By Chief K.Masimba in Washington DC| AfroFutures Global Editor At Large
Washington DC, US – At three o’clock in the morning on May 1, Washington DC erupted into a buzz of car hoots, screams, fist-pumping and vuvuzela sounds as American citizens celebrated the killing of Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of September 11, 2001 attacks.
In front of the White House, jubilant crowds sang the national anthem, drank beer and waved the American flag into the salad hours of the morning celebrating the culmination of a decade long’s hunt of the world’s most wanted terrorist.
“This country is about liberty and freedom. We’re happy. We took the sucker out of him. I love freedom, I love this country, and this is a prime example of what America can do. You can run but we’ll find you,” a man shouted into the night, weaving through the chanting crowd.
The mood in front of the White House on May 1 was echoed across the US with news media pouring praise on US president Barack Obama and the Navy Seals’ Team 6, an elite and secretive American military unit.
“I am happy about what has happened because Osama took away the lives of women and children, and also killed his own people. However, it does not mean that everything is going to be rosy. There are many challenges in this country but at least this will get people’s spirits up,” said James Willis, a 50 year old construction worker in front of the White House.
“It could not have happened too soon for me. This is a guy who could his own people. I don’t think it has taken relief so much but this is a moment when Amerca had done something right. This will uplift the mood in America and around the world. It will prove that killing mothers and children is not right,” said Marina Ramos, a waitress who also joined the celebrations.
However, news about bin Laden’s burial at sea incited a wave of conspiracy theories that news of bin Laden’s was charade to whip up American sentiment.
“There are still many questions that have to be answered about the capture of bin Laden, for example, why was he not captured alive if he offered no resistance? Would that not have been an advantage? More detail is emerging but even the news media is beginning to ask questions,” said Haniha Zaimeh, a Jordanian journalist who was in Washington DC to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, lack of public proof of bin Laden’s death sparked wild rumors, not just in Pakistan and the Arab world, but also in Europe and the US. People utilizing social media, in particular, Twitter, proffered a barrage explanations as details of bin Laden’s dso.
“Among the radical assertions bouncing around the Internet: bin Laden was dead before the attack; he is still alive; the DNA that was supposed to be bin Laden’s was inconclusive; and that the White House concocted a raid just to ensure President Obama’s reelection. That’s just to name a few,” reported the Christian Science Monitor.
Some conspiracy theorists are saying that the US presidential election slated for 2012 had much to do with the timing of Bin Laden’s alleged death. The argument is that Obama’s ranking will rise and position him to succeed being elected for the second time.
Last week, American officials were making frantic efforts to defray public doubt of bin Laden’s death, and were considering releasing pictorial evidence. According to US military officials, bin Laden was killed with a precision shot above his left eye.
The fear is that putting the evidence in the public space can potentially incite anti-American sentiment among Muslimserror attaches thereby leadin to new t. Nonetheless, the US is weighing whether to release photos to prove bin Laden’s death.
While the US is still working out how to deal with alleged demise of bin Laden, there are fears that Al Qaeda will regroup and launch a revenge attack. Ayman al-Zawahiri, a 59-year-old Egyptian doctor and an Islamic insurgent since the age of 15 who helped to found the terrorist organization, is seen as the likely successor to bin Laden. According to media reports, he is widely considered even more radical than bin Laden, making the potential of an attack against US quite potent.