U.S. and Western equity markets are expected to rally Monday after President Barak Obama’s annoucement Sunday night at the White House that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead; President Obama said that the U.S. has his body in its possession, which was also confimed by U.S. officials.
While financial markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were all shut on Monday for public holidays, a factor seen contributing to thin trading conditions that could exaggerate price action, Japan’s Nikkei average .N225 rose 1.0 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 put on 0.9 percent.
The Al Qaeda leaders was killed in a joint raid overnight Sunday in Pakistan’s northwestern district of Abbottabad, some 40 miles from Islamabad, according to a senior Pakistani officials. The town also is home to a Pakistani military academy. Two American helicopters took part in the operation, the official said. One Pakistani helicopter involved in the raid crashed after it was hit by firing from militants.
Mr. bin Laden had been in the run for more than a decade, as he claimed being the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead and dramatically altered U.S. foreign policy and the nation’s sense of world security. Because he was so difficult to find for many years, the killing of Mr. bin Laden is a major victory for the U.S. government and Mr. Obama, who demanded an aggressive expansion of Predator drone strikes in Pakistan.
In a recent book on Mr. bin Laden, Michael Scheuer, former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s bin Laden unit, wrote that the al Qaeda leader’s goal was to attack the West, and then to move on to Arab states and Israel, but that “he has given no indication that he expects to live long enough to finish the job.” Instead, Mr. Scheuer wrote, Mr. bin Laden “has anticipated a war of attrition, one that might last decades,” so he began passing the torch to younger al Qaeda activists, it was reported by The Wall Street Journal.