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Wednesday: as it happened

  • The White House says it will not release a picture of Bin Laden's body, amid concerns it could prove inflammatory
  • Osama Bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot by US forces in Pakistan, but he resisted efforts to capture him alive, US officials say
  • US forces had faced immediate and sustained resistance from many other people in the compound who were armed, the White House adds
  • Bin Laden was killed in a raid by US special forces on a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, some 100km from Islamabad. His body was buried at sea
  • White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan says material seized during the raid in Abbottabad could provide leads to the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawihiri, thought to be al-Qaeda's deputy leader
  • Follow live coverage on BBC Urdu , BBC Arabic and BBC Persian
  • Live page reporters: Michael Hirst, James Morgan, Anna Jones, Olivia Lang, David Gritten, Matthew Davis and Matt Danzico
  • All times BST (GMT+1)

0000 Thanks for following the BBC's coverage of the aftermath of Osama Bin Laden's death. This is the end of Wednesday's minute-by-minute coverage of the global reaction. Thursday's coverage will resume shortly.

2359 The New York tabloid Daily News has some advice for President Obama as he prepares to visit the site of the 9/11 attacks on Thurday: don't mention Bin Laden. "The air above Ground Zero should not reverberate with the six syllables that memorialize savagery.

2350 Pakistan's ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, has said there will be an enquiry into the apparent failure of his country's intelligence services. "We will get to the bottom of it. How did it happen? But the most important thing here right now is to reassure people in the United States that Pakistan and Pakistanis as a nation did not look upon Osama Bin Laden favourably, and that's very important," he told the Charlie Rose programme.

2341 Pakistan's Dawn.com is running an editorial saying the raid has become a source of "national embarrassment", not least as al-Qaeda has "exacted a stunning death toll" in Pakistan over the years. "Add to this the way he was killed, and embarrassment turns into deep shame," it says, demanding answers from the government and military.

2330 A US Congressional panel has released a report alleging Iran has "quietly forged a strong working relationship with core al-Qaeda's leaders," AFP reports. The report's author, Michael S Smith II, says hundreds of al-Qaeda members have found refuge in Iran and that "if left unchecked, Iran's relationship with al-Qaeda could cost America and our allies dearly".

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2324 Matthew Gray has been examining the rapid spread of conspiracy theories across the Middle East and South Asia in the wake of Bin Laden's death. Writing for Foreign Affairs, he argues such a reaction is common in the region; a way of explaining difficult events and showing scepticism towards the US. "Direct counterargument is useless; it is exactly what conspiracy theorists expect from a plotter," he writes.

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2313 Writing in Salon, Joan Walsh says releasing the Bin Laden photos will do little to convince those who doubt he was killed and could in fact cause deeper damage. "The face of Bin Laden is iconic, his creepy charisma part of his recruiting power. There's no reason to hand his supporters a ready-made protest sign."

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2306 Adam Hook tweets: "The debate on the release of the Bin Laden photos is not a debate about photography. It's a debate about the control of information."

2305 It may have few friends in the West now, but Libya was the first country to issue an arrest warrant for Osama Bin Laden, way back in 1998 the Washington Post reports. It was an attempt by the country, then itself a pariah state, to portray itself as ally in the fight against al-Qaeda. "At the time, they didn't listen to us, because no one listened to Libya then," an unnamed official tells the paper.

2259 London's top police officer has warned that Bin Laden's death does not mean the end of his ideology and that the city is still not safe from terror plots. "An attack is highly likely and could occur without warning," said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. We have a full story on his comments here.

2250 There's been much debate in the past few days over whether some of the jubilant scenes which greeted Bin Laden's death were entirely appropriate. Retired New York police officer Arno Herwerth would probably be firmly on the "yes" side. He has won permission from the US Department of Motor Vehicles to change his car number plate to "GOTOSAMA", Reuters reports. It was previously "GETOSAMA", but as he told CBS New York, that is "no longer fashionable."

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2241 Justin Spicer tweets: "Speaking of barbaric #Palin says releasing gory pic of #OBL is 'part of mission'. No, the mission is showing world we're better than that."

2236 Mr Lewis said it wasn't just the information in files itself that would be of use but also what it could reveal about the computer's users. "When was it written? Was it written on the same machine? Is there something that indicates it came from someone else?"

2234 James Lewis, who used to work on security and technology for the US State Department, told AFP it would take a long time for IT experts to sift through all the information on the seized computers. "They'll try to wring every drop out of this stuff."

2230 "I think we're probably going to find reports of potential plotting," Mr McLaughlin says. "We'll probably find something about funding. We may learn something about whatever relationship he did or didn't have with Pakistan. We'll learn about key aides."

2229 Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin has been speaking to CNN about the potential benefits of the computers and equipment US forces seized from the Abbottabad compound. "I'll be very surprised if this isn't a gold mine for us," he says.

2224 A lot of the denials and pleas of ignorance coming from Pakistan in recent days are ringing hollow in the US and elsewhere, says our correspondent. "There is a growing sense in London, Washington and other capitals that at least some factions of the Pakistani military had some role in this, and there is a fear that Pakistan can't be trusted."

2219 The BBC's Orla Guerin in Abbottabad says the state of the relationship between Pakistan and the US has been compared by some to a bad marriage, where neither party can afford a divorce.

2207Mr Hague adds: "But in the long run it is the people of the Muslim world who will inflict the greatest defeat of all on al-Qaeda and its ideology. Some wrongly thought that 9/11 was the expression of Muslim grievances; it was not. The true expression of what the people of the Muslim world want was seen in Tahrir Square in 2011, not at Ground Zero in 2001."

2204UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says in a speech at the Mansion House in London: "The death of Osama Bin Laden this week was a devastating but not terminal blow to al-Qaeda. We will continue to fight against terrorism wherever it rears its head with renewed determination. In Afghanistan, it is now is the time for the Taliban to make a decisive break from al-Qaeda and engage in a political process."

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2201 Elizabeth Blackney tweets: "For the record, I think the #OBL photo should have been released. Like Uday & Qusay Hussein. Not about revenge, about closure..."

2159Mr Rohrabacher also says he believes US military aid for Pakistan should be withdrawn: "I certainly represent a group of people in the United States that are sick and tired of watching Pakistan basically treat us like fools because we are acting like fools. We're giving them money while they are doing things that are contrary to our national security interests."

2157Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman who sits on the House foreign affairs committee, tells the BBC said the decision whether or not to release the photo of Bin Laden's body would not have been easy to make. "I'm glad I didn't have to," he says. "I probably would have released the photos, but recognising that there was a positive argument on both sides of the issue."

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2153 Kelly O'Donnell, Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News tweets: "Just spoke to [US Senator Lindsey] Graham who says #OBL photos likely to come out anyway, better to control release and provide definitive proof abroad now."

2151The head of intelligence gathering at France's interior ministry, Loic Garnier, has meanwhile said al-Qaeda leaders are likely to focus on survival and seeking revenge against the US. "We don't see a greater threat overall, but there may be a greater risk of attack by isolated individuals who want to avenge bin Laden's death," he told the Reuters news agency. Mr Garnier added: "France has moved to the background as a target for 'core' al-Qaeda, but it remains a top priority for [al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb]." AQIM is believed to have kidnapped five French energy workers in North Africa in September.

2145Iraq's Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, has said Osama Bin Laden "got what he deserved". "Bin Laden was the symbol; he was the personification of evil. His death is a heavy blow for the morale of the terrorists - the psychological impact will be great," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview to be published on Thursday. "We Iraqis, and I say this openly, are glad that bin Laden was killed. He was a terrorist and got what he deserved."

2139Gert-Jan Knoops, a Dutch international law specialist, has told the Reuters news agency: "The Americans say they are at war with terrorism and can take out their opponents on the battlefield. But in a strictly formal sense, this argument does not stand up."


2135Bin Laden should have stood trial, Mr Robertson added. "The last thing he wanted was to be put on trial, to be convicted and to end his life in a prison farm in upstate New York. What he wanted was exactly what he got - to be shot in mid-jihad and get a fast track to paradise and the Americans have given him that."

2133US Attorney General Eric Holder has told a Senate committee that Osama bin Laden's killing was lawful and an act of national self-defence. But the high-profile UK-based human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, has said it was "not justice". "It's a perversion of the term. Justice means taking someone to court, finding them guilty upon evidence and sentencing them," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "This man has been subject to summary execution, and what is now appearing after a good deal of disinformation from the White House is it may well have been a cold-blooded assassination."

2124Osama Bin Laden's death is likely to revive a debate within the Afghan Taliban about their ties to al-Qaeda, some analysts say. Waheed Muzhda, a former foreign ministry official under the Taliban regime that was toppled in late 2001, told the Associated Press: "I think now is an opportunity for the Taliban to end their relations with al-Qaeda." Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said it was too early to comment.

