Reactions: Bin Laden’s death

Global reactions to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

Osama bin Laden
Americans celebrate outside the White House after hearing the news of bin Laden’s death [Reuters]

Reactions to news of the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from around the world:

Barack Obama – the US president

Today, at my direction, the United States carried out that operation … they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date against al-Qaeda.

Tonight, we give thanks to the counterintelligence officials who have tirelessly worked, we give thanks to the men who carried out this operation.

Finally, let me say to the families, we have not forgotten your loss, today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country.

Tonight we are once again reminded that American can do whatever we set our mind to … we can do these things not because of wealth and power but because of who we are.

Hillary Clinton – US secretary of state



Pakistan Foreign Office

The death of bin Laden is a “major setback to terrorist organisations around the world”.

“This operation was conducted by the US Forces in accordance with declared US policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the US forces, wherever found in the world.”

Yousuf Raza Gilani – Pakistani prime minister

We will not allow our soil to be used against any other country for terrorism and therefore I think it’s a great victory, it’s a success and I congratulate the success of this operation.

Hamid Karzai – Afghan president

The killing of bin Laden is very “important news”.

The Taliban must learn a lesson from this. The Taliban should refrain from fighting.

The war against terrorism is in its sources, in its financial sources, its sanctuaries, in its training bases, not in Afghanistan

Ehsanullah Ehsan – Pakistani Taliban spokesman

If he has been martyred, we will avenge his death and launch attacks against American and Pakistani governments and their security forces.

Ismail Haniyeh – head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip

We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We ask God to offer him
mercy with the true believers and the martyrs.

We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood.

Ghassan Khatib – Palestine Authority spokesman

Getting rid of Bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods – the violent methods – that were created and encouraged by bin Laden and others in the world.

Binyamin Netanyahu – Israeli prime minister

This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism.

The state of Israel joins together in the joy of the American people after the liquidation of bin Laden.

Saad Hariri – Lebanon’s prime minister

The history of our nationalism and Islam will never forgive that man who was a black mark for two decades, filling the minds of youngsters with ideas about terrorism, murder and destruction.

Ramin Mehmanparast – Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman

US and their allies have no more excuse to deploy forces in the Middle East under pretext of fighting terrorism.

George W Bush – former US president

This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

Michael Bloomberg – New York City mayor

The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation – and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation.

New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

Raymond Kelly – New York police commissioner

Killing of Osama bin Laden a “welcome milestone” for the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

David Cameron – British prime minister

Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen – for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror.

The news that Osama bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world.

P Chidambaram – Indian home minister

We take note with grave concern that part of the statement in which President Obama said that the firefight in which Osama bin Laden was killed took place in Abbottabad “deep inside Pakistan”.

This fact underlines our concern that terrorists belonging to different organisations find sanctuary in Pakistan.

Elias Jaua – Venezuelan vice president

It is surprising to see how normal crime and killing has become and how it is celebrated by imperial governments, although they maintain respect.

Now, the death of any individual independent of what they are accused of – not only Osama bin Laden – but the president and the family of presidents are openly celebrated by the heads of the governments that bomb them.

I believe that in the first place it is an ethical question from the human point of view to celebrate death as an instrument of resolution of a problem.

Alan Garcia – Peruvian president

As I have said, [Pope John Paul II’s] first miracle has been to wipe off the face of this earth and demonic incarnation of crime, evil and hate.

I think it is great news that should be of comfort to Mr. Obama, but in some way it vindicates George W. Bush, who took the decision to punish Bin Laden and then followed on patiently working until finally the effort has paid off.

Dmitry Medvedev – Russian president

The Kremlin welcomes the serious success the United States achieved in the war against international terrorism.

Only a joint and united fight against global terrorism can achieve substantial results. Russia is ready to step up this type of cooperation.

Mwai Kibaki – Kenyan president

The killing of Osama has taken place nearly 13 years after the terrorist bombings in Nairobi that led to the death of over 200 people, in an act believed to have been masterminded by Osama.

His killing is an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries.

Hoshyar Zebari – Iraq’s foreign minister

We, like many people in the world, are delighted to see an end to his mentality and his devious ideology.

Thousands of Iraqis were murdered and killed because of his ideologies.

Alain Juppe – French foreign minister

Bin Laden’s death is a “victory for all democracies fighting the abominable scourge of terrorism”.

Angela Merkel – German chancellor

Last night the forces of peace achieved a victory. But this does not mean that international terrorism has
been defeated yet. We must all remain vigilant.

Silvio Berlusconi – Italian prime minister

This is a great outcome in the fight against evil, in the fight against terrorism, a great outcome for the United States and for all democracies.

Yukio Edano – Japanese chief cabinet secretary

As for Japan, we have worked with Afghanistan and Pakistan to do our part in facing the threat caused by terrorism.

We believe this to be a firm advance in the fight against terrorism and as such welcome it and also express our respect towards the US, Pakistan and related parties.

Beningo Aquino – Philippine president

The death of Osama bin Laden marks a signal defeat for the forces of extremism and terrorism.

It represents the death of the efforts of one man to stoke the fires of sectarian hatred and to promote terrorism on a scale unprecedented in the history of mass murder.

Franco Frattini – Italian foreign minister

Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US forces “is a victory of good over evil, of justice over cruelty”.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen – NATO secretary-general

This is a significant success for the security of NATO Allies and all the nations which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism to make the world a safer place for all of us.

Robert Fisk – journalist

Osama bin Laden was the founder of al-Qaeda, but to suggest that he was in command, sitting in some computer cave, is completely rubbish.

He spent most of his time hiding, most of his time running from the US authorities.

I never thought he would hang around long in Afghanistan but in Pakistan he had a soft spot. He felt safer in Pakistan than he did in Afghanistan, and I think that is correct.

You have to realise that bin Laden is a very popular mind, even with the royalty.

He was saying things about the West, which their dictators wouldn’t say, his condemnation of the West, and he had to say it from a cave.

He is a figure who would be reflected upon.

Steve Clemons – The New America Foundation

It’s game changing news.

We got used to the fact that Osama bin Laden was beyond our reach. He has slipped off the radar screen, he was a pop culture figure with a fanatic bent.

The Muslim world are going to continue to have to deal with those who are inspired by him but of course knocking off a symbol globally is significant.

Imtiaz Gul – political analyst

It has come as a big surprise to most of the Pakistanis, particularly the location. Many believed that he had been long dead.

It is very close to the Pakistani military academy. 

“I’d presume that the Pakistani intelligence was involved to the extent, [since] previous [al-Qaeda members] had been captured with their assistance.”

In most cases, the Americans wouldn’t tell the Pakistani security institutions where they were headed so in this case they [Pakistani intelligence] were probably on board but probably didn’t know where they [the US] were going to.

Mark Kimmit – military analyst / US Army brigadier

This is not the end of the movement, this is not the end of the terrorism but this is the end of the chapter

Capturing or killing bin Laden has more iconic value.

It will have symbolic value, because it has been a number of years since bin Laden has exercised day to day control over operations. We still have an al-Qaeda threat out there and that will be there for a number of years.

This organisation [al-Qaeda] is more than bin Laden, it may be symbolised by bin Laden, but it definitely is more than him.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies