ObMbAbL is DEAD
I had to write about this current and significant event...
In a strange sounding city of Abbotttabad in Pakistan.
In a hilly city that was founded by Sir James Abbott (a British Army officer in 1853), at a
distance of 8500 miles from the USA, the most unexpected event occurred on May 2nd..
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden's life finally came to an end late this past Sunday night.
Somehow I just knew that this day would come.
Even after almost a decade in hiding.
9 years, 232 days.
Well not really hiding - for he did an incredible job of hiding in plain sight.
Osama's $1,000,000,000 home was nicknamed "Waziristan Haveli" (the mansion) by the locals of the Thanda Choha neighborhood of Abbottabadand.
Most local residents thought that a Pashtun family from Pakistan's tribal area was living there.
That or that they were a drug dealers and even a rumor that a high ranking ex-military official lived there.
The whitewashed, three-story house is located in a leafy resort city of 400,000 people that is nestled in the pine-forested hills.
It is less than 35 miles from the national capital, of Islamabad.
Osama's compound was also less than half a mile away from the Kakul military academy.
A prestigious military academy much like our own West Point.
A couple of miles in the other direction are three military garrisons, each with over 1,000 Pakistani soldiers stationed there.
But these occupants were different.. they had no interaction with their neighbours.
They never celebrated national or religious holidays, and they had few dealings with the local traders.
We now know that one occupant, who is said to have been called Nadeem, left the compound every day in a red Suzuki minivan to collect groceries and supplies.
Every day he returned with a goat, presumably for slaughter.
Yet no one ever caught a glimpse of the tall, thin 54-year-old Saudi fugitive, who we now also know had lived on the upper two floors of the compound.
Closer still – less than 100 yards from the compound's 15ft walls that are topped with three strands of barbed wire – is the well-maintained house of Major Amir Aziz, an officer serving with the Pakistani army's medical corps.
Mr Aziz it is said had lived there for many years and that his father had occupied the property before that.
The major's neighbors, as well as many others all said that they were shocked to know that Osama Bn Laden had been living there.
How did Bin Laden and his small group have been living here, so close to the heart of the Pakistan military establishment without anyone knowing?
They are now saying that he and his four wives and had lived there almost six years.
If the neighbours had suspicions why didn't the police ever investigate?
Given the compound's proximity to the military academy why was there no knowledge of this?
More surprising is that the occupants never tried to develop a plausible cover story for their presence in the neighbourhood, which is made up of largely ethnic Hazara people.
There was even am arrest in Abbottabad earlier this year of an al-Qa'ida suspect, Umar Patek.
I would think that there had to have been some complicity at some level.
Otherwise it would be preposterous for all these questions to go unanswered.
Having spent several years in the Middle East and knowing people there, the Pakistanis I came to know were in many ways like my own Mexican heritage.. very hospitable, generous but inquisitive people.
Naturally someone would have wanted to know who was living next door to them, especially in a huge mansion like he had built.
Someone should have seen them coming and going.
Osama was a very well known and distintive appearing across the globe.
The ISI, Pakistan's spy agency, had even raided this same compound in 2003 when it was still being constructed, but had since then, had it "off their radar".
The local land registry states that the property had been bought in the mid 2000s by a couple of brothers from Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
They also kept themselves to themselves, locals said.
How they transferred the million dollar property and what ever happened to these brothers remains unclear.
There will be many questions of Pakistan.
Our 3 Billion a year assistance will undoubtedly have to have more oversight.
Still we will need them to continue to purge terrorist in that part of the world.
Our President bet the lot – his entire presidency, his re-election, and a place in history – on this very decision.
The odds on the mission's success are unquantifiable.
Anything could have gone wrong, the Pakistani Amry and Air Force could have easily have gotten involved and engaged our commanados.
This has got to be one of the gutsiest decisions of any president in recent memory has ever taken.
I can only imagine if the mission had gone badly.
If Bin Laden had escaped, or if just one of our Navy Seals had been killed.
Bin Laden would have revived al-Qa'ida with the greatest propaganda coup since 9/11.
It would have pronounced our President's political last rites.
As a military veteran and ex-government employee I am happy to see that justice was finally delivered.
None of us will ever forget what we were doing the morning of 9/11.
I also agree with President's Obama remarks, "America will never be at war with Islam."
Our war was not with Islam. Osama was never a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer.
The word "Islam" means peace and obedience.
Those that knw me know that I've studied many religions along the way, and no true Muslim could ever had done what Osama did.
There is no place for extremist in any religion.
Reading a verse from the Quran, I found " Whomever killed a person… it shall be as if he had killed all mankind (5:33).
As we celebrated this event, let's never forget all those innocent people that died on 9/11 and in the wars that have followed.
Today its paradoxically complicated.. remembrance, revengefulness and relief.
I am thankful for all the women and men in uniform today, each one of them that continue to risk their lives for the freedom that we all enjoy.
I continue to pray for them and our great US of A.
Make it a prayer filled día!