Sources:yahoo.com et autres.
Le président américain Barack Obama a annoncé dimanche la mort d'Oussama ben Laden, le commanditaire des attentats du 11 septembre 2001, dans une opération terrestre menée par les États-Unis.
Dans un discours à la nation d'une dizaine de minutes, M. Obama a indiqué que le chef d'Al-Qaïda a été tué dimanche lors d'un échange de tirs dans un complexe d'Abbottabad, à environ 100 km au nord d'Islamabad, la capitale du Pakistan.
« Justice a été rendue », a déclaré le président, avertissant que la nébuleuse, bien que privée de son chef, tenterait à nouveau de s'en prendre aux Américains.
Des informations selon lesquelles l'homme le plus recherché de la planète se trouvait dans cette région du Pakistan émanaient depuis août dernier, a précisé le président, qui a ajouté que la décision de lancer l'opération a été prise la semaine dernière.
Barack Obama a déclaré qu'il avait lui-même ordonné aux troupes américaines de lancer l'assaut, indiquant que les autorités pakistanaises avaient contribué à débusquer Ben Laden. Le président a précisé qu'aucun militaire américain n'a été tué ou blessé lors de la charge.
M. Obama a estimé que la nouvelle de la mort de Ben Laden devrait être « accueillie favorablement par tous ceux qui croient en la paix et en la dignité » avant de souligner que les États-Unis « n'étaient pas et ne seraient jamais en guerre contre l'islam ».
Dans une entrevue à l'agence Reuters, un responsable de la sécurité nationale américaine a confirmé que la mission était de tuer et pas de capturer le chef d'Al-Qaïda.
Corps déjà inhumé
Des responsables américains ont confirmé à l'Agence France-Presse lundi que le corps d'Oussama ben Laden a été inhumé en mer. Le lieu et les circonstances de cette inhumation n'ont pas été précisés.
« L'inhumation en mer a déjà eu lieu », a déclaré un responsable américain sous couvert de l'anonymat. « Oui, je peux le confirmer », a dit un autre responsable de l'administration américaine.
« Nous nous assurons que son corps est traité en accord avec la pratique et la tradition musulmane. C'est quelque chose que nous prenons très au sérieux », avait auparavant affirmé un haut responsable de l'administration Obama.
Le corps d'un musulman doit être lavé par d'autres musulmans et inhumé dès que possible, généralement dans les 24 heures suivant sa mort. En général, un linceul blanc recouvre le corps, qu'il soit enterré ou immergé.
Une opération de 40 minutes
Le président Obama n'a pas donné plus de détails sur l'opération. Sous le couvert de l'anonymat, des responsables américains ont affirmé que le raid avait été mené par une « petite équipe », mais n'ont pas précisé s'il s'agissait de membres de la CIA ou des militaires des forces spéciales.
Ils ont ajouté que cinq personnes, dont Oussama ben Laden, ont été tuées dans l'opération qui a duré 40 minutes. Les autres victimes seraient un fils du chef d'Al-Qaïda, deux autres hommes, vraisemblablement des messagers d'Oussama ben Laden, et une femme derrière laquelle un homme s'abritait.
Deux autres femmes ont aussi été blessées, selon les responsables. Plusieurs femmes et enfants se trouvaient dans l'enceinte de la résidence.
Un responsable américain a dit à l'agence Reuters qu'Oussama ben Laden a résisté avant d'être atteint à la tête. Selon lui, les commandos qui l'ont tué ont utilisé des techniques de reconnaissance faciale pour identifier le chef d'Al-Qaïda.
Un haut responsable américain a précisé lundi que les tests d'ADN avaient permis de certifier qu'il s'agissait bien du corps de Ben Laden.
L'opération a été suivie en direct par le directeur de la CIA, Leon Panetta, et d'autres responsables des services de renseignement réunis dans une salle de conférence au siège de la CIA à Langley, en Virginie.
Un hélicoptère a été perdu lors de l'opération en raison d'une panne mécanique, ce qui a obligé tous les membres du commando à prendre place dans l'autre appareil utilisé pour cette opération.
