Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 2 May 2011

Finally, they got their man! Osama Bin Laden is dead.

It has been announced earlier this morning (White House website) by US President Obama that an operation by US Special Forces had succeeded in killing the terrorist and al-qa'ida leader Osama Bin Laden at a location in Pakistan not very far from the capital Islamabad. (see also this BBC news report)

The mastermind behind the terrorist outrages in the US on 11th September 2001 has finally been taken out of action and his victims at least partially avenged. I write this not in a tome of triumphalism, as the death of any human being [even one so misguided and despicable as Osama bin Laden] is not an occasion for rejoicing, but I am certainly not sorry to hear of his death.

Unfortunately with his death it is highly unlikely that the threat of terrorism posed by al-qa'ida and its co-conspirator organisations is at and end. Indeed it is possible there may be retaliatory terrorist outrages in coming days or weeeks. Defending freedom against those who would seek to deprive us of it is never going to be easy - life, unfortunately, is not like that.

PS/ Although I watched most of the events 'live' on television from soon after the aircraft hi-jackings began I did not write about it immediately; this blog began only 6 months later. However in the comment area of my main website I did write an article on the general topic of Terrorism and Civil Liberties a couple of weeks later, once the impact of what had happened had begun to be absorbed. Like many others I sat open-mouthed in horror on that 11th September almost ten years ago, my only immediate analysis being that this was going to change the world in fundamental ways.


  1. Whilst joining the sense of relief, I think that the Government of Pakistan may have a few questions to answer as to why and how Bin Laden was able to live in a garrison town 30 miles from Islamabad.

  2. Hi Richard,

    Quite possibly, but that is a subject that will probably be thrashed out through private diplomatic channels, rather than discussed in public, at least for a period.

    I heard on the radio earlier there is some disquiet amongst some Arabs that his body was apparently dumped in the sea, seemingly to avoid creating a martyr's shrine; I am uncertain what I feel about this aspect of what has happened, except to say I am pleased he at least is no longer able to do further evil.


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