(Caution: This article contains information about 9/11 and may not be suitable for very young children. Adult guidance is strongly advised.)
The “most wanted” man in the world is dead.
Osama bin Laden was responsible for many terrorism attacks including three in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. That event is commonly referred to as 9/11 (pronounced “nine-eleven.”)
The US President calls 9/11, “the worst attack on the American people in our history.”
The United States military has been looking for bin Laden for nearly 10 years. Last night, the US president, Barack Obama, went on television to announce that they had killed bin Laden where he was hiding in Pakistan.
After the announcement, Americans began gathering at the gates of the White House, many singing the US national anthem.
Why did people hate bin Laden?
On Sept. 11, 2001, bin Laden and his group of terrorists known as al-Quaeda (pronounced “al-Kie-da”) killed thousands of people. They crashed two planes into the World Trade Centre towers in New York, flew another plane into the US Pentagon in Washington and they crashed a plane in Pennsylvania.
More than 3,000 innocent people died in the attacks, including 24 Canadians. Hundreds of emergency workers, including police and firefighters were injured or killed trying to help the victims of 9/11.
After the attacks, bin Laden went into hiding. Since then the US, and other countries around the world including Canada, have been at war with al-Quaeda and its leader, bin Laden. They captured many al-Quaeda leaders but had been unable to find bin Laden, who continued to conduct terrorist attacks and bombings in a number of countries.
Then, last August, the US got information that bin Laden may be in Pakistan. It took them months to locate exactly where he might be. They found him in a city called Abbottabad in Pakistan. Last week, Obama sent special forces in to get Bin Laden and, “bring him to justice.”
Yesterday, “a small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed… after a firefight they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” President Obama said during his television broadcast.
“On nights like this one, we can say to those families that have lost loved ones to al-Quaeda’s terror, ‘justice has been done,’” said Obama.
He stressed that the US is not, and never will be, at war with Islam and that bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He also said that counter-terrorism specialists in Pakistan helped the US find bin Laden.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also went on TV last night to talk about the death of bin Laden. He said the event “does remind us why Canadian armed forces personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan—to deny al-Quaeda and organizations like it, the use of Afghanistan where the 9/11 attack was conceived and planned.”
Youtube video of US President Barack Obama making the announcement about bin Laden’s death.
Leaders around the world have commented about the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he felt a type of “satisfaction.” Former Primer Minister of England, Tony Blair, described his feeling as “heartfelt gratitude.” And President of the United States, Barack Obama, described these events as “an achievement.” How would you describe the feeling you have today as you read about Osama bin Laden’s death? Why do you feel that way?
How does your prior knowledge of the attack that took place on Sept. 11, 2001 help you understand the importance of today’s story?
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Extend understanding of texts by connecting, comparing, and contrasting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Grammar Feature: Honorifics
An honorific is the title attached to someone before their last name. For example, teachers often have the honorific of Mr., Ms., or Mrs. before their last name. A newspaper in New York called The New York Times has decided not to place an honorific before Osama bin Laden’s name in their articles.
Why do you think the newspaper made this decision?