Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Osama's Death - As It Happens
Death of Bin Laden: Live report
Agence France-Presse, Updated: 03/05/2011
0100 GMT: Before we conclude AFP's Live Report on the killing of Al-Qaeda chief and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden by US special forces in Pakistan, here is a recap of the main events:
0100 GMT: Before we conclude AFP's Live Report on the killing of Al-Qaeda chief and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden by US special forces in Pakistan, here is a recap of the main events:
- A team of Navy SEALs, following up on detective work by the US intelligence services, helicoptered in to bin Laden's secret compound deep inside Pakistan overnight Sunday and shot him dead. The operation lasted less than 40 minutes.
- The news was announced to a stunned world by US President Barack Obama.
"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Obama said in a late night White House address.
Obama said he had directed the covert attack against a heavily fortified compound in Abbottabad, near Islamabad, in the early hours of Monday morning, Pakistan-time, acting on a lead that emerged last August.
"A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability," Obama said. "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."
Speaking of those who had lost loved ones on 9/11 and in other Al-Qaeda attacks, Obama said: "Justice has been done."
- World leaders welcomed the news but warned that Al-Qaeda's willingness to wreak havoc was undimmed and that the possibility of reprisal attacks meant vigilance was more important than ever.
- Pakistan's main Taliban faction threatened to attack Pakistan and the United States, calling them "the enemies of Islam." Hours later hundreds took to the streets of Pakistan's western city of Quetta to pay homage to bin Laden, chanting death to America and setting fire to a US flag.
- Bin Laden's body was buried at sea after Islamic rites were performed. "We wanted to avoid a situation where it would become a shrine," a US official said.
- Governments of Western and moderate Muslim countries from Britain and France to Turkey and Indonesia have broadly welcomed the news of bin Laden's death, as a fitting end to a man blamed for inspiring the 9/11 and multiple other attacks.
- While lauding the killing, Western governments have urged their people to be vigilant because of the risk of reprisal attacks.
- And, while acknowledging the wrongs carried out by Al-Qaeda, the governments of moderate Muslim countries have urged the west to recognise that Al-Qaeda is not representative of Islam and to refrain from linking the two.
- Iran and Hamas have said that the death of bin Laden removes "the last excuse" for western forces to remain in the region and urged them to withdraw.
- Meanwhile, India and Afghanistan have pointed the finger at Pakistan over its role in, witting or not, in providing bin Laden with "sanctuary" in the country for up to ten years since 2001.
The main events, disclosures and reactions follow in real time below:
0026 GMT: Rudy Giuliani, who was New York's mayor at the traumatic time of the September 11 terror strikes, tells ABC television he felt a "sense that revenge" after hearing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death.
2337 GMT: The White House announces that US President Barack Obama is to visit Ground Zero on Thursday -- a bitter-sweet moment for Americans as they will no doubt rejoice at the killing of Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden by US special forces in Pakistan but remember the nearly 3,000 people who died at his hands on September 11, 2001.
2254 GMT: Pakistan's US envoy promises a "full inquiry" into how Pakistani intelligence services failed to find bin Laden in a fortified compound just a few hours drive from Islamabad.
"Obviously bin Laden did have a support system, the issue is was that support system within the government and the state of Pakistan or within the society of Pakistan?" ambassador Husain Haqqani tells CNN.
"We all know that there are people in Pakistan who share the same belief system and other extremists.... So that is a fact that there are people who probably protected him," he says.
"We will do a full inquiry into finding out why our intelligence services were not able to track him earlier."
2230 GMT: Reports suggest it is only a matter of time before bin Laden's killing by crack US forces is made into a Hollywood film -- and one Oscar-winning director could be ahead of the game.
Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Academy Award for her 2008 film "The Hurt Locker," was already working on a movie about the Al-Qaeda leader's death -- which she could still re-think after Sunday's covert operation in Pakistan.
According to the Hollywood Reporter industry daily, Bigelow has already been discussing a project provisionally entitled "Kill Bin Laden," based on a previous botched attempt to get the Al Qaeda chief.
She and her screenwriting collaborator Mark Boal -- who worked with Bigelow on "The Hurt Locker" -- have been meeting with actors for the action thriller project, when Sunday's shock development occurred.
"But now that Bin Laden has been killed, what happens to the Kill Bin Laden project?" it said, adding that the original project was based "on a failed Black Ops mission by the US military to capture the Al-Qaeda leader."
The actual killing could help the project, although "we can't imagine the events surrounding Bin Laden's ultimate killing not being incorporated into the script in some fashion," it added.
