Osama bin Laden is dead, Obama says, the CNN Wire Staff , May 2, 2011 12:39 a.m. EDT
The mastermind of the worst terrorist attack on American soil is dead, U.S. President Barack Obama announced late Sunday night, almost 10 years after the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people.
Osama bin Laden -- the longtime leader of al Qaeda -- was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
U.S. officials have taken custody of bin Laden's body, Obama said. No Americans were harmed in the operation, he added.
I had just seen a piece that went over his detailed preparations prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
Bin Laden's great escape: How the world's most wanted man made fools of elite troops who'd trapped him in his mountain lair, Guy Walters, The Daily Mail, April 30, 2011.
Ben Laden had chosen his redoubt with care. For several years, Bin Laden had developed an intricate network of caves and dwellings 14,000ft up in the White Mountains, in a settlement known as Tora Bora.
‘I feel really secure in the mountains,’ he told a Palestinian journalist in 1996, and he had good reason.
Bin Laden knew that if the Americans managed to track him down, his hideout — so high up in the almost impenetrable mountains — would be hard to attack on foot, while the deepness of the caves protected him from the air. Furthermore, as Tora Bora was just a few miles from Pakistan, he would easily be able to escape as Western troops closed in.
In preparation, Bin Laden had spent hundreds of hours exploring the area on foot, much to the annoyance of some of his 11 sons, forced to accompany their father on his grueling 14-hour treks. Years later, his son Omar bin Laden recalled: ‘My brothers and I all loathed these treks that seemed the most pleasant of outings to our father.’
He was able to greatly outlast another former ally of ours.