Senior official in birthplace of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden speaks at GCC meeting
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, hopes that with his death, an "evil has ended", the Gulf Arab state's deputy interior minister said on Tuesday.
"We hope that with the death of Osama bin Laden, an evil has ended," Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz told reporters at a meeting of Gulf interior ministers.
"He has been an evil to himself, to his immediate family and to the Arab countries as a whole."
He added that while bin Laden may be a symbol, Saudi Arabia did not know if he was al Qaeda's "main driver" or if the global militant network was comprised of a number of separate groups that were unlinked.
Separately, the UAE said on Tuesday that the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a shoot-out in Pakistan did not signal the end of the war on terror.
The Gulf state, which was one of the first Arab countries to speak out on the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist, warned of the need to stay vigilant.
“'The death of bin Laden does not spell the end of Al Qaeda and terrorism,'' Tariq Al Haidan, the UAE’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, said in comments published by state news agency WAM.
“We must exercise caution and vigilance so as to preserve the security of the UAE and its people.”
Bin Laden was killed by a small team of US soldiers in a firefight Sunday at a compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad. His body was buried at sea less than 24-hours later, US officials said.
Al Haidan said his demise could help remove the stigma associated with Islam in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.