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Osama Bin Laden Is Dead

May 2, 2011

This blog doesn’t usually chase breaking news, but for this we make an exception…

–H.

The Wall Street Journal, 1 May 2011: Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead, and the U.S. has his body in its possession, U.S. officials said late Sunday.

A person familiar with events said Mr. bin Laden had been killed by the U.S.

President Barack Obama will make the announcement late Sunday at the White House.

The development capped a manhunt of more than a decade for the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that left 3,000 people dead and dramatically altered U.S. foreign policy and the nation’s sense of security.

Although Mr. bin Laden was not thought to be a critical operational leader of Al Qaeda, he had been the worldwide symbol of the terrorist network.

Because he has been so difficult to find for more than a decade, the killing of Mr. bin Laden is a major victory for Mr. Obama, who demanded an aggressive expansion of Predator drone strikes in Pakistan.

In a recent book on Mr. bin Laden, Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s bin Laden unit, wrote that the al Qaeda leader’s goal was to attack the West, and then to move on to Arab states and Israel, but that “he has given no indication that he expects to live long enough to finish the job.”

Instead, Mr. Scheuer wrote, Mr. bin Laden “has anticipated a war of attrition, one that might last decades,” so he began passing the torch to younger al Qaeda activists.

President Barack Obama will make the announcement late Sunday at the White House.

The development capped a manhunt of more than a decade for the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that left 3,000 people dead and dramatically altered U.S. foreign policy and the nation’s sense of security.

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