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So what took al-Qaeda so long to replace Osama bin Laden?
The death of Osama bin Laden comes at a time when al-Qaeda in Iraq has been shifting strategies in an effort to recoup from years of setbacks.
In the days after the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad when the whole world was wondering whether the Pakistanis had known all along that he was there I found myself reviewing my correspondence with officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate
When President Barack Obama announced on May 1 that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was among those who headed to the White House.
Sometimes the tabloid route is best: Obama got Osama. President Barack Hussein Obama approved the attack that killed his near namesake Osama bin Laden the very same week that Obama revealed his long-form birth certificate, addressing a silly dispute that was really about something heinous and serious: the suspicion of far too many Americans that the President was not who he said he was, that he was a secret Muslim and maybe not even playing for our team.
The resort town of Abbottabad is a familiar one to day-tripping Pakistanis seeking escape from the urban tumult of the Punjab plain. Just 75 miles from the capital, Islamabad, colonial-era bungalows abut modern whitewashed villas on small streets largely devoid of traffic.
There are so many things that make the killing of Osama bin Laden absolutely delicious: the hypocrisy of his being nabbed in a million-dollar, suburban compound even as he sent others to their deaths; the fear he must have felt as his bedroom door burst open and he found himself staring down the barrel of an American weapon held by an American soldier; the ignominious end his remains met dumped overboard into the Arabian Sea like so much unwanted rubbish.
If reactions to the death of Osama bin Laden run the gamut among Palestinians and do they ever one end of the spectrum is occupied by Issam Marbough, selling used cell phones from an overturned cardboard box on a sidewalk of downtown Ramallah. Five in the afternoon finds him oblivious to the news of the day and, even after hearing it, he is more inclined to discussion of his financial situation than talking about a man known for “injuring women and children.” He’s not broken up about it.