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Bin Laden killed in his house! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Finally, after ten years or more of pursuit, Osama Bin Laden, leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, met his inevitable fate at the hands of the Americans. But my god, how the end resembles the beginning [of the US pursuit of Bin Laden], only this time in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.

The so-called “leader of the Mujahedeen” was killed in his luxurious residence, not on the battlefield, or during a Jihad. He died with his wife and three other individuals, in contrast to our deceived youths, and young Muslims in general, whom he led to death one after the other over the years, in cooperation with his sheikhs of evil and terrorism, of every nationality. Meanwhile the “holy warrior” went to hide in his million dollar palace, behind fortified walls, and beside his youngest wife! Meanwhile, our youth are in prisons, in the mountains of Yemen, and the depths of Iran, not to mention the many of them who are dead. This is also not to mention the number of innocent victims of every religion and nationality. The world changed after the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in America on September 11th 2001, after which the evil of al-Qaeda burst forth to all countries of the world, without exception. Bin Laden’s terrorism spread to Saudi Arabia, and showed no mercy for holy sites or human life. He was the reason behind the deaths of thousands of innocent people everywhere.

Innocent people were beheaded, travelers were betrayed, women and children were killed, and Bin Laden’s evil sheikhs came out to justify this. They said the dead are judged according to their intentions, and reminded us of the Islamic fiqh principle “tatarus” [which states that if enemy forces use Muslims as human shields, it is permissible to attack regardless, so long as this serves Islam] to justify the legitimacy of their actions. This is not to mention the financial losses which cannot be accurately estimated and most important of all of course, the harm done to the reputation of our religion. Yet the “leader of evil” died in his house, in fact it appears he was killed inside his bedroom, as suggested by the images released after the U.S. military operation.

Of course, the death of Bin Laden is a huge moral blow for al-Qaeda; whatever the organization does today out of revenge, for the impact of this strike will always be greater. Bin Laden was more symbolic than anything else, his presence was a symbol of prowess, luring the youth of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and Yemen. He knew how to make money, whether through contributions to his cause, or trading anything from drugs to diamonds. His presence was a like a magnet, he was a leader. Today, following his death, al-Qaeda will be unable reproduce a leader with the personality of Bin Laden, or the legitimacy which he built up over many years, and in many places. We are in a changing world today, especially in the Arab world, and it is difficult to replicate the model of Bin Laden. No one today can dominate religious discourse, or stand alone as an individual, a fundraiser, a sheikh, or an underground leader in a cave or palace, as easily as he was able to. Arabs and Muslims have now become extremely aware of the amount of abuse that has damaged our religion.

In summary, I will say that the death of Bin Laden was something to be expected, but here is my message to the wise, as well as those seeking to inflame the situation: He who tricked our sons and cast them into hell did not die on the battlefield, but in the middle of his luxurious house hiding behind his wife. Meanwhile, the sons of ordinary people are being killed in conflict zones, or they are displaced in the mountains, or lying in prison. Certainly, the world is a better place after the death of a terrorist who betrayed his religion, his family, and the world.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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