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Wednesday 04 May 2011

Osama bin Laden killed: live coverage

Pakistan played a 'pivotal role' in the death of Osama Bin Laden, the country's foreign secretary Salman Bashir has said.

CIA Director Leon Panetta speaks as Army General David Petraeus and Marine General John Allen listen during an event to announce national security personnel changes at the East Room of the White House April 28, 2011 in Washington
 
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CIA Director Leon Panetta speaks as Army General David Petraeus and Marine General John Allen listen Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Osama bin Laden's bodyguard lifts lid on life with terror chief
 
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Nasser Al-Bahri worked for Osama bin Laden for six years and was ordered to kill him if he was captured Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Osama bin Laden's compound was next door to a senior serving Pakistan Army major
 
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Osama bin Laden's compound was next door to a senior serving Pakistan Army major Photo: AFP
Osama bin Laden's body was wrapped in a white sheet, placed in a weighted bag and eased into the water from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson
 
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Osama bin Laden's body was wrapped in a white sheet, placed in a weighted bag and eased into the water from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson  Photo: REUTERS
A pair of military boots, a bottle of whiskey and a memorial candle are placed at the base of a 9-11 memorial across the street from ground zero in New York
 
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A pair of military boots, a bottle of whiskey and a memorial candle are placed at the base of a 9-11 memorial across the street from ground zero in New York Photo: AP
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House
 
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President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House Photo: PETER SOUZA
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2011-05-04 12:01:54.0
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• Pakistan has arrested the man who allegedly built bin Laden's compound.
• CIA says photo of Osama bin Laden's body will be released
• White House says photo of al-Qaeda leader's body is 'gruesome'
Bin Laden was 'not armed' when he was shot, US now say
• Pakistan claims to have played a 'pivotal' role in the raid

Latest

11.50 Pakistan says the world must share the blame for failing to unearth Osama bin Laden, acording to AFP.

11.45 Four SUVs have pulled up at Osama Bin Laden's compound, 11-12 men in suits have got out and gone inside, CNN reports. It is not clear who they are yet. More soon.

11.40 The UN human rights chief Navi Pillay is keeping an eye on additional details of the military operation as they emerge, her office indicates.

Earlier she said bin Laden's acts of terror, which he had assumed responsibility for, amounted to crimes against humanity:

Quote "I note that the United States has clearly stated that their intention was to arrest bin Laden if they could, I fully understand that this was always likely to have been difficult."

11.35 Intelligence consultant Crispin Black is speculating about what the US government will be looking for on the computers seized at Bin Laden's compound.

Quote He tells Sky News that the information it receives now will be "quick and dirty" but investigations over a longer period may lead to more terror leaders being tracked down.

11.20 A local Pakistani leader is calling for the US to now leave the region, according to Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News's international editor.

She tweets:

Twitter Talked to local Jamat Islamiya leader: he doesn't believe it was #binladen, but says it's time for US to leave region. No change there then.

11:02 Pakistan has stepped up security around the area in which the al-Qaeda leader was killed.

Police have barred the media and public from the Bilal suburb of the garrison town of Abbottabad, where the Al-Qaeda chief had been living in secrecy in a compound surrounded by towering perimeter walls.

"More than 300 armed policemen have been deployed at the entry points, as well as in the town and close to the house, for security reasons," a local police official said on condition of anonymity, without giving further details.

10:46 - Updated from 09:35 Our correspondent Rob Crilly has traced the original claims that Osama bin Laden was captured alive to a Pakistani local newspaper.

Al Arabia news reported that Osama bin Laden's daughter claimed that her father was captured alive and then shot dead by US Special Forces during the first few minutes of the operation in Abbottabad.

10:29 The White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan has said that Osama bin Laden's death will help 'destroy' al-Qaeda.

The assault team came away with hard drives, DVDs, documents and more that might tip US intelligence to al-Qaeda's operational details and perhaps lead the manhunt to the presumed next-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri. The CIA is already going over the material.

Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan (Picture: AP)

10:23 Sky News are reporting that the man who purchased the land in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden's compound was built has been arrested.

10:12 Video of CIA chief Leon Panetta explaing that the SEAL team who shot Osama bin Laden had orders to capture him if he hadn't posed a threat.

However, we've also now been told that the threat posed by a possible suicide bomb meant Osama bin Laden would have had to have been 'naked' to surrender.

10:05 A spokesman for George W. Bush says the former president has declined an invitation from President Barack Obama to attend an observance on Thursday at the site of the destroyed World Trade Center towers in New York City.

