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San Diegans React To Osama Bin Laden’s Death

Local Pakistanis reacted to news of Osama bin Laden’s death with both elation and shock.

“I am ecstatic,” said Rashida Taqi of Rancho Bernardo. “Who wouldn’t be? All human beings were affected by what he did. He brought down Islam. No faith teaches you terror.”

Many San Diego Pakistanis were astonished that bin Laden had lived so close to Pakistan’s seat of power. Bin Laden was found in a compound in Abbottabad about 30 miles north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad. This despite the fact that Pakistani leaders over the years denied the Al Qaeda leader was in Pakistan. At one point, former President Musharraf said bin Laden was dead.

“It should be an embarrassment to the Pakistani government” said retired engineer Salman Ahmad.

Ahmad says Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs, is a scenic and affluent town and the home to several retired military and intelligence officers.

“It is very green there and very pleasant,” Ahmad said. “It is basically a resort town.”

Ahmad and other San Diego Pakistanis expressed worry about the potential for violence in their homeland. Many Pakistanis openly condemned bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. But there are also pockets of support for him among Pakistanis.

“There will be protests,” Ahmad said. “There may be more violence.”

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Avatar for user 'notafan'

notafan | May 2, 2011 at 7:18 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I was disgusted by the Imam from San Diego who complained on Maureen Cavanaugh's show "These Days" about how disrespectful the burial at sea was for Osama bin Laden. Please. Why didn't Ms Cavanaugh point out to this leader of the local Muslim community that the almost 3,000 people who died on September 11 were not only robbed of a respectful burial, they were robbed of their lives. Was the death of 17 people on the USS Cole respectful? How about the hundreds of people who died in the American embassy bombings in the East African cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya in 1998. Almost as enraging as this Imam's complaint was the compliant Ms. Cananaugh who didn't have the wit to point this out. Is KPBS funded by the Muslim community? It certainly won't ever be funded by me.

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