Pakistani Madrassa Names Its Library For Osama Bin Laden

April 18, 2014

A sign now outside the small library at a religious school for girls in Pakistan’s capital says the room has been named for a martyr — Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida terrorist network was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

“For us he was a hero of Islam,” a school spokesman tells Agence France-Presse.

The school in Islamabad is run by “hardline cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, the imam of the city’s Lal Masjid (Red Mosque),” according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

In 2007, that mosque was the site of a week-long standoff between armed militants and Pakistani security forces. It came to an end when government forces moved in. More than 100 people died. Afterward, there was a wave of suicide bombings, assassinations and other violence across Pakistan as militants struck back.

Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in May 2011 during a raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he had been hiding for several years.

Earlier this week, Fresh Air interviewed New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall about her new bookThe Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014. Here’s how the show described that book:

“Highly critical of Pakistan, it offers new information about how Islamabad has helped the Taliban in Afghanistan, and how Pakistan’s intelligence agency may have helped Osama bin Laden hide out in Abbottabad, Pakistan.”

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