Nick Clegg’s statement on the death of Osama Bin Laden

Nick Clegg has issued a statement on the death of Osama Bin Laden, who was killed in a US operation in Pakistan last night.

From the Deputy Prime Minister’s website:

There will be a great sense of relief today that Osama Bin Laden, a man who wrought so much destruction and who spread such a vile, hate filled ideology, can no longer do so.

This successful US operation is a major step forward and a serious blow to Al Qaeda but it does not mean that the struggle against terrorism is over. We will all need to continue to be as vigilant as ever in the fight against terrorism.

At this time our thoughts go out to all of those in the UK and other countries who have suffered, directly and indirectly, from the violence that Bin Laden inflicted on the world.

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  • After 9/11, the US and UK invaded Afghanistan on the basis that the Afghan government was harbouring Al Quaeda. Now we know Bin Laden was in fact in Pakistan, in a substantial compound. Is it really credible his presence was not known to the Pakistan government? Yet Pakistan has at all times been viewed as a friendly nation. That’s in spite of the fact the London 7/7 bombers were trained at a Madrassa in Pakistan.

    Did we invade the wrong country? Doesn’t today’s news raise some important questions about our foreign policy?

  • Paul McKeown 2nd May '11 - 3:06pm


    In 2001 bin Laden was openly based in Afghanistan. It was the reluctance of the Taliban to hand him over that lead to the invasion of Afghanistan. It was not the wrong country that was invaded, but rather that the invasion was incompetently executed (Dubya was not focused on it as he had long been planning another – entirely pointless apart from personal motivation – war in Iraq), which allowed bin Laden to escape from the caves of Tora Bora into Pakistan.

  • Jonathan
    It all sounds rather incredible.

  • Andrew Suffield 2nd May '11 - 6:56pm

    Is it really credible his presence was not known to the Pakistan government?

    Yeah, actually that’s pretty credible. Pakistan is a weak, poor nation with a government that can exert very little effective control over large parts of the land they claim. They’ve been in a state of low-level civil war for 7 years.

  • Stephen Donnelly 2nd May '11 - 11:10pm

    On an emotional level we may all feel tempted to support this act but Liberals have never subscribed to the idea of a ‘war on terror’. Bin Laden was entitled to a trial through due process. How many acts of terror in future will be justified by the way this assassination has been carried out, how many muslins will be radicalised by the pictures of cheering crowds being relayed from America. This is a bad day for the west and Liberalism. I think Nick has ducked this challenge.

  • Even now, we don’t know the whole truth of this matter. One thing I will say, though – is it now not about time that we brought our troops home out of Iraq and Afghanistan? They are all battle-weary and it is time they were home with their families now that the supposed focus of Al Qaeda is dead. We need enough boots on the ground in the UK to defend UK soil against possible reprisals from terrorist sources. While our troops are still abroad, our own shores are vulnerable.

    Apparently no-one in power seems to perceive that!

    While we are at it bring them out of Libya too – they do not need to be there!

    Bring the troops home – now!

  • david thorpe 3rd May '11 - 12:35pm

    @ jonathan

    we know that a decade later he was in pakistan
    given that bin laden was part of the mulhadeen in afghanistan in their war againstt eh soviets, its a reasonable assumption he was there in 2001.
    there are no uk troops in libya

  • Matthew Huntbach 3rd May '11 - 12:36pm

    The idea that the IslamicFundy-Trotskyite nonsense that is such a dominant stream in world thinking these days was all down to one man and will disappear with his death is so ridiculous that I am just filled with despair at the reaction to bin Laden’s death.

    The only way this is really going to be tackled is if decent Muslims show some guts and thinking and manage to develop an alternative form of their religion than this one. It ought not to be THAT difficult, given that the current IslamicFundy-Trotskyite was pretty much made up in the past few decades, and Islam has a rich history of more tolerant and thoughtful interpretations.

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