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2119Gareth Wood, from Hattiesburg, US, writes: "I think that releasing the photos of Bin Laden at this time is a bad idea. The media want them so that they can continue their story, but for the people, it is time to accept that he is dead and try to move on"

2115President Obama may have decided not to release any photographs of Osama Bin Laden's body, but the Reuters news agency has published graphic images of three other men who were killed in the US raid. They appear to have been taken inside the main residence, where US officials say they were shot. Reuters does not say if one of the men pictured is Bin Laden's adult son.

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2104Neil, from UK writes: "I served my country and paid the price for it as I got injured in Afghanistan. Also my friend lost his life. I would want to see evidence of his death as it would bring closure to soldiers and injured soldiers and the fallen.The people that are saying Obama doesn't need to show evidence - he was quick enough showing Saddam Hussain getting hanged, why not show the most wanted man in the world?"

2100Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, tells Politico.com that severing ties with Pakistan is not an option, despite its troubled relationship with the US. "That to me is a formula for a failed state," he says.

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2056 The Frontline Club tweets: "Are we safer without #OBL - majority say it's not going to make much difference at all #frontlineclub"

2053Michael Sheer writes on the New York Times Caucus blog that though Bin Laden's death will do wonders for President Obama's chances of getting re-elected in 2012, swing voters remain deeply sceptical about his handling of the nation's economy.

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2049 Al Jazeera Latin America bureau chief Dima Khatib tweets: "I thought the US Administration would have realised that these days: if you have not seen it on TV, then it has not happened! #OBL"

2045Mr Feith adds that he "would not be surprised if the pictures come out soon", despite the president's decision.

2041Douglas Feith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, tells MSNBC that though he believes President Obama deserves a great deal of credit for Bin Laden's death, he feels former US President George W Bush deserves "a bit of credit as well".

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2035 Matthew tweets: "Obama has come in to his own during past few days. Good decision not to release the #obl photos. Palin just ridiculous with latest comments"

2032Representative Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana, tells CNN he believes releasing the photographs could bring "a great deal of closure to Americans".

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2025Rob Wright, from Suffolk, UK writes: "Of course Obama was right not to show the photo. It would achieve nothing positive. People want to see it in the same way they 'rubber neck' at serious road traffic accidents. This is a bad side of human nature - it will not dispel the conspiracy theories - those people will only go to the next level. In years to come the photo could be published in the same way they showed the body of JFK and also Oswald - but not now."

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2020 Eoin O'Mahony tweets: "If #obama publishes a photo of #obl, it will be a fake. If obama does not publish a photo, it's a coverup. #roswell #grassyknoll"

2019New York's Peter King, a Republican in the House of Representatives who had called for the release of the Bin Laden photographs, says he respects Mr Obama's decision to keep them classified. "I understand the president's decision and will not oppose it," he says in a statement.

2009The White House news conference is still going on, but turning to matters other than Osama Bin Laden. But on the subject of the legality of the raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader, spokesman Jay Carney says it was "fully consistent with the rules of law" and the assault force would have accepted his surrender if it had been offered.

2003Mr Carney is questioned about Bush-era enhanced interrogation techniques and whether Osama Bin Laden would have been found without them. "No single piece of information - aside from the address of the compound - was singularly vital to this," he says.

1959Reuters has just published what it says are exclusive new photos from the Bin Laden compound .

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1955 Steve Clemons, writing on The Washington Note blog, says: "Not releasing a photo of some sort furthers a bad trend of governments -- that the public doesn't have a right to know, that governments are better stewards of the truth and of basic information than the public. It is undemocratic and stiflingly paternalistic."

1953The questions at the White House news conference keep returning to the issue of the Bin Laden corpse photographs. A final decision had not been made on whether to release the pictures yesterday when CIA director Panetta suggested it was a case of when, not if the photographs would be released, Mr Carney admits. The final decision was only taken on Wednesday morning, he adds.

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1941 Brian M.Till tweets: "White House has flubbed this entire process - not sure I disagree with the call on the photos, so much how we've gotten there. #obl"

1940Mr Carney is asked about President Obama's decision to visit Ground Zero in New York on Thursday, but not to make a speech there. The president wants to lay a wreath to honour the victims, first responders and to "honour the spirit of unity in America", Mr Carney says, adding: "The power of that requires no words."

1936Mr Carney says that the decision not to release the photos of Osama Bin Laden's body "applies to all visual evidence" but he suggests more information might be forthcoming about how the experts reached their conclusions that this was Osama Bin Laden.

1933Was he concerned about the effect the killing of Bin Laden and the manner of his burial would have on US attempts to reach out to the Muslim world, a reporter asks Mr Carney. "The respect shown to him and his body was far greater than the respect Osama Bin Laden showed to the victims on 9/11," Mr Carney answers. "Osama Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, he was a mass murderer," he adds.

1930Questions at the White House news conference turn to the mission to "get Bin Laden". Asked who was shooting back at the commandos who hit the compound, Mr Carney says he has no further information to add to what has already been stated.

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1928Mitchell, from Birmingham, UK writes: "Barack Obama confirmed the death of Osama Bin Laden - If people don't believe him, what will a photo prove? If the White House were to release a photograph of Bin Laden dead, then people would rumour it was edited. Why not trust the President of the United States?"

1927There was no need to release the photos to establish Bin Laden's identity, and Mr Obama saw no other compelling reason to release them, Mr Carney says. The president's "number one priority" was the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad, the spokesman adds.

1925Mr Carney quotes the president, who told the CBS 60 Minutes programme there is "no doubt" that Osama Bin Laden is dead, and the US had a duty not to help circulate pictures that could be an "incitement to additional violence or a propaganda tool".

1923White House spokesman Jay Carney is explaining the decision not to release the Bin Laden body photos

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1920 CNN's Kelly Frank tweets: "Senior Democratic official close to the White House says flatly the President was "never in favor" of releasing the OBL pics #CNN #OBL"

1918The leader of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe is asking for an apology from President Barack Obama for the government's use of the code name "Geronimo" for Osama Bin Laden, according to a letter sent to the president, and posted on the group's website .

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1912 Andy Glover, from Hartlepool, UK writes: "Bickering over conspiracies and photos is pointless, let's accept the news as given. Especially as now Bin Laden is dead, the likelyhood is we have an entirely new, and previously unknown world of terrorism that could have been uncovered on the material found in his compound. By over-hyping and dragging out this news, we are providing his followers the perfect opportunity to attack and get revenge."

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1906 Huffington Post columnist Shirin Sadeghi tweets: "After #Saddam's execution we were told no footage existed, then a mobile video was leaked. Are we to believe same won't happen w/ #Osama?"

1905The White House press room is filling up ahead of a briefing from spokesman Jay Carney, who is expected to outline the rationale behind the decision not to release photos of the corpse of Osama Bin Laden.

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1859 Derek, from Fair Oaks, CA, US writes: "What a big sham. Trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the world without providing an ounce of proof should be a crime. No proof =no vote."

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1856 Stephanie McAlaine tweets: "Props to Obama for NOT releasing #OBL death photos. He's dead, we know it, nothing else matters."

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1849 NBC's Luke Russert tweets: "House Intel Comt member tells me decision not to release #OBL death pic grounded in not wanting to create photographic "martyr status"

1846 In the Guardian newspaper Robert Booth has written a piece about how the White House's account of #obl killing has changed since Sunday night: "The White House has revised its version of what happened during the raid on Osama bin Laden's home in several significant ways since its first briefings. It says the mistakes and contradictions are simply down to "the fog of war".

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1844 Carlos Alvarez tweets: " Glad they're not releasing the #OBL pictures. We shouldn't debase ourselves to cater to conspiracy theorists. We learned that last week."

1840White House spokesman Jay Carney is expected to address the president's decision to not release the photographs of Bin Laden dead in a briefing in roughly 20 minutes.

1836Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from the state of Maryland, tells MSNBC News about the president's decision not to release the photographs of Bin Laden: "If you don't believe what the president said on Sunday night, you are not going to believe any pictures the government would release."

1830President Obama said the White House will not release photos of Bin Laden dead, US television networks say.

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1824 Ali Ansari tweets: "As a taxpayer in #Pakistan, I demand to know what's done with my tax money, especially that which is allocated to defence."

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1820 JZ, from Tamworth, UK writes: "It is now the time for the world to move on from his death. He hasn't had any real material effect on terrorism for a number of years. All the bickering over whether it is lawful or not to kill him is no longer relevant as he is already dead. Let's focus our attention on the struggle in Afghanistan and Middle East."

1817Sen Ayotte also said she thought the photos of Bin Laden should be released. "Unfortunately, we've seen that in many instances around the world there can be conspiracy theories about these types of events. So I think it's important in terms of closure, that while nobody wants to see disturbing photos, the closure aspect I think is very important," she explained.

1815More from Senator Kelly Ayotte on the photograph of Bin Laden's body: She told reporters in Washington after a closed-door CIA briefing: "I have seen one of them. Another senator showed it to me." She said it was a facial shot. "I saw a photo of him deceased, the head area. Obviously he had been wounded... I can't give any better description than that." The photo confirmed the identity of the dead man as Bin Laden, she added. "Obviously I'm not an expert in this area. But... since he's such a well-known figure, when you see the picture, it clearly has his features."

1812The chairman of the intelligence committee of the US House of Representatives, Mike Rogers, has expressed hope that information contained in the devices will lead to further discoveries. "Small pieces of information can be critically important," he told ABC. But he added: "I would be very cautious until we actually know what we have." He said the cache included encrypted materials and writings in Arabic.

1801So what exactly did they find at the compound? CIA chief Leon Panetta has previously said it was an "impressive amount". According to AFP news agency, who cites a US official, it includes five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices. The storage devices included removable flash drives and DVDs, the source added.

1756Mr Holder told the BBC: "As we glean information from that material we will make appropriate decisions with regard to who might be added to the terrorist watch list, the no-fly list, all those things."

1754Eric Holder, the US attorney general, who has said he expects to add more names to America's terrorism watch lists, based on information seized from the compound in Pakistan where Bin Laden was killed. He said teams from the CIA, the US Justice Department and other intelligence agencies were assessing the material they had found.

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1750Michell, from Texas, USA writes: "I can understand why US forces executed an unarmed Bin Laden rather than taking him alive. Unlike Saddam Hussein, neither the Pakistanis nor the Afghanis could be relied on to give him a trial and just punishment. He would have been spirited away before a trial could ever take place. However, killing him accomplished nothing. Militant Islamists are in active cells all over the world. We didn't cut the head off the dragon, merely killed one of its many leaders, and in so doing have likely stirred up a hornet's nest. His burial at sea doesn't mean that we haven't created a martyr for extremists to rally around."

1745Earlier today in Jarkarta, Indonesia, members of the hardliner group Islamic Defenders Front held a mass prayer to mourn Osama Bin Laden, reports AP television. Members were said to have sat at their headquarters cross-legged under a big picture of Bin Laden, reading "Thank You for Osama", and prayed for the al-Qaeda leader as a martyr. The group wants the implementation of Islamic-based laws in regions across the nation.

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1740Pancha Chandra, from Brussels, Belgium writes: "The Pakistani Intelligence Services have been put on the defensive as accusations have been hurled on them for being either cagey or incompetent. For starters, the Americans have clearly shown their distrust and were not prepared to share their intelligence and their immediate moves regarding their capture of Bin Laden with Pakistan. The Pakistanis may hedge and haw but until they come clean with their knowledge of Bin Laden's whereabouts in the last few years, relations will be at a low point. Transparency between staunch allies is so very important. Obviously America has grave doubts about Pakistan's ability to share vital intelligence information!"

1739Meanwhile, British police have said they have released five men arrested in northwest England under counter-terrorism charges on Monday. The men, who were stopped in their car close to a nuclear processing plant, have been released without charge. The arrests were made after Prime Minister David Cameron urged vigilance after Bin Laden's death.

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1733 The BBC's Lyse Doucet tweets: "#Pakistan military tells BBC #OBL family members injured in raid being given "best possible medical treatment" for bullet wounds"

1732US Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has seen a photo of Bin Laden, reports Reuters news agency. She says it was a facial shot and has confirmed the identity, the news agency says.

1727The White House has released more details about President Obama's visit to Ground Zero scheduled for Thursday. The president will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Ground Zero and meet with 9/11 families and first responders, AP news agency reports.

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1725Andi June, in London, UK, writes: "I think this is a propaganda gimmick by the US. Obama is losing his popularity and has just staged a drama to provide a small thrill to his voters. It is apparent that Osama had no control over anything after 9/11, as he was on the run and he was a prisoner of his own making."

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1721 Paul Hurst, from Greater Manchester, UK writes: "The photos may be gory but they also bring a sense of closure to the whole story. Millions watched the shocking pictures of people falling from the towers or the effects of IED's, why should Bin Laden's end be clinical and out of view? Images cannot undo anything already done but they are often the way in which we learn and analyse the world around us. Release the images and the video I say. Let's not shield ourselves from the effects of both terrorism and 'justice'."

1715The attorney general told the Senate Judiciary Committee: "It was justified as an act of national self-defense. If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate."

1708Meanwhile, the US attorney general Eric Holder has said that Bin Laden was a lawful military target, according to Reuters.

1705In recent days, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has once again faced questions over its commitment to the fight against al-Qaeda, after Bin Laden was found to be hiding out close to a Pakistani military base. The BBC takes a closer look at the role of the ISI here.

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1655 Siddharth Varadarajan, deputy editor of The Hindu, says: "When the whole world, post-Abbottabad, is drawing its own unflattering conclusions about the Pakistani military establishment, there is no need for India to strike a triumphalist note about Pakistan being a sanctuary for terrorists. What the U.S. did on Monday may have been effective but it remains a second-best solution to tackling terror on Pakistani soil. The fight against the entire syndicate of terror has to be waged by the Pakistani police and security forces, acting under the complete control of the civilian government there."

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1653Jason Austermann, in the US, writes: "I don't understand what publishing the gory pictures of a dead Bin Laden would accomplish. At this point, anyone who believes he might still be alive (e.g. supporters and conspiracy theorists) are likely to continue with that belief regardless of photos. On the negative side, the gruesome photos could potentially evoke a slight sense of misguided sympathy for the unarmed Bin Laden. Its good, he was a terrorist and he got his reward, as a muslim he gave the wrong impression about muslims, Islam is a peaceful religion."

1647According to the report by ABC news, the belief is that there are not that many sceptics in the Arab and Muslim media, and that at least two women present have confirmed that he was killed. Officials are also worried that releasing the image could produce an Arab backlash, the channel reports.

1643Speculation is continuing over whether the US government will release photos of Bin Laden's dead body. ABC news is reporting that President Obama is now leaning against the release of the images.

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1640 C Holt, from Fresno, CA, US writes: "I still don't feel like all of the people who have died as a result of us chasing Bin Laden was worth it. We've lost over 4000 soldiers since after 9/11.. Not to mention all of the civilians of Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm just glad the job got done. It shows the USA still has teeth. This has to greatly worry whoever is next on the list"

1636 Ameen Amjad Kha, for University World News, blogs about students in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden was hiding out. "There are around 40 schools and colleges within a one-kilometre radius of Osama Bin Laden's hideout in the Thanda Choa area of Abbottabad's posh locality of Bilal Town. Since the US attack on Bin Laden's compound on Sunday night, attendance at Abbottabad's many institutions has almost halved, according to local estimates."
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1634 The British Foreign Secretary William Hague tweets: "Speaking at Mansion House tonight. Will talk about Al Qaeda after Bin Laden & what Arab Spring means for undemocratic govs across the world"

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1628 Reporting from Abbottabad, the BBC's Aleem Maqbool tweets: " Small protest in Abbottabad close to OBL compound "No to Osama, no to Obama"...anger against Pak gov too"


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1624 Richard, in Dunedin, New Zealand, writes: "Revenge has never brought things to a close (although it panders nicely to the masses/electorate). Where's old-fashioned statesmanlike dignity and 'leading the way by example' gone? If we treat others with this sort of 'justice' (however wicked they are), we can expect to be treated precisely the same. Shame on you and your grubby execution, Obama!"


1622The Arabic news network Al-Arabiya reports that these family members include six children, one of Bin Laden's wives and a Yemeni woman who may be their personal doctor - although this has not been verified by the BBC. A source told al-Arabiya they were transported in a helicopter.


1618The BBC's Islamabad bureau has confirmation from the Pakistan Army that Osama Bin Laden's relatives are among the survivors being treated in the CMH hospital in Rawalpindi.

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1609Bran Mahoney, in Virginia, US, in writes: "Congratulations to the United States intelligence services, the politicians from all parties who have had the will to pursue this goal over the course of a decade and most of all to the US military operators who risked their lives to accomplish the mission. Whether he went down firing an AK-47 or simply trying to escape doesn't matter, Osama Bin Laden's life ended exactly as it needed to, with an American bullet in his head and his hateful ideology in decline throughout the Middle East."


1603Jonathan Allen of Politico has told the BBC World Service about a classified CIA briefing for members of Congress on the raid. "One of the details that came out of that was that they found 500 euros and two telephone numbers on Bin Laden, and the suggestion from that is that that's clear evidence he was planning to escape or at least prepared to escape if necessary," he said, adding that it was not yet know who the phone numbers were linked to.

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1558Irfan Aslam, from Lahore, Pakistan writes: "It's really unbelievable that US choppers could enter Pakistan without being traced by a radar system, and carry out a 40-minute-long operation and then leave without alarming any one in the Pakistani military... But no expert foreign or local is raising this simple question... It looks to be a joint operation by US and Pakistan Army... The electricity from the area feeder could not be cut by the US choppers..."

