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Breaking News: Osama Bin Laden is at Last Dead

344173 osama bin laden 225x300 Breaking News: Osama Bin Laden is at Last DeadUs president Barack Obama has just announced in a dramatic late night statement that the real mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed close to 3,000 people, Osama Bin Laden was killed early morning of today. Few details were immediately available. However, some reports say that Bin Laden was killed by Americans special forces in a villa in an area near the Pakistani capital Islamabad. This success comes after almost 10 yeas in the hunt for Bin Laden.

American say they have dumped Osama’s body into Arabian sea. After Bin laden’s death, Us also issued a worldwide travel alert. It is believed that this travel alert comes amid concern of retaliatory terror attacked by either Al-Qaeda, affiliated groups or supporters and sympathizers of Bin Laden.  This is based on past experience whenever there were big blows to Al-Qaeda, there had been a surge of revenge attacked around the world. That happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and some other places around the world.

The Mansion Where Bin Laden was Hiding on Fire after the Attack

As the details of the operation emerge, it is now reported that based on statements given by US detainees, intelligence officials have known for years that Bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular and they believed he might be living with him in hiding. In November, intelligence officials found out where he was living, a huge fortified compound in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet high, topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates and no phone or internet running into the house.

abbot2 Breaking News: Osama Bin Laden is at Last Dead

The mansion where Bin laden was living from google map

Associated Press citing Pakistani official, reported that four helicopters launched the attack in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 100km north of Islamabad; women and children were taken into custody during the raid. Four people were killed including Bin Laden. US officials say the compound in which Bin Laden was killed appeared to have been custom-built to harbour a major fugitive.

PMA Gate21 Breaking News: Osama Bin Laden is at Last Dead

Pakistan Military Academy: This academy is just 800 yards from the mansion where Bin Laden lived

Abbottabad is home to three Pakistan army regiments and thousands of military personnel and is dotted with military buildings, news agency Associated Press says.  The compound where Bin Laden was killed is 800 yards from the premises of the PMA – Pakistan Military Academy – Pakistan’s equivalent of British Army officer training centre at Sandhurst. Bin Laden’s discovery there raises pointed questions about how he managed to evade capture and even whether Pakistan’s military and intelligence leadership knew of his whereabouts and sheltered him.

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Osama Bin Laden was an inspirational figure to those who follow Al-Qaeda's ideology

Killing Bin laden would be a moral and symbolic victory for USA and Western nation as well as for Bin Laden’s  native country Saudi Arabia as he was a staunch enemy of the Saudi ruling family.  The effect of Bin laden’s death would redoubtably be  a psychological blow to Al-Qaeda and it’s affiliates in countries like Yemen, Somalia and North Africa. However, whether this will end Al-Qaeda’s terror campaign is  a doubt as killing a senior figure in an illusive terrorist organisation like Al-Qaeda never materialized in destroying the whole organisation.  Al-Qaeda has been probably preparing to blows like this by the illusive nature their organisational  structure as a wordwide reach using the internet to their advantage. Nonetheless, Killing Bin Laden would have a far reaching effect to Al-Qaeda’s operations as he was the dominating figure who had the inspiration and the financial strength in his own right as a millionaire. So a replacement like him is almost impossible.

The fact that Bin Laden was found and killed close to Islamabad – not in the tribal no man’s land between Afghanistan and Pakistan – emphasises previous doubts about the involvement of some of the elements of Pakistani intelligence agency ISS in protecting and aiding Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and in fact providing shelter for Bin Laden for all these years. Indeed, according to AFP, Home Minister on India P Chidambaram says Bin Laden’s killing near Islamabad highlights concerns that Pakistan provides “sanctuary” to terrorists. the Indian It is inconceivable that a military as big as Pakistan’s was really unable to trace Bin Laden in their backyard. So this manhunt of Bin laden in the heart of Pakistan will further strain relationship between Pakistan and US and other Western powers.

What is Terrorism? The Use of the Term “Terrorism” is Misleading and is Out of Touch with the Reality

Terrorism is a word that has been used quite often in these days. I have been puzzled by how the “terrorism” being used in different contexts. So, I am very curious to find out what does this word actually means, and whether the usage and application of the term terrorism is consistent with the reality on the ground.

oklahoma city bombing 14 What is Terrorism? The Use of the Term “Terrorism” is Misleading and is Out of Touch with the Reality

19 innocent children died in Oklahoma Bombing

The definitions of terrorism itself look very biased and designed in a way that allows and protects some acts of terrorising get away unnoticed as terrorist acts. For example, according to Oxford English Dictionary, terrorism is “the unofficial or unauthorised use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” Looking at the definition from a linguistic point of view, while terrorism is a word in the same stem as terrorising, how come that terrorism being linked to only ‘unofficial’ or ‘unauthorised’ and also linked to one intention: political aims? Does that means if violence and intimidation is being used officially (say by a government or a coalition) and authorised (say by UN or a parliament), it is not terrorism? Also, What if the violence and intimidation was carried out without a clear political aim? Is it not terrorism?

Something not clear about the definition of terrorism by dictionaries is, if we agree with these definitions, it doesn’t identify when it comes to the use of violence and intimidation officially and authorised, the status and the nature of official and authorisation. The question here is, ‘official’ in what capacity and authorised by whom? Official for some people might not be official for some others. Likewise, there are various ways it can be authorised. It can by a single government, a coalition of governments, a regional body, or a worldwide body such as the United Nations. Then, there will be other lingering questions such as who in those governments and bodies support that and if there are oppositions to that?

My understanding is that any act of violence and intimidation that is used; whether it is official or unofficial, authorised or unauthorised, are acts of terrorism. Likewise, regardless of the intention we should focus on the actions and the result. Any act of intimidation and violence will be a terrorisation of the target people. Therefore, we can say any act of intimidation and violence is terrorism.

I have to agree that as in the definition, there are countless acts of unofficial, unauthorised (though it would be authorised by someone) acts of violence and intimidation, and are carried out with a political aim, that caused terrorisation of people and fatalities as well. However, there are examples of state sponsored acts of violence and intimidation of certain groups of people. It is also true that there are some acts of intimidation and violence that are authorised by governments and worldwide bodies, especially United Nations Security Council. Likewise, there are acts of intimidation and violence that are being carried out without any clear political intention. But one thing clear about these acts of violence and intimidation is that all of them terrorised certain groups of people with thousands of fatalities and even a larger number of injuries. Therefore, I regard these acts of intimidation and violence as terrorism.

If we try to explore acts of terrorism carried out by governments, there are many examples. Perhaps the most obvious of all of them are state sponsored terrorism carries out by USA and Israel. But, the irony is these two countries always accuse countries like Iran and Syria of state sponsored terrorism, because they support Palestine Hamas and Lebanese Hizbullah. During 1948 alone, 5000 plus Palestinians were killed. In the war of Attrition, 2500 Palestinians killed. In the Yom Kippur War, 1000 Palestinians killed. During the Lebanese Civil War, 75 000 Palestinians killed, including 3500 Palestinians massacred in the Sabar Shatila in September 1982 by Christian Lebanese Phalangists in the cover of Israeli army. During 2000-2005 – 5 000 Palestinians killed. During the Gaza War, 1 500 Palestinians killed. In the first Palestinian Intifada, Israel killed an estimated 3000 Palestinians. In Indifada of Alaqsa, Israel killed another 5500 Palestinians. There had been incidents of small massacres not well documented, if added all together, they will add up to thousands. During the Hebron Massacre 1994 Israel killed 60 Palestinians dead in Mosque. In the Church of Nativity, 20 Christians killed by Israeli fire, including 2 Priests and 3 Deacons. In the Al-Aqsa massacre 2000, 35 Palestinians killed. In Jenin, 53 Palestinians killed in 2002. When we add these figures, it is a staggering 98,615 Palestinians killed by Israel. These are terrifying acts of utter horror for those victims and for those who witnessed. However, by the western controlled media, these acts are not described as terrorist acts.

When we look at terrorist acts carried out by the USA, the Iraqi invasion is enough as an example. We all know, thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed by America bombardments during the launch of the invasion attack and in the years that followed. Innocent Iraqis were terrified and horrified by the American missiles and bombs. Yet, it was not described as terrorist acts by world media.

Finally, there have been scores of terrorist acts carried out without a clear or announced political aim and even with some political intentions, but not branded as terrorism by a vast majority of world media. Perhaps the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks was the Oklahoma City Bombing, which claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. It is arguable that the intention was politically motivated as the ring leader Timothy McVeigh had clear connections to an American militia movement. But with all those casualties and the utter terror caused, Timoty McVeigh is not labelled by American media as a terrorist. Why? Is it that he is not a Muslim? I bet if he was a Muslim, he would have been labelled as a terrorist.

oklahoma city bombing 300x196 What is Terrorism? The Use of the Term “Terrorism” is Misleading and is Out of Touch with the Reality

The Oklahoma Bombing destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

There are many terrorist attacks carried out by non-Muslims, but not labelled as terrorist attacks and those who committed those acts are just being simply described as criminals; not terrorists, although they caused terror and horror to many people. If I give examples, I would need many pages to list that. However, let me mention some examples. How about those shootings by individuals mainly in American schools and universities that caused unspeakable terror to those who suffered. These shooting are not labelled as terrorism as well. There was a shooting on UK nuclear submarine HMS Astute in Southampton. In that incident, one person was killed and another injured critically by shooter who was a navy serviceman in the submarine. Hampshire police and the Ministry of Defence have said the incident was not terrorist related. Clearly those who witnessed this attack would have been terrified and utterly shaken, but it is not described as a terrorist attack. This is just one such example. In summary, I would say that it looks like Muslims are being labelled as terrorists. I think that is not fair as 99.9999% Muslims are law abiding peaceful people who abhor terrorism and killing innocent people.