2210 GMT: CIA chief Leon Panetta will brief lawmakers behind closed doors on Tuesday on the special forces raid that killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, officials say.
2204 GMT: Analysts say that by killing instead of capturing bin Laden, the United States avoided a courtroom spectacle that could have given Al-Qaeda's chief a propaganda boost and created a political headache for President Barack Obama.
Although he was officially wanted dead or alive, leading Bin Laden away in handcuffs would have opened up a whole new set of legal and political dilemmas for Washington, fueling controversies about how to treat and try terror suspects.
"I think the White House is probably breathing a sigh of relief that he was actually killed rather than captured," says Andrew Exum, a retired Army officer and fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
"There was a real danger if he had been captured, the trial would have been a circus, the incarceration would have been a circus," Exum told AFP. "How we would have brought him to justice through the legal system would have been complicated."
2126 GMT: The UN Security Council hails the death of bin Laden, which it called a "critical development" in the fight against terrorism.
In a rare occasion where it "welcomes" the death of any person, the 15-nation council says the US military operation means bin Laden "will never again be able to perpetrate such acts of terrorism" as the September 11, 2001 attacks.
2105 GMT: The White House says it is weighing whether to release photographs of bin Laden's corpse amid calls from some key lawmakers to do so to prove the Al-Qaeda chief is truly dead.
"We are going to do everything we can to make sure that nobody has any basis to try to deny that we got Osama bin Laden," President Barack Obama's gruff counter-terrorism chief John Brennan tells reporters.
2025 GMT: The US Muslim community rejoices at the news. Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic relations (CAIR), says bin Laden "received justice yesterday" and stresses that the Al-Qaeda leader "never represented our community of Islam or the Muslims."
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) greets bin Laden's death with "an immense sense of relief."
"We hope this is a turning point away from the dark period of the last decade, in which bin Laden symbolized the evil face of global terrorism," MPAC president Salam Al-Marayati says.
2000 GMT: The French government has stepped up security at its embassies and schools "in the appropriate countries" following the death of Osama bin Laden, Prime Minister Francois Fillon says.
Fillon said the government had given instructions to its embassies and schools to increase security.
"It is not the end of the war against terrorism and we have had a high threat level for a number of years," he says in interview on France 2 television.
1946 GMT: Top Muslim scholars say Islam is opposed to burials at sea like the one bin Laden received on Monday after being shot dead in a US operation in Pakistan.
The United States says bin Laden received Muslim religious rites but his body was "eased" into the Arabian Sea so that no one can build a shrine on his grave.
"If it is true that the body was thrown into the sea, then Islam is totally against that," says Mahmud Azab, an adviser to Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Muslim authority.
1922 GMT: Twitter says news of bin Laden's killing triggered an unprecedented wave of messages on the microblogging service.
The messaging frenzy reached 5,000 "tweets-per-second" at times during a surge that lasted more than four hours.
1915 GMT: The killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is a "victory for the forces of peace," but his death does not mean extremism has been defeated, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says.
"Last night the forces of peace achieved a victory. But this does not mean that international terrorism has been defeated yet. We must all remain vigilant," her statement says.
1900 GMT: President Barack Obama's spokesman Jay Carney wraps up a White House briefing featuring senior US officials. Here is a recap of the information they disclosed about the operation that killed bin Laden:
- Top US counter-terrorism official John Brennan says it his understanding that one of Osama bin Laden's four wives served as a human shield in an unsucessful bid to save his life.
- Brennan calls the Al-Qaeda terror network a "mortally wounded tiger" and warns that it remains dangerous.
- He refuses to rule out official Pakistani backing for bin Laden and says Islamabad was only told of the raid that killed the Al-Qaeda leader after US forces left Pakistani airspace.
"We are looking right now at how he was able to hold out there for so long and whether or not there was any type of support system within Pakistan that allowed him to stay there," Brennan says.
"It is inconceivable that bin Laden did not have a support system in the country to allow him to stay there for an extended period of time. I won't speculate on what type of support he would have had on an official basis, and we are talking to the Pakistanis right now."
Pakistan's powerful military intelligence services have been accused by US officials of covertly supporting Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked networks fighting American troops in Afghanistan.
1810 GMT: The latest reaction from a world leader comes from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who congratulates Obama on his determination in hunting down bin Laden and agrees both countries must fight on against Al-Qaeda.
