CIA: Al Qaida will try to avenge bin Laden

Int'l leaders express relief on US killing of al Qaida leader bin Laden; NATO chief says death is a "success" for security.

May 2, 2011 16:50
4 minute read.
Police stand near a wanted poster of bin Laden

Bin Laden wanted poster 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)


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WASHINGTON - Al Qaida will "almost certainly" try to avenge the US killing of Osama bin Laden, CIA Director Leon Panetta said on Monday after US forces killed the terror group's leader in a dramatic raid and ensuing firefight the previous day.

"Though bin Laden is dead, al-Qaida is not. The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must - and will - remain vigilant and resolute," Panetta said.


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A chorus of international leaders praised the US killing of bin Laden.

NATO said the death was a "significant success" for the security of NATO allies.

The Western military alliance's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said in a statement NATO should continue its mission in Afghanistan to ensure it "never again becomes a safe haven for extremism."

"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," Rasmussen said.

Merkel: The US has made a decisive strike on al Qaida

German Chancellor Angela Merkel  told US President Barack Obama on Monday that she was relieved about the assassination, according to a statement released by her spokesman .

"The United States had succeeded in making a decisive strike against al Qaida," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said. But the chancellor warned that international terrorism has not yet been defeated.

"Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her relief about this news to US President Barack Obama," Seibert said.

"Osama bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people...The forces of peace were successful last night. International terror has not been defeated. We'll all have to remain vigilant."

Cameron: Death of al Qaida leader is a 'great relief'

The death of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden will bring "great relief" across the world, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

"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," Cameron said in a statement.

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

Bush: Hit is a 'momentous achievement'

Former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks and famously said he wanted Osama bin Laden dead or alive, on Sunday called the death of the al Qaida leader a "momentous achievement."

President Barack Obama called Bush in Dallas at 9:04 p.m. central time to inform him that bin Laden was dead and they spoke for four minutes, a Bush spokesman said.

The Sept. 11 attacks were a defining moment of Bush's presidency. He launched the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden spanned the rest of his presidency.

"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," Bush said in a statement.

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

Bloomberg: Bin Laden killing 'doesn't lessen the suffering experienced at his hands'

In New York, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that he hoped the dramatic killing would comfort those who lost loved ones that day.

"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," he said in a statement.

Russia's Kremlin released their own statement, which said, "Revenge is inescapable for all terrorists. Only a joint struggle against global terrorism can bring a result," it added. "Russia is ready to increase its cooperation."

PA: Killing 'good for the cause of peace'

The Palestinian Authority also issused a statement on Monday, saying the killing was "good for the cause of peace".

"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," PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said.

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