|Qais Azimy, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Kabul, said that Afghan officials have confirmed that Bin Laden had died and that his body was with the United States.
Officials would not confirm whether he had been killed in Afghanistan or Pakistan, and said that the death of the al-Qaeda leader was more of a “symbolic victory”, as he was no longer directly connected to the group’s field operations, Azimy reported.
It is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, had repeatedly vowed to bring to justice the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, but never did before leaving office in early 2009.
US officials said that after searching in vain for the al Qaeda leader since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born fighter is dead and his body recovered.
Having the body may help convince any doubters that bin Laden is really dead.
He had been the subject of a search since he eluded US soldiers and Afghan militia forces in a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains in 2001. The trail quickly went cold after he disappeared and many intelligence officials believed he had been hiding in Pakistan.
While in hiding, bin Laden had taunted the West and advocated his views in videotapes spirited from his hideaway.
Besides September 11, Washington has also linked bin Laden to a string of attacks — including the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole in Yemen.
BREAKING NEWS: OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! REPORT FROM AL JAZEERA
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