1742 GMT: Arab and Muslim Americans celebrate the death of bin Laden as 'justice served", but express fears of possible retributions by Al-Qaeda and say the scars remain.
"We are very happy to hear the news that he has been eliminated," said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News, tells AFP in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the biggest concentrations of Arab Americans.
"This man is not a Muslim. This man has killed more Muslims than Americans - tens of thousands of people," Siblani says. "People are very excited that this happened because they want this sad chapter to be closed. They understand more than anyone else how much damage this man has done to the Muslim world and to the Arab world."
1705 GMT: Relatives and survivors of attacks carried out in the name of Al-Qaeda in Europe and Africa express joy and relief at Osama bin Laden's death, but some warn he may become a martyr who continues to inspire terrorists.
Pilar Manjon, whose 20-year-old son was one of 191 people killed in the bombings of four packed Madrid commuter trains on March 11, 2004 in Europe's worst Islamic terror attack, says Bin Laden's death "serves us little."
"A monster has died, but they have killed a martyr, they are going to transform him into a martyr," he says.
1658 GMT: Speaking for a second time on the momentous US raid in Pakistan, President Barack Obama hails a "good day for America" and says the world is a better place.
"I think we can all agree this is a good day for America. Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done," Obama says. "The world is safer, it is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden. Today, we are reminded that as a nation, there is nothing we can't do when we put our shoulders to the wheel, when we work together."
Obama was speaking in the East Room of the White House at a ceremony posthumously awarding the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for military valor, to two soldiers of the 1950-53 Korean War.
1637 GMT: US officials tell reporters that US forces administered Muslim religious rites for bin Laden aboard an aircraft carrier Monday before his body was "eased" into the Arabian Sea.
"Today religious rights were conducted for the deceased on the deck of the USS Carl-Vinson which is located in the North Arabian Sea," a senior defense official says.
"Traditional procedures for Islamic burial were followed. The deceased's body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag.
"A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat-board... (and) eased into the sea."
The ceremony began at 0510 GMT and ended some 50 minutes later aboard the aircraft carrier, which is stationed off the coast of Pakistan to help US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
1625 GMT: Hundreds take to the streets of Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta to pay homage to bin Laden, chanting death to America and setting fire to a US flag, witnesses and organisers say.
1623 GMT: The US special forces that killed bin Laden took no prisoners in the raid on the Al-Qaeda leader's fortified compound in Pakistan, a senior defense official says.
1620 GMT: The United States says bin Laden's death could trigger retaliatory attacks in the United States and Europe, and against Western targets around the world.
"The Intelligence Community assesses the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden could result in retaliatory attacks in the Homeland and against US and Western interests overseas," warns the US Department of Homeland Security.
1605 GMT: Casting doubt on reports that US special forces had been on a "kill mission," a US official tells AFP on condition of anonymity that the Navy SEALs had been prepared to take him alive.
"He resisted during the firefight. As a result, the operators on the ground killed him. They were prepared in the event of his surrender to take him alive," the source says.
1550 GMT: In New York, UN leader Ban Ki-moon calls bin Laden's death a "watershed moment" in the fight against terrorism.
The UN secretary general says Al-Qaeda's crimes had touched nearly every continent of the world. "This is a day to remember the victims of terrorism here in the United States and everywhere in the world," Ban says.
1545 GMT: Former US vice president Dick Cheney congratulates President Barack Obama on the killing of the Al-Qaeda chief but warns: "Al-Qaeda remains a dangerous enemy."
"Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on. We must remain vigilant, especially now," he says.
Praising the work of a president he has previously criticized, he declares: "Today, the message our forces have sent is clear -- if you attack the United States, we will find you and bring you to justice." As vice-president, Cheney was considered one of the most hardline hawks in the administration of former President George W. Bush, and has been a strident critic of Obama.
1535 GMT: DNA tests carried out by US officials on the body taken from the compound in Pakistan have confirmed it is that of bin Laden, a senior US official tells AFP.
"Bin Laden's DNA has been matched to several family members. And there is at least 99 pecent certainty that the DNA matches that of Osama Bin Laden," the official says.
Online supporters of the late Al-Qaeda leader have also confirmed their belief that he is dead.
1515 GMT: In Brussels, the EU's counter-terrorism coordinator has urged extra vigilance, saying that, while Al-Qaeda was "no longer in a position to organize another 9/11", in the short-term, bin Laden's death "might inspire some individuals to retaliate."
Gilles de Kerchove welcomes the operation by US special forces but urges vigilance in the coming weeks, where "reinforced security is necessary."