Selon les responsables américains, le complexe résidentiel où se trouvait Ben Laden a été construit il y a environ cinq ans. Il était entouré de hauts murs et de barbelés.
Bush et Bloomberg crient victoire
L'ancien président américain George W. Bush a félicité son successeur à la Maison-Blanche. Dans un communiqué, M. Bush a souligné que Barack Obama l'avait personnellement appelé pour l'informer de la nouvelle.
« Cet extraordinaire tour de force représente un triomphe pour les États-Unis, pour les gens qui recherchent la paix dans le monde, et pour tous ceux qui ont perdu des êtres chers le 11 septembre 2001 », a-t-il déclaré. Selon M. Bush, Washington a envoyé « un message qui ne se dément pas : peu importe le temps qu'il faudra, justice sera rendue ».
De son côté, le maire de New York, Michael Bloomberg, a noté que si la mort de Ben Laden n'efface pas les souffrances qu'ont éprouvées les Américains le jour de l'effondrement des tours jumelles, elle constitue néanmoins une « victoire d'une importance cruciale » pour le pays.
Radio-Canada.ca avec AFP, Associated Press et Reuters
Autres articles réunis par Robert Benodin et posté ci-dessous:
1) The Guardian
Osama bin Laden: it took years to find him but just minutes to kill him
Contrary to speculation that Osama bin Laden was in a remote tribal area, he was instead found in an affluent suburb near Islamabad
By Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Guardian.co.uk Monday 2 May 2011
The trail that led the CIA to Osama bin Laden began with his most trusted courier. It had taken the CIA years to discover first his name and then the home where he was hiding the al-Qaida leader. But it took only 40 minutes on Sunday for US Special Forces to kill both the courier and Bin Laden.
Contrary to repeated speculation over the past decade that Bin Laden was living in one of the remote tribal areas of Pakistan or even across the border in Afghanistan, the al-Qaida leader was found in an affluent suburb of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
Senior US administration officials, briefing journalists in a late-night teleconference, said that after 9/11 the CIA chased various leads about Bin Laden's inner circle, in particular his couriers. One of these couriers came in for special attention, mentioned by detainees at Guantánamo Bay by his nom de guerre. He was said to be a protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind, and one of the few couriers Bin Laden trusted.
Officials said they were initially unable to identify him but finally did so four years ago. They did not disclose his name to reporters on Sunday.
Two years ago, the CIA found the rough location where the courier and his brother lived in Pakistan, and on August last year they narrowed it down to a compound in Abbottabad, an affluent area about 35 miles north of Islamabad that had been founded as a British garrison town in the 1840s and named after its first deputy commissioner, Major James Abbott.
They realised immediately this was no normal residence. The walls of the 3,000 sq ft compound were 12-18ft high, topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates, and access to the compound was severely restricted. The main part of the residence was three storeys high but had few windows, and a third-floor terrace was shielded by a privacy wall. Built around five years ago, it was valued at about $1m but had no phone or internet connection.
The two brothers had no known source of income, adding to CIA suspicions. The CIA learned too that there was a family living with them, and that the composition of this family matched Bin Laden's.
Local suspicions were understood to have been aroused by the fact that the residents of the compound burned their rubbish rather than putting it out for collection. Salman Riaz, a film actor, said that five months ago he and a crew tried to do some filming next to the house, but were told to stop by two men who came out. "They told me that this is haram (forbidden) in Islam," he said. He did not know that he had stumbled across a bespoke terrorist hideaway "custom-built to hide someone of significance", according to a US official.
By September, the CIA had determined there was a "strong possibility" that the hideout was Bin Laden's, and by February, they were confident they had the right location. In March Barack Obama began chairing a series of five national security meetings. At the last of these, on Friday 29 April, while the world's attention was on the royal wedding taking place in London, he gave the order to mount an operation.
At that meeting, at 8.20am in the diplomatic room at the White House, Obama met his national security adviser Thomas Donilon, counter-terrorism adviser John O Brennan, and other senior national security aides to go through the detailed plan to attack the compound and sign the formal orders authorizing it, the New York Times reported.
