When Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead last night, this was not the first time. Osama Bin Laden has been dead before too, 9 times to say the least. Here are some claims made over the years:
· In 2002, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Bin Laden had kidney disease announcing: “I think now, frankly, he is dead.”
· The same year the FBI’s top counter-terrorism official, Dale Watson, said, “I personally think he is probably not with us anymore.”
· High-level Council on Foreign Relations members asserted that Osama Bin Laden had died of kidney failure in early 2002.
· In December, 2002, a Taliban leader claimed that Bin Laden was suffering from a serious lung complication and died in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora Mountains.
· In February, 2004, Iranian state radio claimed Osama bin Laden had been captured in Pakistan’s border region with Afghanistan. Pentagon and Pakistani officials denied the report.
· In November 2005, Senator Harry Reid revealed that Osama may have died in the Pakistani earthquake of October that year.
· In September 2006, French intelligence leaked a report suggesting Osama had died in Pakistan.
· Recently, just before her assassination in 2007, Benazir Bhutto said in an interview that Osama bin Laden had been killed by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a man convicted of kidnapping and killing journalist Daniel Pearl.
· In March 2009, former US foreign intelligence Angelo Codevilla stated: “All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden.”
Osama was already dead
What makes it different and believable this time? The images and videos of the compound, the crashed helicopter, the blood-stained floors should be enough to know that this time he is actually dead! Who cares if there is no body? This time we believe what we are told. We believe he was in Pakistan since the last 6 years without the knowledge of the Pakistani government, the IB, the ISI or the MI.
Osama: better alive than dead?
An al- Qaida commander stated: "The killing of Osama bin Laden will bring no change to jihad. Osama is the leader of al-Qaida and he is a powerful man in jihad. Losing him will be very painful for the mujahedeen, but the shahadat [martyrdom] of Osama, will never stop the jihad. We will continue our fight until we liberate our lands from the Kafirs."
He said his fighters planned to launch an operation called Bader "to avenge the killing of Osama" and claimed many other similar operations would be launched.
A Taliban fighter said, "Even if he is dead, I don't think it will make any difference to our fight. He is just one of thousands of fighters, and from a different organization."
A Yemeni jihadi claimed the death of Bin Laden would not stop al-Qaida insurgents mounting attacks. "I am not fighting for Bin Laden to stop fighting if he is killed, we are not people who worship figures, he – may God have mercy on him – is a brave man who created and led the jihad but it will not stop here and now look what is happening with all the dictators, they are falling because we have been fighting them for so long and that's thanks to the ways of the Sheikh the shahid [the Sheikh the martyr]. Many brothers will I am sure be planning revenge attacks at the moment."
The astonishing discovery that Osama bin Laden had been living, since 2005, in a $ 1 million luxury compound in a cantonment located near the Pakistan Military Academy and three regimental centers, which train recruits and turn them into soldiers, close to national capital, Islamabad, is an enormous embarrassment for the Pakistan's government, who claim to have no knowledge or involvement in the operation. 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.
And now amidst all the killings already taking place in our country at the hands of our politicians, killing each other in order to win a popularity contest, a Taliban commander in Afghanistan has promised that his fighters would mount attacks to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden. TTP’s spokesman said ‘Pakistan will be the prime target. The US had been on a man-hunt for Osama and ‘now Pakistani rulers are on our hit-list’.
It doesn’t matter to us. We stand by our government and our army, who are responsible for the respect, sovereignty and safety of our country. We will not question their intentions or raise doubts about why Osama was here in the first place, or how come no one knew, or how did the US get to know, or why did we stay silent and most of all, who do we turn to for sincere help now that we need it the most.