1556Opposition members of Pakistan's Senate have criticised the country's civilian and military leadership over the raid, and demanded strict punishments for those responsible for allowing the US to violate Pakistani sovereignty.

1554Talking of the raid, we have also updated the article explaining how it unfolded . It includes a detailed graphic showing the layout of the compound.

1552The head of Pakistan's main religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami, tells BBC Urdu that it is organising a protest on Friday against the US raid that killed Bin Laden. "They have done it at a time when public pressure against American presence in Afghanistan was peaking. This is their way of covering up their defeat in Afghanistan," he says.

1548In our article about what life was like in Osama Bin Laden's compound , there is more information about the mysterious Arshad Khan, one of the residents and possibly the man who bought the land. A local shopkeeper, Faisal, told BBC Urdu: "He used to come and buy household things... I never felt like asking him anything." He added: "They absolutely did not interact. We saw them roaming around but they were not approachable."

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1544 Reporting from Abbottabad, the BBC's Mishal Husain tweets: "BBC trying to confirm location of #obl raid survivors/family, plus details of who owned the land & built the house"

1535The British-Indian author Salman Rushdie has pointed out that Osama Bin Laden died on Walpurgisnacht, the night of black Sabbaths and bonfires. "Not an inappropriate night for the Chief Witch to fall off his broomstick and perish," he added.

1531Saudi Arabia says an al-Qaeda member on the kingdom's most wanted list called from abroad and turned himself in. Interior Ministry's spokesman Maj-Gen Mansour al-Turki said in a statement that Khaled Hathal Abdullah al-Atifi al-Qahtani had contacted the security authorities from an undisclosed country following Osama Bin Laden's death, been brought back to Saudi Arabia, and had been reunited with his family, according to the Associated Press. His surrender would be taken into consideration while looking into his case, Mr Turki added.

1524A doctor who sold a piece of the land in Abbottabad where Osama Bin Laden's compound was built has said the Pakistani buyer did not seem to be a militant. "He was a very simple, modest, humble type of man" who was "very interested" in buying the land for "an uncle", Dr Qazi Mahfooz Ul Haq told the Associated Press. Property records show Mohammad Arshad bought adjoining plots in four stages between 2004 and 2005 for $48,000. Neighbours said a man who called himself Arshad Khan was among those who lived there.

1522Mr Nye adds that Bin Laden had already lost relevance before his death: "The importance of the so-called Arab Spring, or more directly the Tahrir Square demonstrations, indicated to young Egyptians, Tunisians and other Arabs that there are alternative ways to bring about change, rather than the violence that Bin Laden was promising. So in that sense you already had a downward trend for Bin Laden and the myth of al-Qaeda."

1516Jospeh Nye, the former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, tells the BBC World Service that "Bin Laden had more soft power than hard power", and that the key question is now if this power has increased with his death or died with him. "If he becomes a martyr, which leads to more recruitment, then obviously it hurts," he says. "I suspect quite the opposite. I think that basically Bin Laden had a myth of invincibility. The fact that that myth of invincibility has been punctured, I think, will undercut Bin Laden's soft power and the legend that he created."


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1513Omar, from Karachi, Pakistan writes: "Good riddance. There are a lot of perspectives on the issue of the hunt for Bin Laden, but the way I see it, this one man selfishly jeopardised the lives of hundreds of thousands of Muslims whom he considered 'brothers' all in the name of waging war against evil. Am I the only one who sees the irony in that? Were 30,000 deaths really worth your ideology Bin Laden? I wish they hadn't shot him though. By dragging him through the courts and the judicial system a point would have been proved. Crime doesn't pay. No matter what your reasons are."

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1512 Shahed Amanullah, in Washington, US tweets: "Osama bin Laden was an albatross hung around the necks of Muslim-Americans, who can now hold their heads up a little bit higher."

1511Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly cut short his four-day visit to France. He will be returning to Pakistan this evening, Express 24/7 TV reports.

1500The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, says the death of Osama Bin Laden is no reason to "lower our guard" against the threat of terrorism at next year's Olympic Games in London. "We have to go for a maximum security and we will continue to go for a maximum security."

1457Following the revelations of CIA assassination plots by the Church Committee, in the 1970s, President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905 (later 12333), which stated: "No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination." The term "assassination" was not defined, nor was it in subsequent orders signed by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

1454 The New Yorker notes that in March 2010, the legal adviser in the US state department, Harold Koh, said in a speech: "Some have argued that our targeting practices violate domestic law, in particular, the long-standing domestic ban on assassinations. But under domestic law, the use of lawful weapons systems-consistent with the applicable laws of war-for precision targeting of specific high-level belligerent leaders when acting in self-defence or during an armed conflict is not unlawful, and hence does not constitute 'assassination'."

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1449Stephen Marsh in the UK writes: "Why would the capture of an unarmed man require two bullets to the head, unless his summary execution was the objective of the operation? Perhaps he would have named too many US/Pakistani government officials who supported him over the years to be captured alive. The US wants to know why the Pakistani government didn't track him sooner, so why not ask [Osama Bin Laden] rather than kill him? We must respect the rule of law even in the face of grave threats to our way of life or we will become like the 'enemy' that we seek to defeat."

1446Mr Ahmed said the burial of Bin Laden's body at sea "was outrageous". "It was against Islamic principles. Every dead body - even of a criminal - has to be respected, and, according to Islamic law, washed, clothed, prayed over and buried." He said no photograph of the dead al-Qaeda leader should be published "but definitely seen by responsible people with integrity and independence, who [can] verify [it]."

1443Senator Khurshid Ahmed, vice-president of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, tells the BBC World Service that he was shocked and grieved when he heard of Osama Bin Laden's death. "The methods they used we always condemned. He was unarmed, no crime was proved against him," he says. "But I was also hurt, because my country's sovereignty has been violated with impunity, with arrogance. The US has no right to violate the sovereign borders of Pakistan or any other country."

1438One Pakistani security official also challenged the US account of a fierce firefight at the compound, telling al-Arabiya: "Not a single bullet was fired from the compound at the US forces and their helicopters. Their helicopter developed some technical fault and crashed and the wreckage was left on the spot." He said no weapons or explosives had been found during detailed searches of the compound on Monday and Tuesday.

1435Senior Pakistani security officials have told al-Arabiya TV that Bin Laden's 12-year-old daughter said her father was captured alive and then shot dead by US commandos in the first few minutes of the 40-minute raid. The body of bin Laden's son was also taken away by helicopter, they added. The officials also said Bin Laden's wife, who was shot in the leg, had told them they had been living in Abbottabad for only five or six months. The CIA has said they discovered the compound in August.

1424More from Nato's secretary general: Mr Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels that "positive engagement of Pakistan" is needed to ensure a long-term solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. "And this is also the reason why we have invested some efforts in developing a partnership with Pakistan, and recent events do not change our strategy in that respect," he added. "On the contrary, I think it just underlines how important it is to continuously engage Pakistan positively, so we will proceed on that path and continue our efforts to strengthen bonds between Nato and Pakistan."

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1418Christine Forster in Australia writes: "I am appalled by the killing of Bin Laden in front of his wife and family, and the killing of his son and another woman. No doubt the children in the building will be traumatised for life. We have an International Criminal Court for trying international criminals where a finding of guilt or innocence is determined after a careful consideration of the facts. To kill persons without trial is contrary to the rule of law, and natural justice the supposed cornerstone of 'civilised' countries. I find the celebration of these barbaric killings abhorrent."

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1415Adrian Harvey in England writes: "So what if [Osama Bin Laden] was unarmed when he was killed? I think the vast majority of the thousands killed at the [World Trade Center] were also unarmed. So what if he was still alive when he was captured? So were those men & women who were captured and beheaded by the Taliban. Live by the sword/gun/bomb, die by it too."

1413Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected suggestions that the US commandos should have captured Osama Bin Laden, rather than kill him. "Actually in so far as these things are done, I think it was done as well by the Americans as you could possibly expect; indeed brilliantly executed," he told the BBC. "The fact is that this is somebody who was the head of a network that's caused the death and destruction of thousands and thousands of innocent people. You've just got to understand; here are people going into a situation where they're trying to take captive somebody like this with people who are armed around him who are perfectly prepared to fight and give their lives."

1409Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the discovery of Osama Bin Laden shows the need to step up security co-operation with Pakistan, according to the Reuters news agency.

1404Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan's former foreign minister and a presidential candidate in 2009, has also said it was came as no surprise to him that Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan. "I would say that some groups in the establishment definitely knew that they were there," he told the BBC. "A few hundred metres from the military academy? That's unbelievable that this could happen without anybody knowing in the establishment."

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1402Samuel Moka in Cameroon writes: "Congrats for the good time for Barack and his team. Terror is not over but the impact of his person disappearing is very significant."

