Share your views on hot topics

What is the impact of bin Laden’s death?

May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. assault on his Pakistani compound, then quickly buried at sea, in a dramatic end to the long manhunt for the al Qaeda leader who had become the most powerful symbol of global terrorism.

Do you think the U.S. made the right decision to kill Osama bin Laden?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Do you feel safer after the death of Osama bin Laden?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Who deserves the most credit for killing Osama bin Laden?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

How has the killing of Osama bin Laden changed your perception of President Obama's leadership?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Is President Obama handling the war on terror effectively or ineffectively?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


In one of the 2008 presidential debates which focuses largely on foreign policy, when Barack Obama suggested the US might need to take action in Pakistan if Al Queda or Bin Laden was found to be operating there, John McCain bristled at the idea and called Obama naive for thinking we should carry out any sort of military action inside the border of what he described as our good friend and ally, Pakistan.

In hindsight, MCain seems to have suffered from the same sort if ill informed judgement as led us to war with Iraq over WMD that didn’t exist. Thank god McCain didn’t win that election.

Posted by mcoleman | Report as abusive

Great moral victory.
Great symbolic victory.
Great morale boost for everyone working this mission and everyone hoping for this day.
And perhaps much more…if Osama Bin Laden was not retired as some people have tried to say.

Not the end of the fight, but an end of this monster’s existence on this planet.

Great work.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

I think the credit needs to be given to the U.S. Military and the C.I.A, with a salute to the Navy Seals. It is a victory we all have been waiting a long time for.

That said. This does not mean it is over. Far from it, people. There will be a backlash. Retribution will ensue, and we have to be ready to stick together.

The state of the world is very fragile. Too many critical situations exist. The wide spread unrest in the Middle East. The ever present Israeli/Pakistani standoff. Our wars in two Middle eastern nations. Our involvement in Libya. Nations are drawing lines and deciding sides. Democracy Vrs Authoritarian. Is America ready to fight for what it believes?

Posted by OliverTwist | Report as abusive

Had John McCain won the election I am confident that we would have attacked Iran by now. The neo-conservatives in our country are a very dangerous lot. Add Sarah Palin to that list as she thought Obama waited too long to engage in Libya. McCain/Palin would have been a colossal disaster for our country. Trump would be even worse.

Posted by xyz2055 | Report as abusive

Take that Bin Laden!

Posted by jen65180 | Report as abusive

The burial at sea of Bin Laden’s body, while perhaps not in strict accord with Islamic law was the best choice, to prevent his grave site from becoming a shrine to extremists, the same reason Hitler’s body was burned and destroyed. While a certain focus on the leadership is necessary, we need to also work at cutting off the funding which supports the extremist madrassas in Pakistan and elsewhere, which is predominately coming from Saudis.

Posted by wclough | Report as abusive

The original question on the Reuters front page was, “Would you have killed Osama bin laden?”

I thought it a curious question. Does it ask whether the reader thinks that President Obama made the right decision or does it ask whether you would personally pull the trigger given the opportunity?

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

He didn’t deserve the honor to die by a bullet fired by an honest soldier. He should have been hanged from a construction crane at Ground Zero.

Posted by anonym0us | Report as abusive

Osama should have been arrested and brought to the International Penal Tribunal to be tried legally for his crimes. No country or organization has the right to kill a person without proper trial. As was the case with Saddam, the US has no interest in bringing those criminals to an independet court. Both were former US allies and would certainly give lots of information on how the American military and the CIA operate. Osama was trained and financed by the US government as were many dictators and mass murderers. He was a living archive that had to be erased.

Posted by HerrLima | Report as abusive

I always thought Obama is a good leader (no one is a great leader). He has a calculating thought process – which America is not used to – they expect the gun slinger of the Bush administration. To sit on this intel since Aug 2010 is remarkable – the shooters held their trigger finger so long, I would of shoot Bin Ladin on site also.

Posted by uc8tcme | Report as abusive

I am just wondering whether Pakistan is independent country or American colony. How could American troops kill people (yes, even bin Laden!) not too far from the capital of Pakistan without interfercence from local police and army? Please tell me whether international law sanctions such action.

Posted by Heretic1 | Report as abusive

First of all Pakistan seems awfully suspicious in this whole story. How can the world’s #1 most wanted man not be discovered earlier in an affluent area less than 2 hours outside the capital. It sounds to me that we didn’t warn the Pakistani’s until after the fact due to the risk that Bin Laden may have been tipped off. Although this victory is primarily a symbolic one I am extremely proud to be an American and relieved we finally caught this notorious low life. This does nothing for the 1000′s of families who lost their sons and daughters, or mothers and fathers however, one can only hope this will close a dark chapter that has been a long time coming. As for would I have pulled the trigger on the operation, yes. Would I have pulled the trigger to end his life, absolutely. This is a symbol to the any other terrorist that you do not face off against the most powerful nation this world has ever seen and win. Yes it took us longer than we would have liked, but in the end we finally got this guy. It’s times like these when I have no problem with our otherworldly defense budget. God Bless our Troops!

