most wanted terrorist and Al Qaeda founder Osama bin
Laden has been killed in Pakistan, US President Barack Obama
announced, describing it as a most significant achievement in
response to the 9/11 attacks.
Osama, on top of the US "most wanted" list since the traumatic Sep
11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the
Pentagon here, was killed Sunday after "a firefight" in Abbotabad,
just 150 km north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
The Al Qaeda leader was killed in a ground operation based on US
intelligence, the first lead of which emerged last August, and US
forces took possession of his body, Obama said.
As Obama spoke on television, crowds gathered outside the White
House in Washington DC, chanting "USA, USA" after the news
Osama, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in which nearly 3,000
people died, said after the attacks that the results had exceeded
He evaded the forces of the US and its allies for almost a decade,
despite a $25 million bounty on his head.
Osama had become the symbol of the Al Qaeda, even though the
degree to which he commanded the organisation was questionable,
said Stratfor, a strategic Washington think tank.
"The symbolic value of his death is obvious. The United States can
claim a great victory. Al Qaeda can proclaim his martyrdom," it
Osama had been implicated in a series of deadly, high-profile
attacks that had grown in their intensity and success during the
He eluded capture for years, once reportedly slipping out of a
training camp in Afghanistan just hours before a barrage of US
cruise missiles destroyed it, CNN said.
On Sep 11, sources cited by CNN said the evidence immediately
pointed to Osama. Within days, those close to the investigation
said they had their proof.
Six days after the attack, President George W. Bush made it clear
Osama bin Laden was the No. 1 suspect.
"I want justice," Bush said. "There's an old poster out West that
said, 'Wanted, dead or alive'."
Osama bin Laden was born in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1957,
the 17th of 52 children in a family that had struck it rich in the
His father, Mohamed bin Laden, was a native of Yemen, who
immigrated to Saudi Arabia as a child. He became a billionaire by
building his company into the largest construction firm in the
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