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U.S. Will Reap the Whirlwind

Barrington M. Salmon | 5/4/2011, 4:54 p.m.
President Barack Obama. / Courtesy photo

Death of Bin Laden Leaves Country at Greater Risk

The euphoria that gripped parts of the American psyche Monday when word reached them Osama Bin Laden had been killed has subsided. And now, the sobering implications of his death are sinking in.

Community reaction to the death of Al Qaida's leader - described as the most wanted man in the world - is mixed. In the aftermath, there is widespread expectation of reprisals against the United States and its allies. Most anticipate that Al Qaida will attack the U.S. sooner rather than later.

Some asked why the U.S. buried Bin Laden's body at sea, others said his death may be a watershed moment but doesn't change the essential dynamics of the fight between Islamic jihadists and the West.

"The Father of Al Qaida is gone, but I won't say I praise his death," said Maurissa Matthews, a nursing assistant at J.B. Johnson Nursing Center in Northwest.

"I would have been happy if he was captured [and] not killed. I anticipate that there will be more problems. I hope national security is on high alert."

Matthews, 23 and a Hyattsville, Md., resident, said that she talked to a co-worker and he told her he didn't know for a fact that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11.

"How could he not?" she asked.

"[Bin Laden] has put out videos so even though there's no substantive evidence, it's hard to say that he didn't do it."

U.S. officials say Bin Laden died in a firefight when the CIA, U.S. Special Forces and Navy Seals mounted an assault on his villa in Abbotabad, Pakistan. There are conflicting reports, but he is said to have died of two bullets to the head. The Seals transported his body first to Afghanistan to be identified then they flew it to a Navy carrier in the Arabian Sea.

"Justice has been done," President Barack Obama told Americans during a late-night broadcast on Monday, May 2.

Bin Laden had eluded capture for almost 10 years. U.S. officials say Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the 9/11 bombings of the World Trade Center. He is blamed for two U.S. embassy bombings in 1998 that killed more than 200 people, as well as the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 in Yemen that killed 17 American seamen. Elsewhere, he has been tied to a variety of plots all over the world.

One woman, who declined to give her name, railed against what she sees as America's duplicity.

"Show me the evidence. America is good on evidence. Why dispose of the body so quickly?" she asked.

"He's dead so why does it matter? They should have put him on display."

She said that she is troubled by this country's desire to always strike back. The celebrations and gloating, she said is distasteful.

"Americans are too vengeful. Seeing the person die, maybe it's their therapy," she said.

"... I don't feel less safe. All that happened is that they woke up the sleeper cells."

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