1359More from Afghan defence ministry spokesman Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi: he told a news conference in Kabul that the Pakistani authorities should have known who was inside Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. "When we talk about the location of the house and a military academy nearby... at the very least it should be known about the activities inside the house and who is living there," he said. "If Pakistan's spy agency was not aware of the house near the academy, it brings the agency under question. If I was a security analyst, I would raise these very important questions."

1354The death of Osama Bin Laden has led to a new and, some might say, distasteful industry in memorabilia celebrating his demise, including key-rings, t-shirts and mugs. Some people are making a fortune out it. The BBC's Rob Young has been finding out what is on sale .

1349An Afghan government spokesman, Hakim Asher, has called on the international community to step up the targeting of other militants hiding in Pakistan. "We hope that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mullah Omar, the Haqqani network, other international terrorist networks... and generally all those who are responsible for the killing of people... should be punished for their deeds," he told Tolo TV.

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1343Professor Sandy Gordon of Australian National University writes on the South Asia Masala blog: "The US still needs Pakistan to deal with Taliban safe havens such as North Waziristan and as a vital transit point into Afghanistan. The Pakistani elites are to an extent dependent on the US relationship economically and militarily.  The compromise involved has meant that Pakistan has continued to host drones, while at the same time publicly excoriating the US for the loss of civilian life involved."

1340An Afghan defence ministry spokesman, Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi, has expressed hope that security in the region will improve following the death of Osama bin Laden, but also warned that it will not spell an immediate end to al-Qaeda. "The killing of Osama bin Laden may bring positive impacts on the security situation in Afghanistan, the region and the world in the future, but it should not be perceived that all of al-Qaeda has been destroyed by his death," he told Tolo TV.

1333Former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband tells the BBC that Pakistan is probably guilty of incompetence and collusion regarding Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts.

1331Mr Juppe pointed out the goal of France's presence in Afghanistan "was not to eliminate Bin Laden. It was and remains to help the Afghan government establish its authority over the whole territory of Afghanistan and to ensure peace and democracy for its population". "Sadly, that result has not yet been achieved," he added. "Will the death of Bin Laden enable us to make progress? I hope so."

1326France is considering speeding up its timetable of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan after Bin Laden's death, according to Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. "It is one of the options we're going to consider," he told France 24 TV. "The Americans are also thinking about it." France has about 4,000 troops involved in Afghanistan.

1320Indonesia says its most wanted terrorist suspect was in Pakistan to meet Osama Bin Laden when he was arrested there early this year. Umar Patek was arrested in January in Abbottabad, the garrison town where Bin Laden was killed by US forces this week, AP news agency reports.

1318A leader of al-Qaeda's branch in southern Yemen has vowed revenge for the US killing of Bin Laden, AFP news agency reports. "We will take revenge for the death of our Sheikh Osama Bin Laden and we will prove this to the enemies of God," the unnamed militant told AFP.

1311According to an interview with CIA director Leon Panetta on PBS , there was video of the approach to the compound but no direct video feed from the operation itself. Mr Panetta said there was a twenty five minute blackout once the team went in.

1309Despite widespread reports that President Obama and others watched the Bin Laden operation happen live, it is now clear they did not see the shooting itself, says the BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera.

1306India has indicated it will not launch its own Abbottabad-style operation in Pakistan to target militants it suspects are hiding there, says BBC Hindi's Amit Baruah, in Delhi. Official Indian sources said that while it is easy to be hawkish with Pakistan, there was no endgame to such an approach, our correspondent reports.


1301An Afghan Taliban commander has said special units have been formed to avenge Bin Laden. Dawran Safi, who heads Taliban groups in eastern Afghanistan, said: "We have created special units to avenge the martyrdom of Sheikh Osama Bin Laden. We will avenge him and follow in his footsteps, and we will maintain the momentum of the jihad against foreign and agent forces." His comment was broadcast in a correspondent's despatch from Kabul on al-Jazeera TV


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1258Mohsin Ali, in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan writes: "Its good, he was a terrorist and he got his reward, as a muslim he gave the wrong impression about muslims, Islam is a peaceful religion."


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1257Shakeel Yahya, in Lahore, Pakistan, writes: "How could an unarmed person resist US special forces? He should have been caught and put on trial like Saddam. It raises suspicions about whether it was actually OBL. Think all drama was preplanned US would have shown whole whole world if it really happened."



1254He continued: "Yes, killing Bin Laden is hard power. But making sure that there are not new recruits to al-Qaeda after Bin Laden requires the narrative of soft power, and so does making sure that mainstream Muslims do not get recruited to replace Bin Laden." You can hear that interview in full today at 1200 and 1300 GMT on the BBC World Service .


1252Professor Joseph Nye, a former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, who came up with the doctrine of "soft power" in US diplomacy, has been talking to the BBC World Service's Newshour programme. Asked whether the killing of Bin Laden doesn't show that "hard power" works, he said: "You need both hard and soft power. That's what the Obama administration calls smart power."

1247While Pakistan maintains it had no idea of Bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad, Brad Sherman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Terrorism, says he does not believe them: "Bin Laden spent $1m building a compound in this very ISI/Pakistani military flavoured town," he told the BBC World Service. "I don't think he would have chosen to do that if he did not have acquiescence."

1244The chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee has warned against cutting aid to Pakistan, AP news agency reports. "We've got to be careful," Republican Mike Rogers told ABC's Good Morning America. "They still need us and we still need them. Are they the best partners we've ever had? No."

1237The picture of Mr Obama and his staff watching the assault on Bin Laden could be the iconic image of his presidency, says CNN, in this feature about iconic pictures of US presidents .

1231If you missed CIA Chief Leon Panetta giving the lowdown on the operation against Bin Laden yesterday, PBS News has published a full transcript . Mr Panetta spoke of the difficult decisions President Obama had to take in approving the raid.


1223While the Pakistani government insists it had no warning of the US raid, an official in the US embassy in Islamabad has told BBC Urdu they did know of the operation, a few hours ahead of its launch.


1220Mr Taylor told the BBC World Service: "The ISI are extremely professional. Perhaps they tipped off the Americans - the ISI and the CIA work very, very close together. But of course, the condition would be: whatever you do, don't give any suggestion that the ISI was involved. It's got to have absolute 110% deniability."


1218Peter Taylor, BBC journalist and author of "Talking to terrorists: A Personal Journey from IRA to al-Qaeda" says it is unlikely that the Pakistani intelligence service did not know Osama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad.


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1215 Here's a picture tweeted by Nick Schifrin ABC News reporter in Afghanistan and Pakistan: "The bin Laden compound in Abbottabad #Pakistan is officially a tourist attraction. Area now open to public."

1213In Peshawar, about 200 lawyers offered funeral prayers for Bin Laden a short while ago. The prayers were organised by the Islamic Lawyers Movement whose deputy chief Ghulam Nabi told BBC Urdu that all political and religious parties in the country should have offered Bin Laden's funeral prayers but their silence is saddening.


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1207Imran Saleem, in Islamabad, Pakistan, writes: "The lack of trust between the two allies, USA and Pakistan may effect the efforts against terrorism and may prove beneficial for Al Qaida and other terrorist entities."

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1206 Abdul Rahman Arif, in Dubai, tweets: "Will the US establish a committee to investigate the killing of #OBL and those with him, or do they only dictate that for other countries?"

1159Now, here's one for all you conspiracy theorists. This just in from BBC Urdu : "Police in Abbotabad have registered a first information report (FIR) on the Monday morning incident, but it does not have any reference to Osama's death. It only mentions a helicopter crash."

1151The editor of the Yemen Post added he does not expect Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent, to take over the leadership of al-Qaeda: "You cannot expect such a junior, who is not experienced in al-Qaeda tactics, to take control only because he is a famous icon when it comes to preachers in the west," he told the BBC.


1148Mr Almasmari told the BBC World Service that opposition politicians in Yemen "believe that with Bin Laden's death, al-Qaeda in Yemen could have much less influence on the international community than it has today."

1147But not everyone is rejoicing. In Yemen, hundreds of people have gathered to mourn Bin Laden, according to Hakim Almasmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post newspaper.

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1144We've also had reaction from Kenya, one of the first countries attacked by al-Qaeda. James Omedo Kihali e-mails: "The operation was awesome. Osama's death is victory against terrorism. It is a great achievement to president Obama and the American people. The world is rejoicing."
Have Your Say

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1140Mephis in Asia, writes: "Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief was in US couple of days back. Was there any information exchange about this operation? Also ISI knew that the CIA was tracking Osama's Courier... then why didn't ISI do anything about it? Was there any secret deal between US and Pakistan?"
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1137Ms Awan told the Pakistan senate: "It is important to mention the CIA and some other friendly intelligence agencies have benefited a great deal from the intelligence provided by the ISI. The ISI's own achievements against al-Qaeda and in the war on terror are more than any other intelligence agency in the world."