1512 GMT: Bin Laden's British step-grandson says he found out about the killing through a text message which read: "Your grand-dad is dead. Watch the news."
Bin Laden's fourth son Omar, 30, married British woman Jane Felix-Browne, 54, in 2007. Married several times before, she is now known as Zaina Alsabah-bin Laden
1415 GMT: In Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urges the Taliban to abandon Al-Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process.
"Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today, it may have even greater resonance," Clinton tells reporters.
"You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon Al-Qaeda and participate in a peaceful political process," she says.
1412 GMT: A brief summary of the early morning US press reactions.
- The tabloid New York Post trumpeted: "We Got Him!" in its headline Monday, while the New York Daily News posted: "ROT IN HELL!" in oversized print, across a photo of bin Laden.
- The Boston Globe wrote on its editorial page that: "Bin Laden's name will go down on a very short list of global villains who presented a serious threat to the lives and liberties of Americans."
But it said that, if his death was a cause for celebration: "the movement he led will continue. Al-Qaeda is not defeated. Other extremist groups will step forward."
- The Los Angeles Times concurred. "Bin Laden's death will not end terrorism, do away with Al-Qaeda or conclude the global war that began after 9/11 because too many people in too many nations accept his delusion that the United States is implacably at odds with the values of Islam," the paper's editorial board wrote.
- The Detroit Free Press wrote that global terrorism's most iconic figure is now gone, but stressed that the Al-Qaeda leader's demise should not be viewed as a purely symbolic event.
"Bin Laden's death should mean a palpable disruption to the operation of Al-Qaeda, which was responsible for the attacks and remains one of the most pernicious global threats," the Free Press wrote.
1400 GMT: US officials say bin Laden's body was buried at sea "to avoid a situation where it would become a shrine." A spokesman for Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Muslim authority, says that Islam is opposed to burials at sea.
1355 GMT: Bin Laden was killed with a shot to head by US Navy SEALs, a US official tells AFP.
The SEALs, which stands for Sea, Air, Land, are elite troops used for some of the riskiest anti-terrorism missions, as well as behind-the-lines reconnaissance and unconventional warfare.
The SEAL team launched the assault from helicopters on the orders of CIA chief Leon Panetta, the official adds. "Responsibility for the raid is Leon Panetta's; it was executed by Navy SEALs."
1330 GMT: On of the recurring themes in the reaction to bin Laden's killing is the vigilance needed against reprisal attacks.
In Washington, CIA director Leon Panetta has added to this, warning that terrorist groups will "almost certainly" try to avenge his death, but saying the US would remain prepared.
"The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must -- and will -- remain vigilant and resolute," he says.
1325 GMT: In another moderate Muslim state, Malaysia's premier has spoken out, criticizing Al-Qaeda but warning that despite bin Laden's death, the late Al-Qaeda leader will likely remain a figurehead for jihadists.
"This does not mean that Al-Qaeda will be destroyed as they are capable of reorganising and he will remain an inspiration to such militants," Najib Razak tells reporters.
"I hope that people realise that terrorism is not how you change things for the better as it only gives a bad name to Islam. As an Islamic country, we must show that such actions are unacceptable," he says.
1255 GMT: Another interesting reaction from the moderate Muslim world. The government in Ankara voices "great satisfaction" at the killing of bin Laden, while renewing an appeal against linking terrorism and Islam.
"I welcomed his death with great satisfaction," President Abdullah Gul tells journalists at the Ankara airport ahead of a state visit to Austria.
1230 GMT: In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, a radical Islamist group hails bin Laden as a "martyr".
"If it's true Osama bin Laden is dead, then he died a martyr. He fought for Islam and he fought for the lands colonised by America," Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid spokesman Son Hadi tells AFP.
"Al-Qaeda didn't die with him. Jihad will not be dampened just because he's dead because jihad is a command of the religion, not of individuals," he adds.
JAT was founded in 2008 by firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who has long been known as the spiritual leader of the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network.
1220 GMT: In Saudi Arabia, a country where bin Laden had many family links, officials are reported saying they hope his death will boost anti-terror efforts.
"Saudi Arabia hopes that the elimination of the leader of the terrorist Al-Qaeda organisation will be a step towards supporting international efforts aimed at combating terrorism and dismantling its cells," the state-run SPA news agency has quoted an unidentified official as saying.
1205 GMT: So in my 1110 entry, I promised more on that statement from Ismail Hamiya, the head of the Hamas government in Gaza. Here it is:
"We condemn any killing of a holy warrior or of a Muslim and Arab person and we ask God to bestow his mercy upon him," Haniya told journalists.
"If the news is true, then we consider it a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and bloodshed against Arabs and Muslims," he said, condemning bin Laden's killing "despite the difference in interpretations between us."
1155 GMT: And in Tehran, authorities are picking up the same theme as the Muslim Brotherhood, (see 1147 GMT) that the death of bin Laden means it is time for the US to leave.
Bin Laden's killing had removed "any excuse" for the United States and its allies to deploy forces in the Middle East, the Iranian government has said.
The "US and their allies have no more excuse to deploy forces in the Middle East under (the) pretext of fighting terrorism," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying on the website of Iran's English-language Press TV channel.
He said Iran hopes this development will help to "establish peace and security in the region," adding that it is Iran's policy to "strongly condemn terrorism all over the world."
1147 GMT: In Cairo, a city at the centre of much change of late, an important point being made by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
"Islam is not bin Laden," Mahmud Ezzat, the Brotherhood's number two, told AFP.
"After September 11, there had been a lot of confusion. Terrorism was mixed up with Islam," he said. "In the coming phase, everyone will be looking to the West for just behaviour," he added.
This meant that, with bin Laden dead, the western forces should now pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, he added.
1145 GMT: In London, where 52 people were killed in 2005 by a string of bombings by Al-Qaeda supporters, relatives of the victims have given a mixed reaction to the death of bin Laden, warning that Islamist extremists might now try to perpetrate further atrocities.
"There will be relief and comfort for victims of Al-Qaeda all around the world," John Falding, whose partner Anat Rosenberg died in the attacks, told the BBC. "But I think also it's a short-lived victory, in a way, because we now have to be on our guard."
"I think there will be reprisals -- if only so that people can demonstrate that the organisation... still has potency," he said. And Kim Beer, whose hairdresser son Philip, 22, was killed in the London attacks, said simply: "I am not pleased for anyone to lose their life."
1135 GMT: It's clear that a lot of the focus from world leaders now is going to be what exactly Pakistan knew, and when, about bin Laden's presence in the compound, and about the US raid.
And it is not just India saying this.
Afghan's President Hamid Karzai is also making the point that bin Laden appeared to have found refuge in Pakistan - not Afghanistan.
"Again and again, for years and every day, we have said that the war on terror is not in Afghan villages, not in Afghan houses of the poor and oppressed," he has told a meeting of tribal elders. The war is in Pakistan, he said.
And Karzai appealed to the Taliban now to stop fighting: "Talib, come to your country and stop the fighting and leave the weapon that the foreigners have put on your shoulders," he said.
1130 GMT: As Gilani was talking, Pakistan's main Taliban faction on Monday threatened to attack Pakistani government and US interests following the killing.
"If he has been martyred, we will avenge his death and launch attacks against American and Pakistani governments and their security forces," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
The Taliban spokesman said the militia had not itself managed to confirm bin Laden's death, which was announced by US President Barack Obama. "If he has become a martyr, it is a great victory for us because martyrdom is the aim of all of us," he added.
1125 GMT: In Islamabad, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has told AFP in an interview that the killing of bin Laden was a "great victory" but admitted he was not well informed about the details of the operation.
"We will not allow our soil to be used against any other country for terrorism and therefore I think it's a great victory, it's a success and I congratulate the success of this operation," he said.
Asked about the extent to which Pakistan cooperated in the operation he said: "I don't know the details, I don't know minute details, but in short we have intelligence cooperation". More on this interview later.
1115 GMT: Back to India first, where Home Minister P. Chidambaram said India noted with "grave concern" that bin Laden had been killed by US special forces at a fortified compound not far from the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
"This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan," Chidambaram said.
India has long accused Pakistan of providing shelter and support to militant groups planning attacks on Indian soil and has repeatedly pushed the global community -- the United States in particular -- to censure Pakistan accordingly.
In Washington, Obama said the operation to kill bin Laden was the result of cooperation with Islamabad, but Chidamabaram chose to focus on India's belief that perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks continue to be sheltered in Pakistan. Many questions remain for Pakistan, clearly.
1110 GMT: Among the voices criticising the killing, Ismail Haniya, the head of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, has condemned the strike against bin Laden.
More on his comments in a minute.
1107 GMT: A member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Osama bin Laden's network in Yemen, said he had confirmed the news of the killing, calling it a "catastrophe."
"This news has been a catastrophe for us. At first we did not believe it, but we got in touch with our brothers in Pakistan who have confirmed it," a member reached by telephone told an AFP correspondent in Yemen.
Yemen is bin Laden's ancestral homeland. Saudi and Yemeni Al-Qaeda branches in January 2009 announced they had merged to form the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
1105 GMT: An interesting detail in the reaction from Moscow is an appeal for greater cooperation with the US on anti-terrorism operations.
"Only a joint and united fight against global terrorism can achieve substantial results. Russia is ready to step up this type of cooperation," the Kremlin statement said.
Of course, Russia itself has seen significant conflict over many years with Muslim separatists in the Caucasus regions, and labels its opponents "terrorists".
1100 GMT: A poignant reaction from Kenya, where more than 200 people - most of them Kenyans - died in a bombing in 1998 thought to have been inspired by bin Laden.
"The killing of Osama has taken place nearly 13 years after the terrorist bombings in Nairobi that led to the death of over 200 people," Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said in a statement.
"His killing is an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries," he said.
1050 GMT: And in the country where the raid took place, the government of pakistan hailed the strike as providing a blow against terrorism.
"Osama bin Laden's death illustrates the resolve of the international community, including Pakistan, to fight and eliminate terrorism," the foreign ministry said.
"It constitutes a major setback to terrorist organisations around the world."
The ministry made no comment on what the strike revealed about the Pakistani role. (See India's comments in my first post at 1000 GMT)
1045 GMT: Russia, often a critic of US military actions overseas, has praised the US strike against bin laden.
"The Kremlin welcomes the serious success the United States achieved in the war against international terrorism," President Medvedev's press service told Russian news agencies.
1035 GMT: Among the reactions of more interested parties, there's this from Afghan President Hamid Karzai:
"The American forces yesterday killed Osama Bin Laden and made him pay for his deeds," Karzai told a gathering of tribal elders at his palace in Kabul.
"He was made to pay for his actions," added the president of the country that for several years hosted the Al-Qaeda leader.
1025 GMT: According to the US monitoring group SITE, an online forum used for official messages from Al-Qaeda has been deleting posts from supporters enquiring about bin Laden's death, pending confirmation by "mujahadeen (holy fighter) sources."
Messages posted on the forum included vague threats that "America will repeat the same if the news is true," and said his supporters "will continue moving in the footsteps of Osama".
1015 GMT: In Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned that the death of bin Laden had hurt but not finished the organisation he led.
"Whilst Al-Qaeda has been hurt today, Al-Qaeda is not finished. Our war against terrorism must continue," she said.
1000 GMT: Reaction is coming in from world capitals to the news. I'll try to run through a few of them here:
President Obama's predecessor George W. Bush congratulated the man who succeeded him in office and called the death of bin Laden a "victory for America".
In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the news would bring "great relief to people across the world".
Israel and India joined the congratulated, with India suggesting however that the fact that bin Laden had been hiding in Pakistan showed the country was in fact a "sanctuary" for his organisation.
In leading European capitals, the operation brought praise. Italy called it a "victory of good over evil", Germany "good news for all free-thinking men" and France a "victory for all democracies."
But the countries all also warned about the need for vigilance in the face of possible retaliatory attacks by bin Laden supporters.
Channel News Asia - 3/5/2011
SINGAPORE: Singapore has heightened all security measures at its borders and checkpoints in light of Osama bin Laden’s death.
In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said this was to guard against the entry of terrorist operatives as well as regional elements affiliated with Al—Qaeda.
It added that security presence and alert level have also been increased within Singapore at key establishments, and that the situation would be kept under review.
The ministry said Osama’s killing by the US could be expected to draw retaliatory attacks from jihadist terrorists from or close to the Al—Qaeda Core and other jihadist terrorists who are keen to avenge his death.
To this end, the possibility that regional groups affiliated to Al—Qaeda, like Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), might carry out retaliatory attacks against US assets in this region, including those in Singapore could not be discounted.
Such groups might also act against allies of the US, and countries seen to be close to the US.
In view of the recent evidence that JI—related terrorist elements in Indonesia and this region pose an active and persistent threat — including the finding of large bombs in Indonesia on Good Friday and grenades in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weeks ago — the ministry said it would be prudent for Singapore to be extra vigilant to guard against this threat.
It added that other governments have also announced tighter security measures.
Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng said: "Our checkpoints are a key area where we must have stepped up vigilance and extra security. On the lookout, and particularly taking a bit of time, Singaporeans and other travellers may be slightly inconvenienced as a result of that."