Osama bin Laden is killed in Pakistan


Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible for the September 11attacks as well as other acts of mass murder around the world was killed last Sunday, May 2, in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

For nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks, bin Laden remained a shadowy figure, evading capture and eluding the authorities pursuing him. However, last Sunday, after months of intelligence gathering by Pakistanis working the Central Intelligence Agency, a credible lead on bin Laden was established, and ultimately resulted in the covert operation that resulted in his assassination.

Below are reactions from students of Santa Monica College to the news of bin Laden's death.              

"I thought it was a good thing that a mass murderer is out of the world." -Sergey Volkov, 26, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in the 137th Armor for 15 months in Iraq.           

"The celebrations were good, because unity is always a positive thing; with the economy and political climate the way that it is right now, we need anything to unite us." -Andrew Nichols, 27, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served for 8 years with the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command.           

"I don't know how to feel about it; justice is served in a sense, but does an eye for an eye make everything right? I understand the closure it must bring to the families of victims of 9/11, but I really don't think anything is different." -Chris Alves, 21.

"They shouldn't have killed him—it will cause more deaths because Al Qaeda will probably retaliate; but it's still a good thing." - Cristian Hotova, 19.           

"If they kept him, he would have died eventually—by trial, or whatever. But as a Saudi, I can say a fair amount of Saudis wanted him dead because of his acts in the U.S. and in Saudi Arabia. And of course people would celebrate his death—they deserve to, but I won't celebrate death. I might feel happy, relieved; but I won't celebrate death." -Talal Aljomaih, 20.           

"My family lives in New York, so I'm a little worried about his death bringing retaliation. The celebrations weren't right—no one should celebrate death." -Cristina Covbliz, 22.

"I believed it, and I felt happiness. We were all looking for him, and now that he's dead, it's a great thing. It restores a measure of faith in the U.S. government and our intelligence, because now we have a physical return for all that we've sacrificed." -Chuck Melshenker, 26, a veteran of the Marine Corps who served with the 1st battalion, 3rd Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq.           

"I'm relieved—I was on kitchen patrol duty in Fort Gordon in Georgia when I heard the news. At first I didn't believe it, but when I checked CNN I knew it wasn't a joke. And if I had the chance, I would have celebrated with everyone. He took 3,000 lives doing what he did." -Jesé Burrow.           

"Who knows what happened? Some people are putting all the blame on one person, but killing one person won't fix everything. I really don't feel okay celebrating someone's death, but personally, I can understand where people were coming from." -Jillian Long, 21.