1135America's "unilateral" decision to kill Bin Laden could undermine future cooperation with Pakistan, says Information Minister Ashiq Firdous Awan, as reported by BBC Urdu .

1129Afghanistan has called on the international community to follow up the killing of Bin Laden by targeting other Islamist militants who it says are based in or supported by Pakistan. Government spokesman Hakim Asher told Afghan Tolo TV that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan mujahideen commander and leader of Hezb-e Eslami, Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and the allied Afghan-Pakistan Haqqani militant group were "founders, financiers and supporters of this dangerous network" who must be punished.

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1124Nyb, in UK, writes: "Its amazing how US and the world is simply discarding all the efforts and life loss in Pakistan. Its high time everyone should realize nothing would have been possible without Pakistan's support. US should be happy at least we're not cribbing about their habitual unlawful border crossing."

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1122Peter Hopkins, in the UK, writes: "Of course this was a 'seek and destroy' mission. The last thing the US would want would be a show trial dragging out over months and months, maybe even years. And then, afterwards, the question of an execution and whether the body is to be returned; a shrine set up etc... Any thought of 'capture' was a non-starter."

1116Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi has cast doubt on the death of Bin Laden, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reports. "There are a lot of issues and ambiguities about this subject," Mr Vahidi told a cabinet meeting. "They said they threw Bin Laden's body into the sea. Why didn't they let an impartial supervisor confirm whether that person was Bin Laden or not?"


1056A crucial clue that led the US to Bin Laden was the moment his courier switched on his mobile phone outside the compound, says the BBC's Gordon Corera. "The courier was the key. First of all they had his 'nom de guerre', then they had to identify him, and then from a phonecall last year they tracked him to this particular compound. That led to the surveillance. But even when the US went in they weren't 100% sure Bin Laden was in there."


1049And for the US, capturing Bin Laden "would have been quite awkward" says our security correspondent. "What do you do with him? Where do you put him on trial? How do you stop him becoming a symbol?" he says.


1048Was it a capture or a kill mission? There are conflicting reports, says the BBC's Gordon Corera, "but in a sense the outcome of him being killed was always going to happen. The chances of him not wanting to go alive were minimal - he'd always told his bodyguards he wanted to be killed rather than captured."

1042We may never know what really happened when the US Navy Seals confronted Osama Bin Laden, but amid all the conspiracy theories there is an important issue, says the BBC's Gordon Corera: "How he died does matter," says our security correspondent. "The US is trying to puncture the myth of Bin Laden. His supporters will want to claim he met a hero's end, and America will try to control that narrative. The confusion and the changes [to the story] are a bit embarrassing for Washington."

1031 Mushtaq Yusufzai, for Al Arabiya News blogs: "A Pakistani security source told Al Arabiya that Bin Laden family members had been transported to Rawalpindi, which is near Islamabad. A source told Al Arabiya that Bin Laden's wife had been injured either in her leg or her shoulder. He added that the members of the household were children and Bin Laden's wife, in addition to a Yemeni woman. He added that the woman might be the personal doctor of the family. Bin Laden was known to be afflicted with renal failure."
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1015Mr Gilani went further by saying the US shares the blame for the time it took to find Bin Laden: "Certainly, we have intelligence failure of the rest of the world including the United States," said the Pakistan PM. "There is intelligence failure of the whole world, not Pakistan alone," AFP reports.


1005"We need the support of the entire world," added Mr Gilani. "We are fighting and paying a heavy price to combat terrorism and extremism... fighting not only for Pakistan but for the peace, prosperity and progress of the whole world," AFP news agency reports.


0951Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani has appealed for the world's help in fighting "terrorism and extremism" during his visit to France. "Security and the fight against extremism or terrorism is not the job of only one nation," Mr Gilani told reporters in Paris, where he met with French business leaders.


0946General Sir Mike Jackson, former head of the British army, has been telling about the "tightrope" Pakistan has to walk, with regards to terrorism and intelligence. "Were you able to trust Pakistan?" asked the BBC's Stephen Sackur. "That is a very difficult question for me to answer," replied Sir Mike. "I had no reason to suppose I was being lied to."


0934She told BBC News: "The people of Pakistan have suffered tremendously for a long time because of this one man [Bin Laden] and his organisation so we are pleased that he is out. But there is a backlash we are expecting, and the security of my people is of the utmost importance. We hope arrangements are being made to safeguard us from all these potential suicide bombers."

0933While the debate about the manner of Bin Laden's killing rages on, Marvi Menon, of the Pakistan Muslim League says there is a "bigger issue" at stake - the security of Pakistani people.

0922The US took a great risk by sending in its military unnannounced, says the BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones, in Islamabad: "It clearly shows a lack of confidence in Pakistan's ability shoot down people coming into the country," says our correspondent.

0918Among the many unanswered questions from the killing of Bin Laden, one of the most difficult for Pakistan is: how did US helicopters enter its airspace so easily? "People are saying how could it possibly have happened that those helicopters could have flown so far without being tracked by Pakistan?" says the BBC's Aleem Maqbool. "That has led to a great deal of embarrassment."


0914A reconciliation deal which rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas are due to finalise today is a "smokescreen," Israel's home front defence minister Matan Vilnai has said: "Nothing will change after this... Hamas and Fatah don't agree on anything and the best example of that came with the killing of the super-terrorist Osama Bin Laden," reports AFP news agency.


0907If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the events following the death of Osama Bin Laden. We'll bring you the latest news and analysis from our correspondents in Pakistan and around the globe. Send us your comments, tweets and e-mails using the contact details in the box on the right of this page.

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0856 Aimée Heuzenroeder in London, UK tweets: "So v hard to figure out how White House could issue wrong info on #obl death when they had just watched it live on a flat screen."

0855"I think its astonishing that some people don't believe this when the Taliban has acknowledged he is dead and even al-Qaeda seems to be preparing to acknowledge it," our correspondent adds.

0854In Pakistan, the "majority" of people do not believe that Bin Laden was killed, says the BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Abbottabad: "There are so many conspiracy theories about the fact we haven't seen any evidence and they [Pakistanis] are calling for the images [of Bin Laden's body] to be released. There will always be doubters, but I think it would persuade some at least."

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0842 M Nicholas, from California, USA writes: "I am appalled by my country's unending celebration of the death of one man. It is with a heavy heart I watch the press coverage of parties and gatherings celebrating Bin Laden's death. I do not believe this is a true representation of how the average American feels; relief, yes but also a sense of "let's move on" and in my case, one of foreboding, might this fan the flames?"

0837Was the US wise to bury Bin Laden's body at sea? The BBC's John Humphrys put that question to former MI6 deputy director Nigel Inkster this morning: "The burial at sea was clearly designed to make sure Bin Laden's grave did not become a jihadist shrine," said Mr Inkster. "I think it was a very difficult call, but I suspect at some point quite soon, photos may have to be released to deal with some of these outstanding questions."

0823 TechCrunch blogs: "Google Saw One Million Percent Increase In Searches For 'Bin Laden' On May 1."
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0813 Al Jazeera English Correspondent , Alan Fisher tweets: "Barack Obama's popularity gets strong boost in opinion polls following the killing of #Osama bin Laden."

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0809 Asif, from Lahore, Pakistan, writes: "I think it's just another one of America's cheap Hollywood movie tactics with feigned special effects to fool the world on just how 'invincible' the US is. Obama needs to win the upcoming elections and so he's going to have to put an end to the killings of hundreds of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Osama will still be a hero and a martyr for all those of us, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, who dislike the US for its bullying and selfish motives worldwide."


0805France fears it will be the target of reprisals for the killing of Bin Laden, AFP news agency reports. "Threats are everywhere and we can indeed fear that France will, like the United States and other friendly countries, be the target of reprisals and desire for vengeance," said Interior Minister Claude Gueant.

0759Mr Greitens added: "I frankly personally don't need it for myself and I don't know that actually releasing something like that [a photo of Bin Laden's body] is something that we want every kid in the world to be seeing multiple times."

0758Now, back to that "will they, won't they" debate over releasing photos of Bin Laden. Lt Commander Eric Greitens is a US Navy Seal officer and the former head of an al-Qaeda targeting cell. He says he wouldn't release the pictures: "They're incredibly graphic, terribly gruesome, and I just don't think there's any way that you could control the release of that image," he told BBC News.

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0754 Matt Andrews in the USA is also feeling uncertain. He tweets: "I believe OBL is dead, but I will say that a lot of this seems fishy. I think it is good to question what the government tells us."

0751If you found the White House's over the details of Bin Laden's killing suspicious, you're not the only one. The BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell about the apparent backtrack: "You start to wonder how much the facts are being massaged now, to gloss over the less appealing parts of the operation,"

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0741 Beni J in Calgary, Canada tweets: "Gruesome, distasteful and frankly unnecessary. I think releasing #OBL photos will give those who don't trust the US govt ammo regardless."