Posted by jvm210 | Report as abusive

BS. President Bush made it clear to the world that we’ll go after these guys no matter where they try to hide. We have a right to do it because of what they did and continue trying to do to innocents at home and abroad. This isn’t an academic exercise. It’s war. Thanks to President Obama and our awesome soldiers for doing the right thing.

Posted by John-B | Report as abusive

Noone has the right to kill someone no matter what they have done. We are not God yet we behave as such. And by “being happy” about loosing yet another human being, all the USA has done is emphasize how perverse they have become. I mourn for all the victims of 9/11 as well as victims on the other side. All the USA know how to do well is remove people that are not of their own opinion such as Saddam or whoever else. In the longrun, it will make the USA more enemies than friends. For now, the US are stupid enough to be celebrating that it took most of your huge and powerful army nearly TEN YEARS to kill but one single man? Zippedidudah! What an achievement! Congratulations!

Posted by Cut2TheChase | Report as abusive

The death of Bin Laden is an indication to the world that America will not be intimidated by a naught. That said, it is time America double down on the Palestinian issue, the Zionist agenda of turning West Jordan to the Sea Jewish cannot be sustained on the long run. As an American, I am appalled by the treatment of the Palestinians in the greater Palestine, it is antithetical to what i have always thought American.

Posted by 0okm9ijn | Report as abusive

Should we have killed Osama? In a New York minute, yes!
Exceptional work by the Clandestine services and special ops. More work like this and the world WILL be a safer place. The intelligence services were fantastic.

Posted by neahkahnis | Report as abusive

I was elated to hear of bin ladens demise last night. I never felt such happiness from another persons death. This morning I felt sad for his life not him. I hope the Muslim world knows that almost all of us in the west want to work, be safe and give a better world to our children like most of them. Our government (U.S.) has made political humanitarian mistakes in the past such as supporting bin laden when he fought the soviets and more. Let us acknowledge the past while being proud of how far we truly have come. We’ve learned human sacrifice and slavery are wrong. Now we know war is wrong but if someone attacks me I will do whatever I must to protect those I love. I know we all share in a common human experience and those of us who are enlightened enough to feel it bask in it’s love. I think we are moving towards a day when a bin laden is an anakronism. But until then thanks guys, great shot.

Posted by cpbuild | Report as abusive

Air travellers around the world will doubtless rejoice at the death of this brutal killer. Sadly I cannot see the day when airport security is relaxed.

Although it is just outcome, I cannot condone the use of torture in obtaining the information that led to it. The end does not always justify the means.

Posted by pskils | Report as abusive

I am a fiscal conservative and very critical over the President on many issues. He got this right, he did what Bush was unwilling to do. The military and the country should feel emboldened and confident in our Commander in Chief.

Posted by Trooth | Report as abusive

There’s something very macabre about all those politicians watching in awe the killing of their nemesis. I wonder if any of them felt the slightest twinge of guilt for being complicit in illegal wars that caused the deaths of thousands of Muslims–many more innocents than bin Laden himself presumably killed. I say presumably because, not having had a trial, bin Laden was never legally found guilty. He was extrajudicially executed, which is illegal, on the orders of a president who claims the power to execute even American citizens. In the end, bin Laden won–he caused us to destroy U.S. democracy, U.S. and international law, and any chance we might have had in moving away from militarism and self-destruction.

Posted by cautious123 | Report as abusive

I give both President Bush and President Obama equal credit for fighting terror. Our men and woman of our military deserve much more of the credit. Our Navy Seals performed as expected and they make us proud. Do I feel differently about President Obama? No. I think this was something that I am glade he decided to do. I am glade it was successful.
But Osama was one man and we could only kill him once. We have lost countless people in battle and at the WTC attacks. Terror is still with us and our fight goes on.

Posted by jscott418 | Report as abusive

In response to Cautious 123. Osama has admitted on several occasions to planning the WTC bombings. We did not need a trial to decide that. He was a fugitive from justice and he used Woman and children to do his dirty work. That to me is a man who was not even a good Muslim. Did Osama have any guilt from killing all the children some of which were Muslim in 9-11 attacks? No. He was plain evil and he used the Muslim struggles to reinforce his membership of terrorist. He deserved to die for all of the World and not just for the US.

Posted by jscott418 | Report as abusive

The US needs to get their story straight…was his wife there or not? Did they bury him at sea because they didn’t want him to be a martyr or because no other country would take the remains. One story please. You’re embarrassing us to other countries. How can you convince us with videos and photos when everyone knows how to use Adobe software to fabricate things like this? Why would anyone bury this man at sea and have the entire world questioning whether he was in fact killed by the US military team after you made such a big deal of releasing the information…albeit by teleprompter. This administration cannot be trusted. Who do you believe…Brennan? Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? Neither do I.

