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Osama was mass murderer who offered hate: Obama

world Updated: May 20, 2011 01:41 IST

Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who was shot dead by US special forces in a covert operation in Pakistan, was a mass murderer who offered nothing but hatred to the world, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday.

"Bin Laden was no martyr. He was a mass murderer who offered a message of hate, an insistence that Muslims had to take up arms against the West, and that violence against men, women and children was the only path to change," Obama said in his major policy speech on the recent development in the Middle East and North African countries.

"He (bin Laden) rejected democracy and individual rights for Muslims in favor or violent extremism. His agenda focused on what he could destroy, not what he could build," he said, adding that bin Laden and his murderous vision won some adherents.

"But even before his death, al-Qaeda was losing its struggle for relevance, as the overwhelming majority of people saw that the slaughter of innocents did not answer their cries for a better life," he said.

"By the time we found bin Laden, al-Qaeda's agenda had come to be seen by the vast majority of the region as a dead end, and the people of the Middle East and North Africa had taken their future into their own hands," Obama said.

The US President said his Administration has done much to shift its foreign policy following a decade defined by two costly conflicts.

"After years of war in Iraq, we've removed 100,000 American troops and ended our combat mission there. In Afghanistan, we've broken the Taliban's momentum, and this July we will begin to bring our troops home and continue a transition to Afghan lead," he said.

"And after years of war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, we have dealt al-Qaeda a huge blow by killing its leader, Osama bin Laden," added.