Moslem groups in L.A. welcome news of bin Laden's death

08:41, May 03, 2011      

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Moslem groups in the U.S. metropolis of Los Angeles on Monday welcomed the news of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's death.

"We join our fellow citizens in welcoming the announcement that Osama bin Laden has been eliminated as a threat to our nation and the world through the actions of American military personnel," said the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Moslem civil rights organization.

"As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, bin Laden never represented Moslems or Islam. In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and al-Qaida caused the deaths of countless Moslems worldwide," the group said in a statement.

The council's sentiments were echoed by the Los Angeles chapter of the civil rights group Project Islamic H.O.P.E.

"Moslem leaders and organizations celebrate with our fellow Americans the fact that bin Laden was brought to justice," said Najee Ali, the association's founder and director.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Sunday night that bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military operation in Pakistan and U.S. authorities had the body in custody.

Media reports said that bin Laden was buried at sea early Monday, after Saudi Arabian officials turned down an American offer to have him buried in that country.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said American Moslems have supported antiterror efforts.

"We must also recognize that members of the Moslem community are and have been our partners against terrorism," he said. "They have worked side by side with us for years, and we have stood together against hatred and united as one nation against terrorism. "

The news of bin Laden's death was received with enthusiasm from politicians in the state of California.

California Governor Jerry Brown said the successful strike against bin Laden showed that the United States is serious about avenging terrorism.

"Our friends as well as our adversaries throughout the world can be assured of America's resolve in combating terrorism and protecting the values of democracy and freedom," Brown said.

State Senator Alex Padilla called bin Laden's killing "an extraordinarily significant event and milestone in the war on terror."

U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, from El Monte, Los Angeles, said the killing of Osama bin Laden "is indeed the most severe blow that has been dealt to al-Qaida, but we must never forget that there are still adherents of bin Laden that will continue his efforts to wage violent jihad against America and her allies."

"We must be prepared to repel and disrupt any retaliatory attacks that may result from this historic event," said Chu.

Chu said while she doesn't agree with Obama's ongoing prosecution of the war in Afghanistan, "I commend him, his national security team and the brave men and women of our intelligence and armed services who collaborated to finally bring justice to America's greatest enemy."

Meanwhile, security efforts were being beefed up at various public venues in Los Angeles following the death of bin Laden.

"We will deploy all resources and tactical responses necessary if warranted," said Deputy Jeff Gordon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

But he said law enforcement agencies "have no operations set up at this time."

Villaraigosa urged vigilance, saying that "we must continue to be vigilant and remain on guard against those that still seek to harm us."

Another local Congress member, Republican Dana Rohrabacher, warned that "this doesn't mean the war on terror is over."

"What it does mean is that no one can kill scores of Americans and think they can get away with it," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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