Please scroll down below for various further updates posted on May 3.
HOW MANY NEW YORKERS FEEL
The cover of today’s New York Daily News
CHEZ BIN LADEN
Bin Laden’s mansion can be viewed here.
It is off the main road, but quite close to the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, outside of Abbottabad. It appears in an overhead image from June 2005, but not in an image from 2001.
The Pakistanis have some explaining to do.
HAMAS CONDEMNS BIN LADEN KILLING
Here, from the Beirut Daily Star, via Reuters:
Hamas leader condemns Bin Laden’s killing
May 2, 2011
GAZA: The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Monday condemned the killing by U.S. forces of Osama bin Laden and mourned him as an “Arab holy warrior.”
“We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood,” Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, told reporters.
Though he noted doctrinal differences between bin Laden’s al Qaeda and Hamas, Haniyeh said: “We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.”
Tom Gross adds: Several leading commentators at major Western news outlets were telling us only 2 or 3 days ago that Hamas was now ready to partner with the West following their reconciliation with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.
FROM SEPT. 12, 2001
A reminder of Michael Kelly’s Washington Post column from September 12, 2001:
In the West Bank city of Nablus yesterday afternoon, the Associated Press reported, thousands of Palestinians greeted news of the slaughter in New York and Washington with an impromptu street party, cheering “God is great” and distributing candy in a traditional form of celebration.
(Tom Gross adds: Michael Kelly was tragically killed in Iraq several years ago.)
Update: May 3, 2011
FATAH MILITARY WING CALLS BIN LADEN KILLING “CATASTROPHE”
The Palestinian Maan news agency reports today that the military wing of the Palestinian Authority’s governing Fatah party, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, has published a statement calling the killing of Osama bin Laden calling it a “catastrophe.” They said that those who killed Bin Laden were “gangs of heretics.”
The statement said that: “The path irrigated with the blood of its leaders is the path of victory, Allah willing. If Abu Abdallah [Bin Laden] was killed, then he merited the Shahada (Death for Allah) which he had sought, and inscribed with his blood the landmarks of Jihad, leaving behind an entire generation that follows the path of Sheikh Osama.”
Tom Gross adds: The Palestinian Authority receives huge amounts of money from western taxpayers. It seems that this will continue even though Fatah reconciled with Hamas last week. Yesterday the World Bank announced it would make a further grant of $10 million even though Hamas has not renounced the use of violence against Israeli civilians.
Update (May 4, 2011): Some in Fatah are now denying they made any statement, of hold any opinion “one way or the other” on the death of Bin Laden, though others are standing by their statement condemning his death.
Update: May 3, 2011
JERUSALEM ARABS HONOR BIN LADEN
Reuters reports that dozens of Arab residents in east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood held a rally in support of Bin Laden yesterday evening.
Some of the participants at the site hurled stones at Israel police forces deployed in the area.
An imam from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem also condemned the killing of in Laden and vowed to take revenge over “the western dogs” who supported it.
Update: May 3, 2011
CONSPIRACY THEORIES FLOOD INTERNET
Less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama announced that the al-Qaeda leader had been killed by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan, the internet is awash with conspiracy theories regarding his killing.
Facebook already has several groups with titles such as “Osama bin Laden NOT DEAD”.
My favorite conspiracy theory is the one which apparently started in France, and says that there is a striking resemblance between the Abbottabad compound used by Bin Laden and the map of none other than the State of Israel.
Furthermore, conspiracy theorists are pointing out that the position of the house within the compound where Bin Laden was located and killed, is located exactly where Jerusalem is found on a map of Israel. Coincidence?
Update: May 3, 2011
U.N. RIGHTS BOSS ASKS U.S. FOR FACTS ON BIN LADEN KILLING
The United Nations’ top human rights official has called on the United States to give the U.N. details about Osama bin Laden’s killing and said that all counter-terrorism operations must respect international law.
But Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (pictured below), went on to call Bin Laden a “very dangerous man” who had claimed “command responsibility for the most appalling acts of terrorism.”
Of course, when Israel has killed terrorists who (proportionately) have killed even more Israeli civilians than Bin Laden killed American civilians, Navi Pillay and the U.N. called that a “war crime”.
JIHADIS IN DISARRAY
The jihadi blogosphere is in disarray. This collection of reactions makes for some interesting reading:
AL-AZHAR SAYS SEA BURIAL OF OSAMA BIN LADEN A “SIN”
The most influential Islamic institution among Sunni Muslims has condemned the sea burial of Osama bin Laden. President Barack Obama’s spokesperson took great care to say that Bin Laden would receive a proper Islamic burial, but since he wanted to bury the body quickly (in accordance with Islamic law) and couldn’t find a country that would take the body (and probably also didn’t want to create a place of pilgrimage), Obama buried him at sea. He was trying to show the Islamic world that the U.S. is not at war with Islam, but ended up enraging many Muslims anyway.
(ANSAmed) - CAIRO, MAY 2 - The body of Osama bin Laden must be buried in the ground, and throwing it into the sea would be a ‘sin’, said Mahmoud Ashour of the Al Azhar Academy of Islamic Research, the most prestigious Sunni educational institute, while speaking to ANSA.
The Al Azhar official rejected the idea of sea burial of the Al Qaida leader for “trivial motives”, explaining that even when someone drowns, the body must be searched for in order to be able to “bury it in the ground”. “They should bury it in the ground without putting anything on the grave,” explained Ashour, responding to a question about whether Osama bin Laden’s burial could become a sort of pilgrimage site.
THE MIRACLES OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY
Obama and his senior officials watch the raid in real time from the White House situation room
EGYPT’S AL-ZAWAHRI, BIN LADEN’S DEPUTY, LIKELY NEXT LEADER OF AL-QAEDA
With Bin Laden dead, Ayman al-Zawahri has become the leading candidate for the world’s top terror job. Al-Zawahri has often demonstrated his extremist views and his readiness to use violence.
In 2001 he set down the long-term strategy for the jihadi movement – to inflict “as many casualties as possible” on the Americans, while trying to establish control in a nation as a base “to launch the battle to restore the holy caliphate” of Islamic rule across the Muslim world.
Unlike Bin Laden who found his Jihadist calling as an adult, al-Zawahri’s activism began when he was in his mid-teens, establishing his first secret cell of high school students to oppose the Egyptian government of then President Anwar Sadat he viewed as infidel for not following the rule of God.
After al-Zawahri trained as a doctor he travelled to Afghanistan to treat Islamic fighters battling Soviet forces. It was then that he first met Bin Laden.
Another potential Bin Laden replacement is Abu Yayha al-Libi, from Libya. More on him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Yahya_al-Libi.
Update: May 4, 2011
PHEW! HE FINALLY BOUGHT A RAZOR...
Teacher Gary Weddle’s vow not to shave has finally ended.
Weddle, 50, who teaches science at a middle school in Ephrata, Washington, had vowed not to shave until Bin Laden was caught or killed. He had managed to grow a grizzled beard that reached his chest.
Before, and after. Short back and sides
“When I made the vow after 9/11, I thought it would only be a matter of months,” he said. “So I am ecstatic that I was now able to cut it off.”
“He looks 10 years younger now,” his wife told the Associated Press. “It’s a very happy moment for us. It’s a very happy moment for the whole nation.”
No more press conferences
There is a further dispatch on the death of Bin Laden here.
(You can comment on this dispatch here: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia. You first have to press “Like” on that page.)