"We shared our intelligence on this compound with no other country, including Pakistan," a senior administration official told the paper. Only a tiny handful of people within the administration were aware of the operation.
Obama spent part of Sunday on the golf course, the Associated Press reported, but cut short his round to return to the White House for a meeting where he and top national security aides reviewed final preparations for the raid.
At around 1.15am local time on Monday, Abbottabad residents became aware that something was happening. "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1:00am (is a rare event)," tweeted one local, Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual); following that some minutes later by: "A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope it’s not the start of something nasty :-S"
In fact there were four US military helicopters, carrying elite troops from Navy Seal Team Six, a top counter-terrorism unit, US officials told the Associated Press, under the direct command of the CIA director, Leon Panetta, whose analysts monitored the compound from his conference room, which was transformed into a command centre.
One Pakistani official said the helicopters had taken off from the Ghazi airbase in the north-west of the country. Fighters on the roof opened fire on the choppers with rocket-propelled grenades as they came close to the building, according witnesses and Pakistani sources, and one of the helicopters crashed due to mechanical problems. Witnesses reported hearing two small blasts followed by a huge explosion.
"I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped," said a local resident, Mohammad Haroon Rasheed. "Then more thundering, then a big blast," he said. "In the morning when we went out to see what happened, some helicopter wreckage was lying in an open field."
The details of the operation, including the number of US military personnel involved, remain unclear. Senior administration officials will only say that Bin Laden "resisted" during a gun battle. He died from a bullet to the head, they said.
Bin Laden was identified by facial recognition, one official said, declining to say whether DNA analysis had also been used.
The al-Qaida courier, his brother and one of Bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name, were also killed. One of Bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida. The officials said one woman died when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, and two other women were injured.
Other unidentified males were taken from the scene, a Pakistani official told the Associated Press, while four children and two women were arrested and left in an ambulance, the official said.
The operation took 40 minutes in total, after which flames were visible on the roof of the building. Before withdrawing, US forces blew up the helicopter wreckage. "The aircraft was destroyed by the crew, and the assault force and crew members boarded the remaining aircraft to exit the compound," a senior administration source told the New York Times. "All non-combatants were moved safely away from the compound before the detonation."
Bin Laden's body was loaded on to one of the helicopters and taken from the scene. US officials later confirmed he had been buried at sea, mindful of the Islamic imperative for a speedy burial. The location was not revealed. "We don't want a bunch of people going to the shrine forever," an official told the Washington Post.
It was mid-afternoon at CIA headquarters when Panetta and his team received word that Bin Laden was dead, the Associated Press reported, after which cheers and applause broke out across the conference room.
Informed immediately of the developments, Obama spoke on Sunday night to former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. Keith Urbahn, the former chief of staff to Bush's defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, gave the first public indication of the news, tweeting at 10.25pm EST Sunday evening (3.25am BST Monday morning): "So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn."
2) The Guardian
Osama bin Laden: the Americans got him in the end in true John Wayne style
The killing of the al-Qaida leader will thrill Americans and give Barack Obama a boost - but what is the significance of his death?
By Michael White
Guardian.co.uk Monday 2 May 2011
Revenge is an unfashionable word among post-imperial Europeans, who feel more comfortable with notions of justice, preferably after due legal process. Gleeful Americans, who chanted "USA, USA!" outside the White House after Barack Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, show fewer inhibitions. They do capital punishment too.
A rough kind of justice it was, Sunday night's firefight at Bin Laden's hideaway in a sleepy, military town in northern Pakistan. But it was also revenge for the 9/11 attacks, for the bombing of those African embassies, the USS Cole and countless other atrocities, mostly against fellow Muslims.
Plenty of Europeans - including friends of mine - muttered quietly when they watched the twin towers fall in Manhattan that "the Americans had it coming". Plenty of Muslims, especially in the Middle East, cheered openly as the death toll mounted in New York.