Posted by lezah2 | Report as abusive

Bin Laden is NOT DEAD! This is just a smokescreen just like the 9/11 SCAM.

Supposedly he was shot dead, and immediately his body was flown to Afghanistan for burial. That’s is a bold-face LIE. US is so concerned about him getting a Moslem burial rites?

We need to see his FACE before burial, otherwise it will just be like the 9/11 events that were never investigated.

May be US wants to get out of Afghanistan without shame, or may be his family has paid the ransom to get the attention out of his mess, or may be the BUSH family is rewarding their business partner.

BIN LADEN IS NOT DEAD! If US can lie about 9/11, lying about Osama bin Laden is not a surprise.

Where is HIS dead body? US showed the body of Saddam Hussein and his two sons. Where is Osama’s body? Who attended the burial? No independent confirmation, except the US government self-congratulations. I don’t believe it. They lied before when they claimed an airplane hit the pentagon, and yet no debris of the plane.
They are lying again. Where is Osama’s body, cremation and burial? The world wants to see it.

Posted by OCTheo | Report as abusive

@OCTheo… I am constantly surprised by my countryman’s lack of accountability. I find it amusing that you think it socially acceptable to use incomplete fact, irrelevant findings and trumped up data to, in a vile and sad manner, attempt to persuade a reasonable person to actually believe you. I suppose there is one in every crowd though, too bad your one of us.

Posted by OliverTwist | Report as abusive

cautious123– His killing was not illegal by the exceptions granted in the Constitution. Now, our entry into Pakistan was undoubtedly illegal but that’s a different matter.

OCTheo– Do you really think the administration would take the gamble of declaring with 100% certainty they got him if it were possible Osama might release a video proving otherwise? Time for you to step away from all the conspiracy websites.

Posted by Aloo10 | Report as abusive

There’s an amazing mixture of emotions on these posts, ranging from satisfaction, revenge, mistrust of govt and contrarianism. Clearly the operation was a success and the media coverage indicates the president had a hands on involvement – so that’ll be good for his election campaign. But one has to wonder why Bin Laden was not brought in for questioning and why the news was made public when it would have served the government better to have continued in its covert mission until the required information was disclosed to them. Bin Laden’s information must surely have been of the highest value. If the ultimate goal is to eliminate terrorism worldwide, and i hope it’s that as opposed to simply building control and surveillance organizations, then Bin Laden should have been made to talk. And we know the Americans know how to do this; they do it currently.

Posted by COSTAS.ELGRECO | Report as abusive

I hope Obin Laden is allergic to seafood. He was one mad, religious-conflict driven arab who scared the world into a darker, more anxious and unfriendly place. Glad he’s gone forever!

Eternal peace to all victims of this awful stupid bloody conflict

Posted by Foztah | Report as abusive

This man is a ghost so to speak. The pubic knows very little of his personal life. He is accused by civil, executive and military branches of the US and allegedly was a ‘public enemy #1′ and destroyed. I celebrate the death of no man or women what ever the circumstances might be. There is a higher power (I believe) that holds this particular responsibility. As for the necessity that his life must be taken and carried out by ordinary people like you and I; is debatable.

Posted by jonesseaman | Report as abusive

I am grateful for the services provided by the U.S. military in pinpointing the location of the terrorist hideout. However, once he has been located the next step should have been left to the law enforcement agencies of the U.S. and Pakistan. The storming of Osama’s residence by force is really not necessary and may justify further violence from the al Qaeda.

Posted by phanthanhgian | Report as abusive

I think it would be a bad idea to release postmortem photos of bin Laden. His followers would love to regard him as a martyr.

Let them wonder if he is really dead.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

cautious123 is absolutely RIGHT!!!

US is the flagship for life, liberty, freedom, new ideas, innovation and excel the humane causes.

this executive order to kill, in a civilized world, is too much to ignore the “due process of bringing justice”.

it brings back the era of cowboys, gun slingers and the “texan” justice!

Or maybe rich/top americans have somethign to hide … so they silenced him!

i do not believe that elite “SEAL” troops were not able to capture him, if they were really ordered that as the number one option.

Posted by pidus121 | Report as abusive

Irrespective of whether the target is a major terrorist on the run or pirate holding hostages on the high seas, President Obama doesn’t hold back. If his predecessor had put as much resolve into pursuing Bin Laden as he had securing Iraqi oil properties for Texaco or cutting taxes for the monied, he could have hung Bin Laden’s head on the White House trophy wall during his term.

Posted by SanPa | Report as abusive

No one else could break the hard head of alqaida. The right American president to kill OSama had to be OBama!

Posted by StanleyOluka | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see