A nearly decade-long manhunt for the mastermind of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil ended north of Pakistan's capital Monday as American commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a pre-dawn firefight.
The Saudi exile had been the world's most wanted man since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people. News of his death, announced by President Barack Obama shortly before midnight Sunday Eastern time, drew cheering crowds to the streets of New York and the gates of the White House.
Bin Laden's identity was confirmed by a DNA test and his remains were disposed off at sea. No picture of his remains have been released. Relations between the USA and Pakistan cooled after the event. The USA operated completely uni-laterally without informing Pakistani authorities. A lot of questions have been raised on how Bin Laden managed to hide for years in a city not far from the Pakistani capital, a city with a prominent military academy for that matter.
With Obama's approval ratings in the USA at an all-time low before the assassination, it came at an extremely convenient time for the US preident.