Osama Bin Laden Brought to Justice: An Oral History

I’ve only been to New York City once1 but this was before the September 11th attacks and so I was lucky enough to see the World Trade Center buildings while one still could.

New York (1997)

Because of that trip though, the attacks on September 11, 2001 resonated on a more personal level. It was a place I had been inside. I didn’t know anyone that died but I know people that do.

My brother called moments after the second plane crashed and when I found out, I instantly jumped out of bed and glued myself to CNN for the rest of the day.

This blog didn’t exist then and I always felt bad that I never wrote anything about how I felt that day nor how I felt when the successful raid on Bin Laden’s compound was announced. Perhaps someday I’ll put some thoughts down about it but for right now, I just want to recommend the fascinating retrospective put together by Politico about the time before and after the raid in Abbottabad — as told from the people who were involved. It’s a long and intensely worthwhile read.

Osama Bin Laden’s Death — a White House Oral History.

(via One Foot Tsunami)

  1. Not including a quick stop at the airport on my trip to Israel.[]
history humor

Osama Bin Laden’s Hideout Compound Reviews

osama bin ladens hideout compound

Here are some reviews of Osama Bin Laden’s Hideout Compound from Google Maps.

Surprisingly large DVD collection, but overall just average. I was visiting my buddy at the Pakistan Military Academy and he recommended bin Laden’s after the compound I had booked on AirBnB fell through. It was only a few blocks away, which was great. Bed was only a twin, but watching Teen Wolf Too made up for it. Not good for more than three nights.
Well, It is nicer than a cave.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Abbottabad and stayed at ObLC. The fact that they honor Starwood Hotels points really swayed our decision, not to mention the only other hotel in town is a Holiday Inn Express and I wouldn’t bury a dead terrorist in one of their hotels. Booked online, quite simple thanks to their real-time reservation system. I don’t speak Urdu, so the English language translations were very helpful. Upon check-in the staff was very friendly. The hotel manager-I’ve forgotten his name-was kind, and spoke English well. My room was not available at check-in, evidently some billionaire’s son and his entourage were taking up a lot of space, but they graciously upgraded me to a suite. One downside was the loud construction noise at night. I don’t know what sort of demolition or jackhammering they’re doing there but why at night? Very strange, but the manager was apologetic and paid for our breakfast. And they make you sign a “non-disclosure agreement” upon check-out, I guess maybe it’s a very exclusive resort for that area? A++++++++ would stay again!!


Osama bin Laden – Dead

Here’s the full White House announcement:

Does this mean I can bring full sized shampoo on airplanes again?


Path 911—"Super funny children’s toys"

Path 911

My friends, Andy and Shannon, picked up this crazy set of Osama Bin Laden and George W. Bush (with some kind of train and tracks) in a market in Morocco. We all agreed Dubya looks a lot like Charlie Sheen.


Is Osama Dead?

I’d heard the rumour floating around, but I didn’t believe it—this Reuters article (archived link), France to probe bin Laden death report leak, makes me wonder.

From the article:

France’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday a secret service report saying al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had died could not be confirmed but said it would launch an inquiry into the leak of secret documents.

The Defence Ministry issued the statement after a French regional newspaper, L’Est Republicain, published a report quoting a French secret service report as saying Saudi Arabia is convinced al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.

And this:

U.S. cannot confirm bin Laden death report

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is unable to confirm a French newspaper report that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to have died last month in Pakistan, the U.S. State Department said on Saturday.

“We don’t have any confirmation of those reports,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

“We have no confirmation of that report,” echoed White House spokesman Blair Jones.

A U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, came closer to an outright denial, saying Washington had no evidence to suggest the French report was true.

“We don’t have anything to support it,” the official said.

“We’ve heard these things before and have no reason to think this is any different. There’s just nothing we can point to, to say this report has any more credence than other reports we’ve seen in the past.”

The French regional daily L’Est Republicain reported that, according to a French secret service report, Saudi Arabia is convinced bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August. The French government has said it could not confirm the report and would investigate the intelligence leak.

Media reports suggesting bin Laden was dead, seriously wounded or in ill health have surfaced periodically over the years, especially during lengthy periods of time without taped messages from the al Qaeda leader.

U.S. officials have suggested that his death would be accompanied by a surge of e-mail and telephone chatter among bereaved al Qaeda members, if not an actual announcement from the militant network.

But officials said they were not aware of any such chatter in recent weeks.

Still, a U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke off the record, declined to completely rule out bin Laden’s death.

“It’s quite possible (that) there was some talk of this, but in terms of being able to confirm this, that I can’t do,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

A factor fuelling persistent speculation about bin Laden’s health is that he has not been seen on a new videotape since late 2004, while his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, has made a number of videotaped appearances.

But bin Laden, 49, a Saudi-born fugitive with a $25 million (13.2 million pound) price on his head, has released several audiotapes this year, which U.S. intelligence has authenticated.

His latest audiotape surfaced in July. In it, he warned Iraq’s Shi’ite majority of retaliation for attacks on Sunni Arabs and said al Qaeda would fight the United States anywhere in the world.

(Additional reporting by Sue Pleming in New York and Caren Bohan in Washington)