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“Enemy of the nation” killed in firefight

by Ramsey Kincannon, Staff Writer

America experienced a historical moment late Sunday nights when Al Queda leader Osama Bin Laden was shot and killed by U.S. forces in Abbatabad, Pakistan. The announcement took place eight years after George W. Bush declared that the American mission in Iraq and Afghanistan was “accomplished,” and almost 10 years after the attacks on Sept. 11 took the lives of 2,572 people.

Calling it “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda,” President Barack Obama detailed the events that led to Bin Laden’s death. Citing a strong cooperation with the Pakistani government which led to intelligence about Bin Laden’s whereabouts, Obama suggested that continued strong relations with Pakistan would lead to the exposing of other important Al-Qaeda leaders, such as Ayman al-Zawahiri.

According to the IA Director Leo Panetta, an “impressive amount” of material from Bin Laden’s compound was recovered. The find included 10 hard drives, five computers and more than 100 storage devices including discs, DVDs and thumb drives.

Almost immediately after the announcement, the country erupted in patriotic celebrations, ranging from revelry outside the White House and Ground Zero and even on the streets of Wooster, Ohio, where nationalism surged as groups of students cheered and sang their way across campus.

While symbolically this is a momentous occasion for many Americans, who still still feel the impact of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (especially the first responders who only recently received funding from the Zagroda Bill), there is still much work to be done for the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq to be completed. Obama warned against retaliatory attacks in the coming days after the announcement, and the opinion of America internationally is still at an all-time low ó especially in the Middle East, where the United States tries to be a positive presence while countless revolutions rage onward. Obama also tempered Islamophobic sentiments across America by stating “the U.S. has not, and never will be, at war with Islam,” and that Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, but rather “a mass murderer of Muslims.” Many Muslim and Arab organizations have echoed Obama’s sentiments.

Regardless of the significant amount of work still ahead to win the War on Terror ó Obama conceded that “the cause of securing our country is not complete” ó most of the country welcomed the demise of Bin Laden and an evil figure in the world’s most recent history.

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