In this 1998 file photo, Osama bin Laden speaks to the journalists in Khost, Afghanistan and made available Friday March 19, 2004. A person familiar with developments said Sunday, May 1, 2011 that bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body. (AP Photo/Mazhar Ali Khan, File)
Americans have not forgotten the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington on Sept. 11, 2001 — 9/11 — that took the lives of roughly 3,000 innocent people.
Osama bin Laden, a native of Saudi Arabia, gleefully claimed responsibility for those murders — and remained alive and in hiding in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Incredibly, it has been nearly a decade since those horrific events. Could bin Laden and his co-conspirators in the al-Qaida terrorist network have survived and continued plotting destruction for so long? Yes, but their misdeeds had begun even earlier.
Remember, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which killed 17 American sailors, was also traced to bin Laden and his allies. And there have been other mass murders in a variety of terrorist attacks attributed to bin Laden.
While news of bin Laden himself had somewhat faded from attention for many of us, he had not been forgotten by members of the CIA, nor, evidently, by numerous other U.S. military and civilian leaders; they relentlessly pursued any and every shred of information about where bin Laden may have been hiding.
Now the never-ceasing pursuit of bin Laden has resulted at long last in his death in Pakistan by a small band of Americans!
He died in a long firefight with U.S. Navy SEALs and others at a compound where he and some of his family lived outside Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. He apparently had been there for years.
Many throughout the world have celebrated, and indeed it is good news that he, at least, will not be plotting future attacks against the United States.
But unfortunately, bin Laden’s death does not end the kind of evil that he personified. There still are the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq that — like bin Laden — challenge human lives, peace, decency and ultimately the United States.
Radical Muslim terrorism did not die with bin Laden. The terrorists’ war continues against people of good will around the world.
Bin Laden was just one of many who waged that war.