US President, Joe Biden has on Sunday marked a decade since the killing of former al-Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden by reaffirming his decision to remove all US troops from Afghanistan despite worries that terrorism could re-emerge as a threat in the country.
Laden was a founder of pan-Islamic militant organisation al-Qaeda, a group designated as a terrorist union by United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, and various countries.
“We followed bin Laden to the gates of hell — and we got him,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
We kept the promise to all those who lost loved ones on 9/11: that we would never forget those we had lost, and that the United States will never waver in our commitment to prevent another attack on our homeland.
Biden, who announced last month that he would end Washington’s longest war by September 11, praised then-president Barack Obama for his 2011 decision to approve the secret operation targeting the al-Qaeda leader, and praised the special forces who carried it out in Pakistan.
Watching the operation remotely from a crowded White House Situation Room, Biden said, was “a moment I will never forget — the intelligence professionals who had painstakingly tracked him down; the clarity and conviction of President Obama in making the call; the courage and skill of our team on the ground.”
Now, as the US begins pulling the last of its troops from Afghanistan, Biden said;
Al Qaeda is greatly degraded there. But the United States will remain vigilant about the threat from terrorist groups that have metastasized around the world.
We will continue to monitor and disrupt any threat to us that emerges from Afghanistan. And we will work to counter terrorist threats to our homeland and our interests in cooperation with allies and partners around the world.
After establishing a base in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden declared a war against the United States, initiating a series of bombings and related attacks.
Bin Laden was on American Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Most Wanted Terrorists for his involvement in 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
He is most well known for his role in masterminding the September 11 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and prompted the United States to initiate the War on Terror.
Bin Laden subsequently became the subject of a decade-long international manhunt. From 2001 to 2011, bin Laden was a major target of the United States, as FBI offered a $25 million bounty in their search for him.
On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed by US Navy SEALs inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he lived with a local family from Waziristan.
The covert operation was conducted by members of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six) and Central Intelligence Agency SAD/SOG operators on the orders of Barack Obama.
Under bin Laden’s leadership, the al-Qaeda organisation was responsible for, in addition to the September 11 attacks in the United States, many other mass-casualty attacks worldwide.