THE dad of a Sheffield man who died in the September 11 attacks has welcomed the news of the death of Osama bin Laden - but said it could not bring him or his family closure.
Nigel Thompson, who worked as a stockbroker with Cantor Fitzgerald, died aged 33 when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, in terrorist attacks masterminded by the world’s most wanted man.
US president Barack Obama announced yesterday that Bin Laden, also the inspiration for the July 7 London bombings and countless other terror acts, had been killed in a US operation in Pakistan.
He had been holed up in a two-storey house a stone’s throw from a Pakistani army base in Abbottabad, about 50 miles from the capital Islamabad.
Norman Thompson, who lives with wife Pat in Fulwood, said it was good news but it did not change their everyday reality of life without their son.
“I’m pleased, definitely,” he said.
“But it doesn’t bring our son back - we’ve lost him. People talk of closure. There’s no such thing as closure because we have it every day. We have a life-time of grieving.
“This is an evil man who has met with justice - but there is certainly no closure. It’s an every day trial for us.”
His comments were mirrored by his wife Pat, who said: “Yes we are glad he is dead, but we do not feel like jumping up and down.
“It does not make much difference to us. Our son is still dead.
“That’s a thing we have to deal with every day thanks to him.”
Mr Thompson said he hoped the impact of the death of bin Laden would improve the situation in terms of the potential for future terrorist attacks.
But he added: “I hope it lets things lie a bit but we don’t know really, do we?
“It might get worse, there might be someone else ready to get into his position but we just have to wait and see.”
President Obama said the operation had been carried out by American forces with “extraordinary courage and capability”.
No Americans had been harmed in the operation and care had been taken to avoid causing civilian casualties, he said.
Three other men were also killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden’s sons.
A woman who was being used as a human shield was also killed, according to reports.
Bin Laden’s body has been buried at sea, having been handled according to Islamic practice and tradition, US officials said.
US personnel identified him by facial recognition, but officials declined to say whether DNA analysis had also been used.
Pat said she would have rather have seen further checks made before the burial.
“I would have like to have seen the body independently examined to be sure it was definitely him.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the news of Bin Laden’s death, saying it would “bring great relief to people across the world”.
He said: “It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror.”
Jubilant crowds flocked to the White House and to Ground Zero in New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre shad tood until they were destroyed by two hijacked jets on September 11, 2001.
Amid the general relief there were also warnings of a possible backlash from bin Laden’s supporters.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK should be “even more vigilant” and he ordered UK embassies around the world to review their security.