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Monday
May022011

Bin Laden Supporters React with Denial, Grief over His Death

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While Americans were celebrating Osama bin Laden's death, forming cheering crowds near the White House and New York's Ground Zero, supporters of jihad both on the ground and online had a very different take on the terror leader's death.

"The sorrow is deep," wrote a poster on Ana Muslim (I Am Muslim), a pro-jihadi web forum, "for this is Osama and not just anyone.  More valuable to us than our sons, may Allah rest his soul."

As Sahab, al Qaeda's media arm, did not immediately release a statement following President Obama's announcement of Bin Laden's death, leaving Ana Muslim regulars unsure about whether to believe bin Laden was really gone.

Some of Ana Muslim's readers didn't want to accept the initial reports of his death, warning others not to trust the "reports of the Western media," counseling that supporters of jihad should wait for a statement from the mujahideen.

One claimed that there had been heavy fighting, with American casualties, while another said the two helicopters that came for him had both been downed and "all the infidels that were in them had been killed."

Those who accepted his death tried to take solace in the image of bin Laden dying with guns blazing.

"Bin Laden fought until he was killed," said a poster, "which means [he died] an honorable death."

The pictures of Americans dancing in the streets irked others.

"There are pictures of the American pigs on television as they celebrate in front of the White House," wrote an angry Ana Muslim user.

But others were already looking ahead, to jihad after the death of its best known leader.

"Another lion will take Osama's place," wrote one poster, reassuring his comrades.  "We are all Osama."

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ABC News Radio