Source : AFP News
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead, and President Barack Obama will announce the terrorist mastermind's death, nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks in a televised address, a senior US official told AFP.
The official said on condition of anonymity that bin Laden was dead, but did not provide details of how his death occurred.
CNN quoted sources as saying that bin Laden was killed in an operation based on actionable US intelligence targeting a mansion outside the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Obama was imminently to address Americans in a highly unusual Sunday night appearance on television in what would be a massive breakthrough in the US anti-terror campaign.
US armed forces have been hunting the Saudi terror kingpin for years, an effort that was redoubled following the attacks by hijacked airliners on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon which killed 3,000 people in 2001.
But bin Laden always managed to evade US armed forces and a massive manhunt, and was most often thought to be hiding out in Pakistan and Afghanistan border areas.
The death of bin Laden will raise huge questions about the future shape of Al-Qaeda and also have steep implications for US security and foreign policy 10 years into a global anti-terror campaign.
It will also provoke fears that the United States and its allies will face retaliation from supporters of bin Laden and other Islamic extremist groups.
Chants of "USA, USA" rang out from tourists outside the White House as the news of bin Laden's death sent a electric charge through Washington.
A group of around 20 people gathered outside the fence of the presidential mansion and sung the US national anthem and started shouting and cheering.
Despite the decade that has elapsed since the September 11 attacks, the event, one of the most traumatic in US history, still stirs raw emotions, and his demise will be celebrated across the United States.
In the Upstream restaurant in the old market area of Omaha, Nebraska, owners switched TV channels from the evening's sports games as news of Laden's death trickled in.
Patrons cheered and called friends to tell them of the news.
"We are going to be able to remember sitting here, you are going to remember where you where," said Vaughn Wickham from Spirit Lake, Iowa.