You could follow their thinking without agreeing with their conclusions or the manner of its expression. This time the boot is on the other foot, which means that the revenge-minded will already be plotting the next cycle of retaliation like Sicilian villagers.
Yet the striking feature of Monday morning's news is the sense of unfinished business that is way past its date stamp. The world has moved on since September 2001 and in unpredictable ways, as it always does, ignoring the blueprints devised for it by armchair theoreticians.
Who has been the big loser in the global reconfiguration that coincided with the decade-long Osama hunt? The United States? How big a role did radical political Islamplay in its decline from that brief, misleading moment of post-cold war hegemony? Other than as an expendable decoy, a mere distraction from urgent tasks of economic and social reform in the US, none at all.
Wall Street investment bankers, capitalism's fifth column, did the Great Satan much more harm than obscurantist Wahhabi puritans dreaming of a revived caliphate. Chinese factory workers and Chinese bankers who loaned American consumers the money to buy their output did much of the rest. Osama who?
Why, even the political transformation of the Middle East during the much-to-be-welcomed Arab spring owes little or nothing to militant Islam. The crowds that gathered in Tahrir Square to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak explicitly repudiated both Bin Laden - whose sights were also on Mubarak - and the Islamic theocratic model which purports to rule in Shia Tehran. They want what TV allows them to see other people enjoying, including accountable politics.
Osama bin Laden probably didn't have much to say - or even think - about the re-emergence of China as a world power, a civilization largely unaffected by Islam, even in its heyday a millennium ago. Millennia don't cut much mustard from a Chinese perspective. Even in India, even though it was much more affected, Islam never uprooted much older Hinduism as it displaced Christianity in disaffected eastern provinces of the Roman empire. Osama who again?
In truth, 9/11 may have been a spectacular one-off coup - low-tech, high-concept - but it was also a dead end, except for the security industry where countless jobs were created with the investment bankers' approval. Like many revolutionary romantics steeped in cleansing dreams of bloodshed, Bin Laden was a hero for losers too.
So what is the significance of his death? It will thrill Americans, long hardened to bad news, and dismay his more simple-minded followers, some of them in well-paid university jobs. It will give Barack Obama a boost. He promised that US forces would "capture or kill" Bin Laden on his watch - I doubt if they tried hard to capture him - and they have done so.
It may well help secure his re-election next year. Is there anything in it for David Cameron, too? No, but association with success does no harm. Even if some nasty bombing spoils the moment we will all understand who did it and why.
Prepare yourself for malicious details about Bin Laden's hideaway: they may be installing a whirlpool bath and other naughtiest as we speak. One early report spoke of him taking cover behind a woman. And now reports say he has been buried at sea - fed to the fishes, as they say in Brooklyn - it will allow some people to insist "he's not dead at all".
None of which will change much of importance. The Afghan war will stagger blindly on and Taliban prisoners continue to escape in industrial quantities. Militant Islam will not go away, even if the Arab spring delivers pluralism, peace and prosperity to the Middle East. China will go on rising, so will India and Brazil, which owes as much to Che Guevara as prosperous Malaysia owes to OBL. The al-Qaida franchise will find new leaders: it already has done. Beijing in its pomp will take a less tolerant view, much as Moscow does.
It will not prevent Bin Laden being revered as the man who challenged the mighty secular enemy in Washington. He is a curious role model. Yesterday's Sunday papers carried an unflattering account of his escape from Tora Bora in 2001, sacrificing loyal fighters in the process. It may even be true.
But what should we have expected from a poor little rich boy with four wives and up to 24children? The awkward fact is that many people who have ended up revered as saints or heroes were actually pretty monstrous. Hitler, Lenin, Stalin all still have their fan clubs. Mao Tse Tung, arguably the most bloodthirsty mass murderer in the pack, is currently being lionized again in China as the succession struggle intensifies.
Bin Laden will not be forgotten. But nor will the fact that, in true John Wayne style, the Americans got him in the end. They said they would, and might not have succeeded. But they did.
