Al Qaeda founder and mastermind of the September 11th Attacks, Osama Bin Laden has been killed in a targeted US military operation in alliance with Pakistani intelligence.
Bin Laden was killed in a safehouse in the city of Abbotabad in Pakistan, and not the capital Islamabad as previous reports suggested. In a targeted attack by US operatives, Bin Laden was killed after a brief firefight. According to initial reports, his body is in the hands of US officials, who have confirmed his identity via a DNA test.
US President Barack Obama confirmed that intelligence reports had pinpointed Bin Laden’s location since August 2010, but the go ahead for a targeted military strike was given by the President last week.
Obama thanked the efforts of Pakistani intelligence officials for providing support during the operation. However, he made it clear that it was not a joint raid, but strictly one carried out by US military operatives, the first case of a ‘boots-on-the-ground’ operation carried out by the American military in Pakistan.
The hunt for Bin Laden ends a nearly 10 year quest by the US to capture the Al-Qaeda leader, dead or alive.
It is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team, having fulfilled the goal once voiced by Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush, to bring to justice the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks.