DNA testing confirms bin Laden death

Monday, May 2, 2011 12:15 PM
Last updated 12:26 PM
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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration used DNA testing and other means to confirm that elite American forces in Pakistan had in fact killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, officials said Monday, as the world absorbed the stunning news.

This photo of a section of a poster taken from the FBI website shows Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was tracked down and shot to death, Monday, May 2, 2011, in Pakistan by an elite team of U.S. forces, ending an unrelenting manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.   AP
AP
This photo of a section of a poster taken from the FBI website shows Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was tracked down and shot to death, Monday, May 2, 2011, in Pakistan by an elite team of U.S. forces, ending an unrelenting manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.

The officials said the DNA testing alone offered a "99.9 percent" certainty that bin Laden was shot dead in a daring U.S. military operation. Detailed photo analysis by the CIA, confirmation by other people at the raid site and matching physical features like bin Laden's height all helped confirmed the identification.

One official said there should be no doubt in anybody's mind that the person killed was bin Laden.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

Still, it was unclear if the world would ever get visual proof. Bin Laden's body was quickly buried at sea, and administration officials were weighing the merit and appropriateness of releasing a photo of bin Laden, who was shot in the head.

The face of global terrorism was killed in a firefight with American forces. As spontaneous celebrations and expressions of relief gave way to questions about precisely what happened and what comes next, U.S. officials warned that the campaign against terrorism is not nearly over — and that the threat of retaliation was real.

"The fight continues and we will never waver," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday. Her comments had echoes of former President George W. Bush's declaration nearly a decade ago, when al-Qaida attacks against America led to war in Afghanistan and changed the way Americans viewed their own safety.

Turning to deliver a direct message to bin Laden's followers, she vowed: "You cannot wait us out."

President Barack Obama himself delivered the news of bin Laden's killing in a dramatic White House statement late Sunday. "Justice has been done," he said.

The president was expected to address the topic again in a Medal of Honor ceremony shortly before noon EDT.

Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

The military operation that ended bin Laden's life took mere minutes, and there were no U.S. casualties.

U.S. Blackhawk helicopters ferried about two dozen troops from Navy SEAL Team Six, a top military counter-terrorism unit, into the compound identified by the CIA as bin Laden's hideout — and back out again in less than 40 minutes. Bin Laden was shot in the head, officials said, after he and his bodyguards resisted the assault.

Three adult males were also killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida. U.S. officials also said one woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, and two other women were injured.

The compound is about a half-mile from a Pakistani military academy, in a city that is home to three army regiments and thousands of military personnel. Abbottabad is surrounded by hills and with mountains in the distance.

Critics have long accused elements of Pakistan's security establishment of protecting bin Laden, though Islamabad has always denied it, and in a statement the foreign ministry said his death showed the country's resolve in the battle against terrorism.

The U.S. official who disclosed the burial at sea said it would have been difficult to find a country willing to accept the remains. Obama said the remains had been handled in accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial.

"I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast," said Mohammad Haroon Rasheed, a resident of Abbottabad, Pakistan, after the choppers had swooped in and then out again.

Bin Laden's death came 15 years after he declared war on the United States. Al-Qaida was also blamed for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors in Yemen, as well as countless other plots, some successful and some foiled.

"We have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time," CIA director Leon Panetta declared to employees of the agency in a memo Monday morning. He warned that "terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge" the killing of a man deemed uncatchable. "Bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaida is not," Panetta said.

Retaliatory attacks against the U.S. and Western targets could come from members of al-Qaida's core branch in the tribal areas of Pakistan, al-Qaida franchises in other countries, and radicalized individuals in the U.S. with al-Qaida sympathies, according to a Homeland Security Department intelligence alert issued Sunday and obtained by The Associated Press.

While the intelligence community does not have insight into current al-Qaida plotting, the department believes symbolic, economic and transportation targets could be at risk, and small arms attacks against other targets can't be ruled out.

In all, nearly 3,000 were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

As news of bin Laden's death spread, hundreds of people cheered and waved American flags at ground zero in New York, the site where al-Qaida hijacked jets toppled the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Thousands celebrated all night outside the White House gates.

As dawn came the crowd had thinned yet some still flowed in to be a part of it. A couple of people posed for photographs in front of the White House while holding up front pages of Monday's newspapers announcing bin Laden's death.

The development seems certain to give Obama a political lift as the nation swelled in pride. Even Republican critics lauded him.

But its ultimate impact on al-Qaida is less clear.

The greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. is now considered to be the al-Qaida franchise in Yemen, far from al-Qaida's core in Pakistan. The Yemen branch almost took down a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas 2009 and nearly detonated explosives aboard two U.S. cargo planes last fall. Those operations were carried out without any direct involvement from bin Laden.

The few fiery minutes in Abbottabad followed years in which U.S. officials struggled to piece together clues that ultimately led to bin Laden, according to an account provided by senior administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the operation.

Based on statements given by U.S. detainees since the 9/11 attacks, they said, intelligence officials have long known that bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular, and they believed he might be living with him in hiding.

Four years ago, the United States learned the man's identity, which officials did not disclose, and then about two years later, they identified areas of Pakistan where he operated. Last August, the man's residence was found, officials said.

"Intelligence analysis concluded that this compound was custom built in 2005 to hide someone of significance," with walls as high as 18 feet and topped by barbed wire, according to one official. Despite the compound's estimated $1 million cost and two security gates, it had no phone or Internet running into the house.

By mid-February, intelligence from multiple sources was clear enough that Obama wanted to "pursue an aggressive course of action," a senior administration official said. Over the next two and a half months, the president led five meetings of the National Security Council focused solely on whether bin Laden was in that compound and, if so, how to get him, the official said.

Obama made a decision to launch the operation on Friday, shortly before flying to Alabama to inspect tornado damage, and aides set to work on the details.

Panetta was directly in charge of the military team during the operation, according to one official, and when he and his aides received word at agency headquarters that bin Laden had been killed, cheers broke out around the conference room table.

Administration aides said the operation was so secretive that no foreign officials were informed in advance, and only a small circle inside the U.S. government was aware of what was unfolding half a world away.

In his announcement, Obama said he had called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari after the raid, and said it was "important to note that our counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding."

___

Associated Press writers Ben Feller, Matt Apuzzo, Erica Werner, Pauline Jelinek and Eileen Sullivan contributed to this story.

Comments (51) Add comment
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Chillen
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Chillen 05/02/11 - 01:22 pm
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Other news agencies (Reuters)

Other news agencies (Reuters) are reporting that DNA tests will not be available for several days.

So now it's not 100% that this was bin laden? Geeze.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54098.html

iLove
626
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iLove 05/02/11 - 01:44 pm
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"It is in times like these
Unpublished

"It is in times like these that a line is drawn between critical thinkers and those who get swiped by media crapstorms; Between those who understand the complexity of a situation and those who’d rather not know; Between those who know about the underlying motives of the people in power and those who go outside chanting “USA! USA!”."

vigilantcitizen.com

localman
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localman 05/02/11 - 01:46 pm
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How long does it take to DNA

How long does it take to DNA testing? Did they confirm DNA before "buring him at sea"? Where did they get OBL's DNA? From family members? I understand the need for secrecy in the actual detals of the mission and I applaud the military's effort in this but the confirmation of OBL's demise seems sketchy at best.

iLove
626
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iLove 05/02/11 - 01:55 pm
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"The Talibans were formed and
Unpublished

"The Talibans were formed and recruited in the late 70′s by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the United States National Security Advisor of Jimmy Carter, in order to repel Russian forces from Afghanistan (Brzezinski is today Obama’s main policy advisor). Bin Laden was trained by the CIA to fight the Communists. Since the fall of the USSR, Bin Laden and his Taliban served a new agenda: the invasion of key middle-eastern countries under the guise of a “war on terror”. In 2001, about 15 minutes after the second plane hit the WTC, the image of Bin Laden was shown on television. He become the ideal patsy on which the Bush Administration’s could blame its false flag operation."

So he was "Made in the U.S.A". . . . .what does that tell you?
Don't get caught in the hype. Be a critical thinker.

iLove
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iLove 05/02/11 - 02:00 pm
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There are way tooooooo many
Unpublished

There are way tooooooo many unanswered questions. This seems staged.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 05/02/11 - 02:01 pm
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I agree with you

I agree with you localman.....why would they be concerned about showing pictures of OBL dead, shot in the head. They sure didn't mind posting pictures and videos of Saddam being hung. I think the American people deserve to see proof (or as much of proof as possible from pictures). Those that don't think they can stomach it, don't look at them. I hate to say this but I can't help but think this is some kind of political ploy to get the President's numbers up and to get people's attitudes to change where his policies are concerned. I hope I am wrong but something just doesn't add up to me with this burial.

NewHere
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NewHere 05/02/11 - 02:16 pm
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Leave it to Augusta

Leave it to Augusta conservative and their creative minds!

ADAMS
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ADAMS 05/02/11 - 02:27 pm
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DNA no good, the American

DNA no good, the American people want the president to hold another news conference and show Bin Laden long live birth certificate and a photo ID.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 05/02/11 - 02:30 pm
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ilove, Newhere just called

ilove, Newhere just called you a conservative. Funny huh?

localman
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localman 05/02/11 - 02:33 pm
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I would rather be branded an

I would rather be branded an Augustan Conservative than a Liberal Lemming. :)

emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 05/02/11 - 03:06 pm
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Localman & InChrist, I'm

Localman & InChrist, I'm thinking the US is trying to find a balance between satisfying those who need graphic proof for closure v/s inflaming the remaining radical groups. Ditto for the quick burial. Some groups will be calling him a martyr, better not to leave any physical remains behind for them to rally around.

If it's a big coverup, they could have just faked a photo and posted it already.

Bin Laden's finally on his way to judgment, right? That ought to be enough for most.

happychimer
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happychimer 05/02/11 - 03:07 pm
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DNA is 99.9% sure it is bin

DNA is 99.9% sure it is bin Laden. That means it is him.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 05/02/11 - 03:15 pm
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happychimer, I agree that DNA

happychimer, I agree that DNA testing is usually pretty accurate. My question is since Bin Laden had no siblings, his father is deceased, the only sourse to compare it to is his mother. I haven't read all the news articles but I've not heard mention that they compared it to his mother's DNA to confirm.....just that it had been confirmed.

Agree emergencyfan, concerning not wanting to inflame the radical groups but you know yourself, there is going to be a lot of disbelief and rumors going around. According to some news reports, we've already screwed up and inflamed radical islamic groups by burying the man at sea which is a violation unless he was a seaman killed at sea and too far from land. I understand their reasoning but it looks like one of those situations where there's gonig to be remaining questions.

TK3
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TK3 05/02/11 - 03:40 pm
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Gee guys, you don't think the

Gee guys, you don't think the Powers that Be would would go to all the trouble to fake where, when and how Bin Laden died for political points do you ??
PS: After posting that question in the comment section of several online News sites, including Yahoo, one minute later all online comments were removed from each and all comments closed!

happychimer
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happychimer 05/02/11 - 03:56 pm
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bin laden's son was also

bin laden's son was also killed. The ones involved in the mission are not going to tell all the secret details, especially right now.They know they matched his dna, so it had to be from something of his, or a relative.

js_ee
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js_ee 05/02/11 - 04:08 pm
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ICL, it has been reported

ICL, it has been reported that he had 53 siblings and his dna was compared to dna recovered in 2007.

Chillen
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Chillen 05/02/11 - 04:58 pm
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53 siblings?!!! Is it any

53 siblings?!!! Is it any wonder we have a radical muslim problem??!!!

iLove
626
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iLove 05/02/11 - 05:09 pm
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lol! The name, "newhere"
Unpublished

lol! The name, "newhere" fits perfectly

For the record, I am neither Liberal or Conservative....I'm me.

knighttime
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knighttime 05/02/11 - 06:33 pm
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if you shot big foot would

if you shot big foot would you throw him in the river.... just asking... .

burninater
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burninater 05/02/11 - 06:44 pm
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Maybe they're setting him up

Maybe they're setting him up on Kenny Boy's Wyoming ranch.

corgimom
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corgimom 05/02/11 - 07:27 pm
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They obtained a comparison

They obtained a comparison DNA sample from bin Laden's sister, who died of cancer prior to this.

A DNA sample only takes a few hours to process; the reason it takes so long with crimes is that the labs are overwhelmed and underfunded. However, I suspect that this was considered an emergency priority, and I think they processed it quickly.

What makes me laugh is the part about burying him at sea "according to Islamic teachings"- that part was great! They are supposed to be buried with their face towards Mecca. The sharks are having a feast- and it's well-deserved.

Of course, now all the governmental conspiracy nutcases will insist that it's not true, but that's ok.

I hope that Congress creates a special 9/11 Medal of Freedom to give to everyone on the Seal teams, and whoever shot him should get the Congressional Medal of Honor. All of them heroically risked their lives in order to carry out this mission, and they should be rewarded for their courage and valor.

wondersnevercease
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wondersnevercease 05/02/11 - 07:37 pm
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LOL....it's all just a bit
Unpublished

LOL....it's all just a bit contrived,,,doncha think?...I personally thought the dude was dead years ago.......but leave it to the "administration" to raise this dead issue.....just how did all those people just "arrive" into the streets last night? Americans do not dance in the streets when a person is killed....that is reserved for the third world Countries.

corgimom
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corgimom 05/02/11 - 07:53 pm
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Wonders, too bad you weren't

Wonders, too bad you weren't around when Hitler was reported dead. You would've seen Americans dancing in the streets, just like they did today. And they danced in the streets when VJ day happened, and when the WWI armistice was signed, and when the Civil War was over, and so on.

Hey, in this country people dance in the streets when their football team wins the Super Bowl, let alone when a mortal enemy of the US is killed.

PCnomo
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PCnomo 05/02/11 - 08:17 pm
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Been thinking the same thing

Been thinking the same thing all day.

If muslims dancing in the streets to celebrate the 9/11 deaths was offensive, then how come christians dancing in the streets to celebrate bin ladens death is not?

Any answers?

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 05/02/11 - 08:36 pm
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Muslim tradition allows

Muslim tradition allows burial at sea, although, burial facing Mecca is prefered.

Chillen
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Chillen 05/02/11 - 08:40 pm
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First of all pcnomo. It was

First of all pcnomo. It was not only Christians dancing in the streets. It was MANY Americans (except the muslims I'm sure).

They were and are undignified. The "celebrators" looked no better than the insane muslims who do the same. What has happened to America?

YankeeInvasion
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YankeeInvasion 05/02/11 - 10:09 pm
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I'm not sure why some of you

I'm not sure why some of you think that dancing in the streets after the death of this homicidal maniac is inappropriate. Is it really any different than the family of a murder victim watching as the murderer is executed? I think it's rather healthy for people to come together to express joy that justice has been served. As long as they aren't looting, what's the problem?

Think about it. The last time our community was this united was 9/11.

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 05/03/11 - 07:42 am
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People shake their heads at

People shake their heads at those dancing in the streets? I would have been just fine with them putting his head on a stick and mounting the ugly thing at Ground Zero to give them something to dance around..kind of like a Maypole.

I've read that the 'burial at sea' was to prevent bin Laden from having a burial site that could be turned into some sort of shrine or pilgrimage by his crazy followers. Makes sense.

InChristLove
22480
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InChristLove 05/03/11 - 09:09 am
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js_ee "ICL, it has been

js_ee "ICL, it has been reported that he had 53 siblings and his dna was compared to dna recovered in 2007."

Actually js_ee he has 53 half siblings . He was the only son of his father's 10th wife.

InChristLove
22480
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InChristLove 05/03/11 - 09:22 am
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myfather15, as a fellow

myfather15, as a fellow believer, I find it sad that you would have such vindictiveness in your heart. To think we are better than our fellow man. Does God not love all of us the same?

I am glad that Bin Laden is no longer alive but it does make me sad to think that this man probably will spend eternity in Hell. I don't even wish that on the worse criminal.

Whether it's the people of Islam or the people of America, dancing in the street to rejoice over death, bothers me. 3000 innocent lives lost was a horrible act of violence and my heart and prayers go out to the families who were affected by this but do you think God is dancing in heaven because this soul was lost. As Christians are we not suppose to be like Him? Instead of dancing in the street, we should be on our knees praying (for the people affected by this horrible man, for our soliders still over in the middle east, and also for this country).

I apologize for my post but if we confess that we are Christians, then as the whole world watches, we must live up to our testimony.

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