Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader behind the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was killed by American military and C.I.A operatives last week in Abottabad, Pakistan, according to The New York Times.
On Sunday, May 1, President Barack Obama announced that bin Laden, who had been in hiding for the last 10 years, had been killed and later buried at sea. During his report on National Security, Obama described the scene of 9/11 and said that, as a country, “we will never tolerate our security being threatened.”
“We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are,” he said in the broadcast. “And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaida’s terror: Justice has been done.”
Like President Obama, third-year creative writing major John Sotomayor said bin Laden’s death is justice.
“He deserved death,” he said. “But it’s wrong to dance on someone’s corpse. Loving kindness means loving all human beings, even (and especially) the most evil, terrible people of them all. His death is a very good thing, but I think people are going about it the wrong way.”
Third-year political science major Cleo Stern said she was shocked when she saw the news about bin Laden’s death on Sunday but celebrating was not her reaction.
“For us to vilify his death doesn’t make it any better than him celebrating the success of 9/11 attack,” she said.
Third-year sociology major Colin O’Neil was sitting in the Sojourner Truth Library on Sunday when he opened up his Facebook page to statuses revealing the death of bin Laden.
Moments after updating his own status, O’Neil said he deactivated his Facebook account.
“I had to step away from Facebook for some time of reflection and I recommend others do the same,” he said. “Facebook was blowing up and I saw visions of people celebrating in the streets. And to me it was kind of hard to understand seeing this as a victory in the eyes of many Americans…I see it as a completion of an agenda, but it’s not the end to a war.”
Obama said no Americans were harmed or killed during the “targeted operation.” Aside from bin Laden, The New York Times reported that three men were killed, one believed to be his son and the other two his couriers.