0739Many are worried that releasing a photo of the body would inflame anti-US sentiment. But Peter King, a Republican lawmaker who had the images described to him, played down that concern: "They're not going to scare people off," he told AP news agency. "Nothing more than you'd expect with a person with a bullet in his head."


0733With the US still to decide if and when it will release an image of Bin Laden's corpse, commentators are joining in the debate. Stephen Dinan, the political editor of the Washington Times, says he understands the hesitation: "It's a very tough decision for the White House. They went through all these steps here to basically do a burial in accordance with Islamic tradition, had the body washed, have religious rites prepared, all of that, and then in some ways they might squander all of those gains they've worked so hard for if they end up releasing a very gruesome photo of him."

0722With unconfirmed reports in Pakistan that al-Qaeda leaders are meeting today to name a successor to Bin Laden, the pressure is on the government to show it is not a safe haven for militants, says the BBC's Aleem Maqbool, in Abbottabad: "It doesn't stop with Osama Bin Laden," says our correspondent. "There will be a successor, possibly Ayman al-Zawahiri, and there are also thought to be other layers of al-Qaeda's leadership here in Pakistan as well, so the pressure will continue on Pakistan to come up with those figures."


0702Was the US right to keep Pakistan in the dark over the raid? Yes, says former MI6 deputy director Nigel Inkster, now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies: "In this particular case, I think it's understandable that the CIA opted to take no chances. This is too big a prize," he told .


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0654 Monique Frugier in the USA tweets: "I do not support the death penalty but if we had to kill OBL I wish it would have been after trial."

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0647 James Mason tweets: "Great chance for the US to endear themselves to the world. We must support n trust Pakistan in the fight against terror."

0609 For the government in Islamabad the challenge now is not only to prevent attacks but also to handle the relationship with Washington, adds our correspondent. The US has made its distrust of Pakistan quite plain: It says it gave lslamabad no advance warnings of the raid. Pakistan has expressed concern about that and insisted once again that many of the successes the US has had its war on terror have been the result of Pakistan cooperation.

0603 Taliban spokesmen in Pakistan have said they will try to avenge Osama Bin Laden's death, reports the BBC's Owen Bennett-Jones in Islamabad. According to Pakistani Interior Minster Rehman Malik, a number of threats to key installations and individuals have been made since the raid on the al-Qaeda leader's Abbottabad compound.

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0557 Danish Murad, from Karachi, Pakistan writes: "Questions must be asked of our government and the intelligence services if some of its elements were involved in keeping 'safe' the whereabouts of world's most wanted man. However, US and other countries must appreciate the role of Pakistan and its army in the war against terror and they must continue to support us. For the record, Pakistan has lost thousands of its troops in various operations and thousands of innocent citizens who have died in terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda and Taliban in the region and we continue to do so."

0549 Wednesday's UK broadsheets have a selection of colour pieces from Bin Laden's Abbottabad compound The Guardian's Declan Walsh provides great colour from the scene. He wonders what's next for the "attractive property - spacious, well located, and fully fitted with advanced security features... It's just the sort of house that is favoured by security-conscious US diplomats elsewhere in Pakistan. Perhaps they might consider taking it."

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0539 You'll have seen the Situation Room photo: Barack Obama, hunched and tense in a corner, Hillary Clinton looking shocked with a hand over her mouth, and other White House players looking on as CIA director Leon Panetta guides them through the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound. It's already being described as iconic. The picture editors of Time, Newsweek, the New York Times and others discuss what makes the image so good.

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0533 If you're interested in how the global media covered news of Bin Laden's demise, feast your eyes on these 40 front pages from around the world, courtesy of Poynter.org.

0528 The principle of sovereignty should be observed, Mr Bashir added, and even though this time his government understood an exception had been made for a unilateral operation against such a high value target, the exception, the foreign minister said, could not become a rule.

0525 Mr Bashir said Pakistan had identified the compound in Abbottabad as suspicious two years ago, but acknowledged that the CIA had discovered that it belonged to the al-Qaeda leader. This was not the time to enter into recriminations, he told the BBC's Gordon Corera, and Pakistan did not need to prove its credentials in the war on terror.

0522 Pakistan has rejected suggestions the US could not trust it with sensitive information about the mission against Osama Bin Laden, after CIA chief Leon Panetta said the Pakistanis could have jeopardised the mission by alerting the target. Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir has told the BBC these comments were disquieting, adding that the two countries had always cooperated well.

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0516 Former US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley tweets: "Told @BBC #binLaden photos should not be made public. We want to avoid not just a shrine, but also an iconic image that makes him a martyr."

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0509 Shyema Sajjad, writing on Pakistan's Dawn.com blog, says: "The US has a lot to answer but so far they have been giving us a great story, but what about our own government and establishment? We have nothing to celebrate for. We cannot take out our flags and run across the country because chances are some suicide bomber somewhere will mar that celebration anyway. Instead, we have a lot to worry about now... The al-Qaeda backlash, the ISI's supposed intelligence failure, the Pakistani leadership's silence and the media's confusion. As for the world hating us a bit more, I don't think that'll be a real problem."

0502 The operation against Bin Laden has drawn widespread praise, but this isn't universal; The Washington Post reports that American Indians are objecting to the use of "Geronimo" as the code-word for the al-Qaeda leader's name during the raid.

0453 Colleagues over at BBC Monitoring have picked up a report on Pakistan's privately-owned Dawn TV station that "an unusual meeting between al-Qaeda leaders is under way at an unknown place" to determine who will succeed Osama Bin Laden as the group's leader. The name is expected to be announced later, says the report.

0444 The US says the al-Qaeda leader had used the Abbottabad compound for several years and Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani is expected to be quizzed on how he went unnoticed for so long during talks in France later on Wednesday.

0442 Here's a quick update on the latest events following the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of an elite US Navy Seals team in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The CIA has said the US did not tell Pakistan about the operation because it feared the Pakistani authorities would alert the al-Qaeda leader.

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0435 As the debate about releasing the Bin Laden death photographs rages, Stu Kreisman, writing on Huffingtonpost.com blog, says: "Releasing the pictures will not change anybody's mind. If they hated the United States before we killed Bin Laden, they'll still hate us. In their minds, Bin Laden was the favorable face of terrorism and anti US hatred. Nor will the pictures cause the outrage that some predict in the Muslim world. Let's not forget that the reason Bin Laden was buried at sea was because no Arab or Muslim led country wanted the body."

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0429 As a university degree, geography gets a bad review in some quarters. But while it took the brains of the US intelligence community a decade to establish the whereabouts of America's most wanted man, in 2009, two UCLA geography undergrads made a good fist of pinning him down, predicting there was an 88.9% chance that Osama Bin Laden was in a city less than 300km from his last known location in Tora Bora: a region that includes Abbottabad.

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0422 To release or not to release, that's what many are asking about the reported photographs of the dead al-Qaeda leader. Some argue the pictures will bring closure, and end speculation Bin Laden may still be alive. But the New Yorker disagrees. "The assassination of Bin Laden allows us to begin turning the page," it argues. "But surely not if that page is printed with an official trophy photograph of his blasted head."

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0415 Blake Hounshell, Managing Editor of Foreign Policy magazine tweets: "Lashkar e-Taiba openly holding "special prayers" for Osama bin Laden. In theory, it's a banned group."

0408 Welcome to the BBC's minute-by-minute coverage of events following the death of Osama Bin Laden. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world.

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0403 Matt Miller, WashPost.com columnist tweets: "Re Bin Laden, isn't it great when an entire nation stops and takes pride in what experienced government workers can accomplish?"

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0355 While there have been some inconsistencies in early accounts of Osama Bin Laden's death, President Obama himself has always made it clear that the al-Qaeda leader was not killed in a shootout, muses Ben Smith over at Politico. The president's use of language seems more consistent with Bin Laden's being shot and killed deliberately - as some reports suggests was the goal of the mission - rather than his being shot "resisting", writes Mr Smith. He refers to the president's comments about the "operation that resulted in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden".

0345 If you're hunting for info on Osama Bin laden's Abbottabad compound, Google maps has more details. The user reviews are interesting - one, from Gabriel, says: "Ultimately our visit was satisfying, but it took us almost 10 years (!) to find the dang place. Next time, we're staying at the Marriott." - but we can't vouch for their authenticity.

0334 BBC's Newsnight programme had an interesting discussion last night on the varying reactions to Bin Laden's death from Muslims. "His death would bring in a new phase of jihad, a much more intensive one," says Anjem Choudary, former UK head of the Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun.

0328 More on the news that former President George Bush declined an invitation to visit Ground Zero with President Obama. Mr Bush appreciated the invitation but has "chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight," said a spokesman. "He continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror," he adds, briefly resurrecting the term Mr Obama chose not to carry over into his own presidency.

