Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blunt calls Bin Laden raid "appropriate"

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is calling the death of Osama bin Laden a huge moment for America.

Blunt, a Republican, praised President Obama’s decision to send Special Forces into bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, rather than conducting a bombing raid.

"The risk was appropriate, rather than sifting through the rubble of a compound to try to determine whether or not Osama bin Laden might have been there at that moment," Blunt said.

Blunt hopes the death of Osama bin Laden creates "confusion and chaos" inside al-Qaida and other Islamic extremist groups.

The Senator says it’s clear that al-Qaida cells in countries like Yemen and Somalia have operated more or less independently for several years, carrying out attacks inspired, but not directly ordered, by bin Laden.

"Having him removed as a figure to rally around is important. Eliminating both his money and his ability to raise money is important," Blunt said.

Blunt also praised the decision to bury bin Laden at sea to eliminate a rallying point or a shrine.

He downplayed the idea that bin Laden’s death will inspire revenge attacks, saying al-Qaida affiliates are trying every day to harm American and its allies.

Blunt says although bin Laden has not had operational control of al-Qaida for years, he was an important figurehead and source of financing.

In statements released Sunday night, other area politicians called the raid "justice served" – echoing a phrase the president used during his late-night address.

Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio


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