10:00 Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has called for the world's help in fighting "terrorism and extremism" at a meeting with business leaders in Paris.

Quote Security and the fight against extremism or terrorism is not the job of only one nation. We need the support of the entire world.

We are fighting and paying a heavy price to combat terrorism and extremism... fighting not only for Pakistan but for the peace, prosperity and progress of the whole world.

09:48 Afghanistan's defence ministry has said Pakistan should have known that Osama bin Laden was hiding so close to a military base, the first direct comment from Kabul about its neighbour's apparent inability to track the al Qaeda leader.

Defence Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimy said the case also raised questions about Pakistan's ability to adequately protect its nuclear weapons.

Quote When we talk about the location of the house and a military academy nearby ... at the very least it should be known about the activities inside the house and who is living there.

PICTURES 09:40 We've put together a picture gallery of more pictures of Abbottabad, Pakistan

Abbottabad, Pakistan

09:20 Pakistan played 'pivotal role' in operation to kill al-Qaeda leader, the countries foreign secretary has said.

Salman Bashir told the BBC that US statements suggesting they were not trusted with details of raid or was 'disquietening.'

Quote All the significant al-Qaeda people who have been picked up, it was done by the ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence Service), from Pakistan towns and cities.

Therefore this whole context that seems to have surfaced about the lack of trust is, in my view, sort of misplaced.

He also claimed that Pakistan indicated bin Laden's compound to the CIA as a place where the al-Qaeda leader may have been hiding in 2009.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir (R), Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister, Jaweed Ludin (C) and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Marc Grossman join hands during a press conference in Islamabad. (Picture: AFP)

09:10 The assault force that attacked Osama bin Laden's compound was told to accept surrender only if they could be sure he did not have a bomb hidden under his clothing and posed no danger.

White House counter-terrorism chief John Brennan told Fox television surrender was only an option if troops "were confident of that in terms of his not having an IED (improvised explosives device) on his body, his not having some type of hidden weapon or whatever."

A senior congressional aide briefed on the rules of engagement added:

Quote He would have had to have been naked for them to allow him to surrender.

09:05 An cardinal in the Catholic church has told an Italian newspaper that Christians should pray for Osama bin Laden's soul even though he was their enemy. French cardinal Albert Vanhoye, 87, said:

Quote I have prayed for the soul of Osama Bin Laden. We have to pray for him just like we pray for the victims of September 11. It's what Jesus teaches Christians.

Jesus obliges us to forgive our enemies. The 'Our Father' that we recite every day says that. Does it not say 'Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us'?

08:55 An interesting tweet from Google about the way in which the story of the al-Qaeda leader's death spread online.

Twitter @Google: On May 1 between 7:30-8:30 pm PST, we saw a 1 million percent increase in searches for [bin laden]

In context, that is significantly higher activity than was seen during the Royal wedding.

Technology blog Techcrunch are also reporting that the now famous Situation room photograph released by the White House is well on it's way to becoming the most viewed image on photo sharing website Flickr.

08:45 Telegraph Security Correspondent Duncan Gardham reports that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner will today call on Government to protect counter-terrorism policing in a major speech in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden and the fears of reprisals from Islamist groups.

Sir Paul Stephenson will mark his return to the frontline after two major operations with a speech in which he will call for proposals to move counter-terrorism policing into a new National Crime Agency to be abandoned.

He is also expected to make comments on the fall-out from the terror chief’s death, sources have told The Telegraph.

Sir Paul Stephenson will call on the Government to protect counter-terrorism policing (Picture: Reuters)

08:40 Hollywood director's are already planning to make a film of dramatic raid. Kathryn Bigelow, the award-winning director, was already working on a film about a failed attempt to kill the al-Qaeda leader.

Ms Bigelow, who directed the Oscar winning film The Hurt-Locker, is now expected to re-write the script to take in the successful special forces operation in Pakistan. The provisional title for the film is “Kill bin Laden”, and it is likely to go into production this summer.

08:33 A detail from Peter Oborne's report from Abbottabad: Cannabis plants have been found growing in deserted lots round three sides of bin Laden's compound, presumably grown by local farmers.

08:30 The Daily Mail is reporting that US troops were also living within 800 yards of Osama bin Laden's compound during training with the Pakistani army in 2008. This information comes from the US diplomatic cables that were recently leaked to Wikileaks.

08:02 France fears it will be the target of reprisals, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant has said on RTL radio.

Quote Threats are everywhere and we can indeed fear that France will, like the United States and other friendly countries, be the target of reprisals and desire for vengeance.

Yesterday I gave instructions for patrols and precautions to be strengthened. We are adapting well to the situation.

08:00 The CIA has admitted that waterboarding yielded vital information leading to the discovery of Osama bin Laden.

Leon Panetta, the CIA director, has confirmed that controversial "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding yielded some of the intelligence information that ultimately led to Osama bin Laden.

Quote In the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information and that was true here. It's a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got. I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees.

07:50 Telegraph Defence Correspondent Thomas Harding reports on David Cameron's hints that Osama bin Laden's death could hasten Afghan withdrawal.

Osama bin Laden's death could hasten the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan, David Cameron has hinted.

The Prime Minister said the al-Qaeda leader’s death was “clearly a helpful development” in terms of the military campaign in Afghanistan, although it would not necessarily speed Britain’s exit. But senior Army officers have warned that a hasty withdrawal of troops on the back of bin Laden’s death could undo the huge effort to stabilise the country.

07:40 A quick look at this morning's papers:

The Guardian leads with The truth about bin Laden's last hours

The Sun leads with Bin laden unarmed: Just like his 9/11 and 7/7 victims

The Daily Mail: Bin Laden, the terror godfather next door

07:14 As more details of the raid emerge, amid backtracking from official US sources, Pakistani security sources claim that Osama bin Laden's daughter watched special forces shoot him dead.

The girl was said to be 12 or 13 years old. Reports suggested she was bin Laden’s youngest child, Safia, who was born to his fifth wife.

07:10 Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard has lifted the lid on life with terror chief

Nasser al-Bahri, one of the al-Qaeda’s leader’s most trusted members of staff, disclosed that in August 1998, whilst they were hiding in caves in Afghanistan, bin Laden had handed him a loaded gun. He reports that bin Laden told him:

Quote If ever the Americans encircle me, I absolutely do not want to end my life as a prisoner of the United States.

So you will be in charge of killing me. I would rather receive two bullets in the head than be taken prisoner. I want to die a martyr – but certainly not in prison.

07:00 In today's Telegraph:

Peter Oborne on the ground in Abbatobad, Pakistan, looks at how bin Laden's family blended into the local area: The mysterious Khan family who were 'good neighbours'

Nobody could fault them. The Khans were good neighbours, always polite, and more than a cut above the rest.

Praveen Swami writes: How the West was conned by Pakistan

Ever since 9/11, the ISI has been seeking to keep the jihad inside Afghanistan and Pakistan warm, nurturing allies it gave birth to in the years after that meeting, while also joining the West's war against terror – the source of billions of dollars in aid and military patronage.

But Osama bin Laden's killing may mark the point where the water boiled over – destroying Pakistan's relationship with the West, and setting off a chain of events no one can predict.

Taj Hargey writes that British Muslims are breathing a sigh of relief

Here in Britain – aside from the expected mutterings of fanatics on the fringe, who will lament the loss of their guru – there will be a collective sigh of relief throughout the British Muslim community, that the one person who did the most to sully Islam's peaceful teachings and polarise inter-faith relations is finally gone.

Today's Telegraph View also looks at Pakistan and the death of bin Laden: Pakistan is looking both ways on terrorism

Three quarters of a million Pakistanis live in this country; they comprise the second biggest ethnic minority. While the overwhelming majority are peace-loving, it is also the case that virtually all terrorist plots uncovered by the security services have involved young British Muslims radicalised by their links to Pakistan. The Prime Minister said yesterday that we cannot simply walk away from Pakistan but must continue to engage with it. He is surely right – though its untrustworthy behaviour is making such engagement increasingly difficult.

06:35 Just to round up the latest regarding the release of a photo of Osama bin Laden's body:

CIA director Leon Panetta has told NBC News that there is "no question" the image will be released at some point.

White House spokesman Jay Carney has described the photograph as 'gruesome'.

Quote It is fair to say it is a gruesome photograph... it could be inflammatory... we are reviewing the situation.

CIA Director Leon Panetta (R) leaves the U.S. Capitol after briefing members of Congress (Picture: Getty)

06:24 Take a look back at how newspapers around the world covered the story, courtesy of Poynter.

06:08 The Daily Beast wonders who the mystery woman in the Situation Room photographs is:

Who's the woman peeking her head from the back? A White House caption for the photo identifies her as Audrey Tomason with title "Director for Counterterrorism." But in a room full of oft-cited and quoted people, there's fleetingly little published information about who she is or what she does for the administration.

05:42 The BBC has picked up a report on Pakistan's privately-owned Dawn TV station that "an unusual meeting between al-Qaeda leaders is under way at an unknown place" to determine who will succeed Osama Bin Laden as the group's leader. The name is expected to be announced later, says the report.

05:14 Rick Westhead, South Asia Correspondent for the Toronoto Star, tweets from Abbottabad:

Twitter @rwesthead Police outside OBL compound joke "you see, even Osama bin Laden is not safe in this country."

04:46 The New Yorker has come out against releasing photographs of bin Laden to prove he is dead.

The main argument for releasing a photograph of the punctured scalp of our enemy is that it will provide proof that bin Laden really is dead. In other words, seeing is believing. But does anyone really believe that any more? Believing is believing. People who want, or need, to believe that bin Laden wasn’t shot dead will have no difficulty believing that a picture of his cadaver is a fake, a simple propaganda trick.

04:16 It took the CIA almost ten years to find bin Laden, but they should have just asked UCLA Geography students, who worked out - two years ago - that there was an 88.9 per cent chance that bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad. Nice work.

03:52 Vice President Joe Biden has hailed the lack of leaks in the lead-up to the commando raid that killed bin Laden. Even though several people had been in the loop for months, no news of the impending attack came out.

Quote There were as many as 16 members of the Congress who were briefed on it; not a single, solitary leak.

There was such of an overwhelming desire to accomplish this mission.

The world is a safer place today not only for the American people but for all people.

03:21 It seems that bin Laden had a sweet tooth during his stay in Abbottabad. Grocer Anjum Qaisar who works 150 meters from the compound said aides to the al-Qaeda leader bought Coke and Pepsi in bulk. They “never came by foot, they always drove a Pajero or a little Suzuki van, and they bought enough food for 10 people,” Qaisar said in an interview.

“I was curious about why they bought so much food, but I did not want to be rude by asking.”

02:55 Politico reports that President Obama invited George W Bush to join him in a visit to Ground Zero on Thursday but Mr Bush declined. Mr Obama will meet families of the victims of the Sept 11 2001 attack in New York.

"President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday. He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight," said spokesman David Sherzer. "He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror."

02:32 Jon Swaine, one of our US correspondents, reports from Washington:

John Brennan, President Obama's counter-terrorism chief, is taking a break from the stresses of the past 72 hours at a reception honouring British and American troops at the British embassy in Washington. The Prince of Wales is the guest of honour.

Mr Brennan has been laughing with fellow guests and received a long stream of people wanting to congratulate him on Sunday's mission. Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the British ambassador to the US, paid tribute to him in his remarks, to whoops of applause.

Mr Brennan is, of course, the aide who yesterday said Bin Laden had been armed and used his wife as a human shield, only for this to be reversed later on. He is now watching a live performance in the embassy by Britain's very own Heather Small, formerly of M People.

Some may suggest this is a suitable punishment.

02:10 Bernie Sanders, the independent US senator for Vermont, tweets:

Twitter @senatorsanders The fact that Bin Laden was located in a mansion almost adjoining a military installation in a large city in Pakistan suggests to us that our friends in that country have not been as vigorous as they have suggested in pursuing him and terrorism, in general.

01:45 The staff director for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is objecting to the US military's use of the code name Geronimo for Osama bin Laden during the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader.

Geronimo was an Apache Indian leader in the 19th century who spent many years fighting the Mexican and US armies until his capture in 1886.

The staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Loretta Tuell, says it is inappropriate to link whom she calls "one of the greatest Native American heroes" with one of the most hated enemies of the United States.

01:27 Toby Harnden, our US editor, has blogged on holes in the White House's story;

There’s a lot about the White House’s account that doesn’t quite add up. I’m not just talking about the changing story that led spokesman Jay Carney to admit: “Even I’m getting confused”. The erroneous details that Osama bin Laden was armed (he wasn’t), that his wife was used as a human shield (she wasn’t), that his wife was killed (she wasn’t) can be put down to over-egging the pudding or, if you’re feeling generous, the fog of war.

00.38 Mr Panetta also confirmed that intelligence leading to the killing of bin Laden had been obtained by waterboarding suspected terrorists imprisoned by the US.

00.35 Leon Panetta, the CIA director, insisted that the SEAL Team was prepared to arrest bin Laden, even though they had full authorisation to kill him whether he resisted or not. "The authorities we have on Bin Laden are to kill him," he told NBC. "And that was made clear. But it was also, as part of their rules of engagement, if he suddenly put up his hands and offered to be captured, then-- they would have the opportunity, obviously, to capture him. But that opportunity never developed."

Osama bin Laden killed: the first day, as it happened
Osama bin Laden killed: the second day, as it happened

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