0326 The CIA chief said Pakistan had a lot of questions to answer about how Bin Laden was able to live there in relative comfort, but that it also had an important role to play. He concedes that the Pakistanis "have given us some help" and told CBS: "We are virtually conducting a war in their country going after al-Qaeda. And at the same time, we're trying to get their help in trying to be able to confront terrorism in that part of the world."

0319 But Mr Panetta told CBS News: "I can assure you, whoever takes his place, he will be number one on our list."

0317 More on the speculation about who might step in behind Bin Laden as head of al-Qaeda. CIA chief Leon Panetta has said the dead leader's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is "moving up very fast on the list".

0314 US Vice-President Joe Biden has been praising the lawmakers who kept quiet about the raid plans, sometimes for months. "There were as many as 16 members of the Congress who were briefed on it: not a single, solitary leak," AFP quotes him as saying.

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0312 Tariq Alhomayed, writing on Asharq Al-Awsat blog, says: "Al-Qaeda will be unable to reproduce a leader with the personality of Bin Laden, or the legitimacy which he built up over many years, and in many places... No-one today can dominate religious discourse, or stand alone as an individual, a fundraiser, a sheikh, or an underground leader in a cave or palace, as easily as he was able to. Arabs and Muslims have now become extremely aware of the amount of abuse that has damaged our religion."

0309 The FBI is warning computer uses that a computer virus is doing the rounds purporting to contain a video of Bin Laden's death. The bureau has released a statement telling computer users to "exercise caution" if they receive such an email as it could contain malicious software designed to steal personal data.

0302 Thanks to Nick Sutton, editor of What The Papers Say. for those pictures. For a close look, here are tomorrow's front pages.

0259 The FT and the Independent have moved on to the voting referendum taking place in the UK this week, although the Indy has more on those rabbits.

0256 Continuing the Hollywood-style narrative of the past few days' events, the Daily Mail leads with: "Bin Laden, the terror godfather next door", with details and pictures of the pet rabbits said to have been kept in Bin Laden's Pakistani compound.

0254 The Telegraph led its coverage on Tuesday with the "human shield" assertions. Its headline today: "White House backtracks on how Bin Laden died", with the word "not" displayed prominently, three times. The change in narrative was, says the paper, an "embarrassing climb-down" for the US.

0248 The Times is throwing events forward with the headline: "Now destroy al-Qaeda". It cites White House officials as saying they will use the death of Bin Laden to "pummel" the organisation.

0245 Bin Laden is still leading the UK papers in their Wednesday editions. The Sun as ever pulls no punches - after US officials' revelations that Bin Laden was not, after all, armed and hiding behind his wife, the paper leads with: "Bin Laden unarmed - just like his 9/11 and 7/7 victims." The Mirror is leading on "Call over", in reference to a mobile phone call that allegedly gave Bin Laden's location away.

0230 Fancy a souvenir of the US Navy Seal raid that killed al-Qaeda's leader? How about a lime-green yoga mat, emblazoned with the words "Ding dong Osama's dead"?

0224 Politico is reporting that US President Obama invited his predecessor George W Bush to join him in a visit to Ground Zero on Thursday but Mr Bush declined. Mr Obama is set to meet relatives of 9/11 victims at the site of the World Trade Centre attacks. His last visit to the site was in 2008.

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0216 Byron York from the Washington Examiner tweets: "What if Europeans become queasy with way bin Laden was dispatched? Will we hear worries that Obama has hurt America's 'image in the world? "

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0209 Elizabeth Lozano, from Buffalo, New York writes: "He [Osama Bin Laden] was prepared to die and to be killed by Americans perfectly suited his fundamentalist agenda. Regardless of how he died he will always be a Martyr to the people that follow him, and that is a scary thought."

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0203 Pulitzer-winning journalist Jim MacMillan tweets: "I shot this at the World Trade Center today http://twitpic.com/4sz3me from about the same spot I shot this at dawn 9/12 http://bit.ly/ijIcXo"

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0156 Greg Mitchell in New York City tweets: "Note: I certainly back raid on Osama, but errors, exaggeration or lies from officials and media will produce negative fallout. "

0151 French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says he finds it hard to believe that Osama Bin Laden's presence in a relatively small town could have gone completely unnoticed by Pakistani authorities. He says he will ask for further explanations when he meets Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in Paris later on Wednesday.

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0145 Robert H from Pays de la Loire, France, writes: "Let us be honest with ourselves and admit that this was an act of summary execution without trial which is somewhat outside of the usual course of justice. Personally, I am no fan or admirer of Bin Laden, but I had been under the impression that as a society we had moved on from the medieval days of a head of state giving direct orders along the lines of 'off with his head'."

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0137 Ghassan Charbel, writing on the al-Hayat blog, says: "Osama Bin Laden suffered in the past months a great loss that revealed al-Qaeda's isolation. The protesters in Tunisia did not raise his pictures, and his portrait did not appear on Tahrir Square in Cairo. The protesters in Yemen or Libya did not try to affiliate themselves with him...The winds of the past months showed the wish of Arabs and Muslims to enjoy freedom, dignity, and progress, and to belong to the present era rather than excluding themselves from it."

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0130 Ant West, from London, writes: "How can you justify entering a sovereign nation without permission, killing a number of people and then leaving immediately before you can be held to account under that nations laws? This type of action is against every idea our great nation is suppose to have. I think it will be seen as a great victory for terrorism around the world and is a sad day for any democratic country which has been involved in this horrible war."

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0124 US Senator Bernie Sanders tweets: "The fact that Bin Laden was located in a mansion almost adjoining a military installation in a large city in Pakistan suggests to us that our friends in that country have not been as vigorous as they have suggested in pursuing him and terrorism, in general."

0118 With stories being shaped, moulded and, let's face it, changed in Washington, the BBC's Andrew North in the US capital says if it turns out that Bin Laden did not put up much resistance when US Navy Seals raided his compound, that could fuel speculation it was a kill mission, which the White House has denied. Another dilemma lies in the "kill photo". If a gruesome image of the dead al-Qaeda leader was released it could inflame feelings and that will be playing on minds in the US, says our correspondent, even if it quietens conspiracy theorists who are claiming the al-Qaeda leader is still alive.

0112 Nice bit of colour from The Economist in Abbottabad about how Pakistani spooks are clearing up after the Bin Laden raid.

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0105 Henry D Marcus, from Ventnor, USA, writes: "This operation diminishes our moral status in the world. A trial, perhaps in a neutral setting outside the US, would have been the American Way of Justice, and in the end Bin Laden would certainly have been executed but in a lawful manner."

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0058 There's a strong piece in the FT today on Obama's torture dilemma, with news that champions of waterboarding are seizing on the Bin Laden raid to back their cause. Keeping and even torturing the detainees has kept the US safe, says the Global Insight blog. "For a president who has won great praise for the success of the operation, that is not a comfortable thought."

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0050 Osama Al Sharif, writing on the Arab News blog, says: "The West needs to understand the Bin Laden phenomenon, as so do many Arab and Muslim regimes. His death may inspire few more to follow in his footsteps, but that is hardly the problem. The challenge is to understand what motivates his followers and drive people to adopt his message. It is a matter of flawed policies, cultural schisms and uneven approach to issues. Bin Laden's grievances are shared by many."

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0041 Delia Susarret, from Hartman, USA, writes: "My son and I were teaching in NYC on 9/11. The trauma of the event has forever left us and scores of my students and their families scared for life. Friends were lost on that horrid day. It's little consolation that the man responsible for such terror and grief is dead. I'm proud of President Obama for continuing the battle against terror."

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0035 In the 24-hour news world, presentation is key. The folks over at New York magazine have put together this excellent piece on the "tick-tock", or how the White House controlled the roll-out of news about Bin Laden's death.

0024 While the White House appears to be in two minds as to whether it should publish a photograph of Bin Laden, CIA Director Leon Panetta says in an interview with US broadcaster NBC that, gruesome or not, a photo of the dead al-Qaeda leader will ultimately be released.

0016 The US is hesitating over releasing a picture of Bin Laden's body which Mr Carney described as "gruesome". White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said earlier that material seized during the raid in Abbottabad could provide leads to the whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawihiri, thought to be al-Qaeda's deputy leader and Bin Laden's likely successor.

0010 Thanks for following the latest developments with the BBC. Here's a quick upsum of Tuesday's news: The White House says Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot by US forces, but he resisted efforts to capture him alive. White House Spokesman Jay Carney wouldn't say how al-Qaeda's leader did so without a weapon, but said US forces had faced immediate and sustained resistance from many other people in the compound who were armed. On Monday it was said a woman died shielding Osama Bin Laden, but Mr Carney said a woman was only shot in the leg as she rushed the attackers. He said another woman was killed earlier in the raid.

0001 Hello and welcome to the BBC's minute-by-minute coverage of events following the death of Osama Bin Laden. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via e-mail, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.



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