Last night President Barrack Obama confirmed the death of elusive terrorist Osama bin Ladin. He was killed through a military operation on a private mansion in Abbottabad, a city located 70 miles due north of Islamabad in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (formerly known as the North West Frontier Province) in Pakistan. Pakistan Military Academy, where all Army soldiers are given their initial training is located just 6 kilometers from Abbottabad.
Not much information is forthcoming at this stage about how it all happened. The actual operation seems to have been an all American one. There may have been some intelligence coordination with Pakistan. General Petraeus' visit to Islamabad and his meeting with General Ashfaq Kiyani a couple of days ago may have something to do with it. The strange thing is that there is no word either from Pakistan Army, the or the Pakistani Government.
The media reports suggest that Osama bin Ladin has been buried at sea. This may well have been done to avoid a shrine being built around his grave giving a focal point to his supporters. However, what is hard to fathom is, how was his body flown to the Arabian Sea. The Chinook Helicopters that took part in the attack would have had at least one hour flight from Bagram to Abbottabad and the trip down to sea would take another four and the return journey to nearest base in Afghanistan (say Kandhar) would take another two hours. The question is, does a Chinook helicopter have the capacity to fly seven hours without refuelling?
Burying Osama bin Ladin at sea raises some questions. Hopefully, the US Administration will soon release pictures of a dead Osama bin Ladin for the satisfaction of American people as well as for the world at large. Knowing how cautious President Obama is in these matter, he wouldn't stake his Presidency on it unless he had checked and rechecked several times with the ground forces, Pentagon and the CIA before his address to the nation last night.
GOOD RIDDANCE Osama bin Ladin. You unleashed terror not just on the West, but also equally ferociously on the Muslim world. The 9/11 attacks, the suicide bombings, the killing of innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Yemen and elsewhere is your legacy. You have blood on your soul of thousands of people around the world who did you no harm. The world is a better place today than it was yesterday.