By Lauren Guadino
Almost 10 years ago Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind one of the worst attacks in United States history. He was responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 citizens. And now, to some, justice has been served.
After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. went to war against al Qaeda, which bin Laden created and funded. The military has been successful in removing the Taliban government, which was protecting bin Laden, and have killed many al Qaeda terrorists, who had a hand in the 9/11 attacks. But some how bin Laden had always found a way to escape. He crossed the Afghan border into Pakistan.
There were times where Americans thought that bin Laden was already dead, but then he would release a video or audio clip to the public to prove that he was indeed still alive. Just two months after the Sept 11 attacks bin Laden released a tape stating that the attack had “exceeded his optimistic calculations.”
When Obama took office he directed Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, that the killing or capture of bin Laden was the top priority in the war against al Qaeda. President Obama stated that he and his team have been monitoring a possible lead on bin Laden, since August of 2010.
Obama determined he had enough information to take action. Joint Special Operations Command forces working with the CIA carried out the attack.
The U.S. Navy SEALS Team 6 killed Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011. It has been reported that he was shot in the face; SEALS are trained to shoot in the head. It was a 40-minute firefight, in which bin Laden was unarmed and made no effort to surrender. No Americans were harmed in
the attack. Other killed in the crossfire were one of bin Laden’s brothers and one of his courier. After the attack, U.S. forces took bin Laden’s body. and DNA testing confirmed that it was him.
The names of the members of Team 6 are not identified and will not be identified, as part of standard military procedure.
“This has been the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda,” said Obama to the nation.
Bin Laden had been hiding in a Pakistani compound. The compound is three stories high with 12-18 foot outer walls that are topped with barbed wire. There was no phone or internet service connected to the property, its believed that he communicated by courier only. The property is estimated to be worth approximately 1 million dollars.
Hidden was 500 euros stitched into bin Laden’s clothes. Also found in the compound was 10 cell phones, 10 computers and 100 flash drives, all which have been confiscated and are in the process of being analyzed. Mike Rodger, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said, “There’s a lot we have to go through, some encryption, some coding. It’s in another language. It’s in Arabic, so there’s a lot to go through before we really find out what we have, but remember small pieces of information can be critically important.”
There has been a mixed reaction to bin Laden’s death from Mercy College students. Alessandra Praino has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, “At first I was relieved, and then I was hit with fear. The assassination of bin Laden has brought a lot of peace to me personally, but with something so final that would usually make one feel closure, has left me feeling uneasy.”
Mercy College student Jena D’Andrea first heard the news of bin Laden’s death by a Blackberry Messenger status update from a friend and was stunned. While other students and Americans found out the news via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Such sites are still buzzing with news about bin Laden.
There are few skeptics out there saying they don’t believe that bin Laden is dead, including Islamic leaders. They are looking for photographic evidence; photos were taken at the scene of his death. President Obama stated in a White House press briefing that he would not release these photos. He said, “there is no doubt that bin Laden is dead, we don’t trot this stuff out as trophies, that’s not who we are.”
As President Obama prepares to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony in New York City at the Sept. 11 memorial, Americans are left wondering if there will be any repercussions to the killing of bin Laden.
Praino is worried at what the future holds, “The repercussions are unknown and certainly scary. Another attack on our country is very fresh in my mind and I personally do not know what the outcome of this triumph will be, but I can only hope that the troops can come home and the United States can begin to rebuild itself after a decade of war and begin to reconstruct its economy and the ideal belief of the American Dream”
After almost a decade of searching for the man who took so many Americans lives on Sept. 11, can the families and friends of these victims now finally find some closure?
For firefighters in New York City, they are grateful, “Osama Bin Laden was responsible for killing 343 members of the FDNY on Sept. 11, 2001. Tonight, in firehouses throughout the city, our members are grateful for the news, and thankful to all the brave members of the U.S. military that had a role in this successful operation,” said FDNY Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano the following day.
President Obama ended his press conference on the evening of bin Laden death with closing remarks reminding the American people must work together to achieve its goals and to insure safety.
“Tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”