BEIRUT: A number of Muslim preachers in Lebanon hailed Monday Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden for having struck at the heart of the United States.
Their reaction came following U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement Monday that bin Laden had been tracked down and killed Sunday.
Muslim preacher Omar Bakri said he believed bin Laden left a “generation of Mujahideen.”
“Osama, whether dead or alive, on this occasion, we extend to our Mujahideen brothers in all parts of the world our deepest condolences over the death of the lion of jihad in this era – Osama bin Laden,” Bakri told The Daily Star online.
He said the Obama administration had “rejoiced” over the death of bin Laden “to hide the bitterness of reality and their defeat by Al-Qaeda.”
Al-Qaeda would take vengeance for the killing of their leader, Bakri added.
Sheik Daie al-Islam al-Shahal, founder of the fundamentalist Salafi Sunni movement in northern Lebanon, said that while he disagreed with bin Laden’s ideology, he believed bin Laden’s killing would not serve the U.S.
“Bin Laden had a history of resisting Americans – and this is religiously acceptable. However, we do not agree with Al-Qaeda’s entire outlines,” Shahal told The Daily Star online.
“His [bin Laden’s] death will not be useful for America and its allies because it serves as fresh fuel for the opponents of American policy who will respond in their own way,” he added.
For his part, Lebanese Imam of Al-Quds Mosque in the southern port city of Sidon Sheikh Maher Hammoud, who said he opposes bin Laden’s philosophy, praised the Al-Qaeda leader for “striking at the heart of America.”