3) The Guardian
Osama bin Laden's death will haunt Pakistan
Bin Laden's discovery in a compound 35 miles from Islamabad is a dangerous embarrassment for Pakistan and the ISI
By Simon Tisdall
Guardian.co.uk Monday 2 May 2011
The extraordinary discovery that Osama bin Laden had been living, possibly since 2005, in a luxury compound in a popular summer resort a short drive from the national capital, Islamabad, is an enormous and dangerous embarrassment for Pakistan's government.
Officials from President Asif Ali Zardari downwards have consistently maintained that the al-Qaida chief was not sheltering on Pakistani soil, suggesting instead that the Americans look for him elsewhere, particularly in Afghanistan. The Pakistani stance was part of a wider policy of denial, dating back to the 9/11 attacks, premised on the argument that Pakistan was not the source and springboard for Islamist-inspired terrorism but rather its principal victim.
Islamabad's head-in-the-sand position, as it is seen by some analysts in the west, has led to intensifying friction with Washington in recent months, as the Obama administration struggles to bring an ordered end to its 10-year involvement in Afghanistan. There have been furious rows about unmanned cross-border drone attacks, the arrest in Lahore of a CIA contractor, and Pakistani criticism of US failure to open peace talks with the Taliban.
But all that is as nothing compared with what may now follow. Official denial-ism has also hampered Pakistan's efforts to deal forcefully with its own violent Islamists, the so-called Pakistani Taliban, with which al-Qaida is said to have links. Tens of thousands of people have died in Pakistan as a result of terrorist activity since 9/11, more than all the European and American victims combined.
Given this context, and amid predictions by western commentators of possible terrorist retaliation against US and British targets, it is Pakistanis, along with Afghans, who are most likely to pay a blood price in terms of revenge attacks for the slaying of a man who is seen by some in the Muslim world as an iconic figure.
Tellingly, the Pakistani government was not informed beforehand of the American special forces' raid. The truth is, US officials would simply not have trusted their counterparts in Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's powerful security and spy agency, with such sensitive information.
Extremely pointed questions are now certain to be asked about whether the ISI or its various branches and minions, knew of the existence of the highly unusual, heavily fortified, expensively built compound in Abbottabad, 35 miles north of Islamabad – and of its high-value, low-profile tenant. If they did, why did they not investigate? If they did not, was it because they didn't want to know?
The most damaging (and familiar) suspicion, which is certain to resurface in the coming days, is that elements within the ISI who have maintained links with terrorist groups such as the Haqqani network, did indeed know Bin Laden and his retinue were in Abbottabad, and by keeping silent, were effectively providing him with protection.
The Pakistani government will energetically deny any such suggestion. But given its tenuous control over the ISI, sometimes described as a state within a state, and given its record for candor to date, it will have a hard time being believed.
"When we saw the compound, we were shocked by what we saw: an extraordinarily unique compound," a senior US administration official said. The building, about eight times the size of other nearby houses, sat on a large plot of land that was relatively secluded when it was built in 2005. The villa had comprehensive security measures in place, the official said, including 12- to 18-foot outer walls topped with barbed wire and internal walls. Like some kind of medieval keep, two security gates restricted access. Only a few windows of the three-story building faced outwards, and its terrace had a seven-foot privacy wall, officials said.
Pakistan will now face possibly strong reactions not only from the Americans, but also from home-grown militants – plus possible spillover from Afghanistan, where fighting is in any case expected to intensify as the weather warms.
Renewed trouble could also extend to disputed Kashmir, where repression by Indian security forces of the Muslim population intensified last year and Pakistani Punjabi militant groups have a long history of involvement. Significantly, India was quick to point this out. The home ministry in New Delhi lost no time in saying the discovery of Bin Laden in Pakistan underscored its concern that "terrorists belonging to different organizations find sanctuary in Pakistan".
In Washington and New York as in London and Delhi, relief that the world's most wanted man has been killed will be tempered, and may yet be overtaken by deep anger that he was apparently living not in some freezing mountain cave, as many assumed, but freely, undisturbed and untroubled by the authorities, in comfort in a desirable Pakistani neighborhood.