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Al-Qaida admits bin Laden is dead

An online posting attributed to al-Qaida on Friday confirms the death of Osama bin Laden and warns of retaliation against the United States for the slaying of the terrorist leader.

If confirmed, the message posted on jihadist Web forums would represent the network's first attempt to appeal to followers for continued commitment to its cause after the demise of the group's most inspirational figure.

Bin Laden's blood will be "a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries," the statement said, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks militant postings online.

"Soon — with help from Allah — their happiness will turn into sorrow, and their blood will be mixed with their tears. We will fulfill the oath of Sheikh Osama.''

The origin of the message posted Friday is unclear. U.S. officials said that analysts at the CIA and other American spy agencies were evaluating and seeking to authenticate it.

Chopper flying SEALs downed by vortex

WASHINGTON — A Black Hawk helicopter carrying Navy SEALs to Bin Laden's hideout was downed by an air vortex caused by unexpectedly warm air and the effect of a high wall surrounding the compound, Bloomberg News reports, citing U.S. officials and a lawmaker.

The pilot, from the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, executed a hard but controlled landing — clipping a corner wall — after the chopper lost lift. The 12 unharmed SEALs exited the aircraft, identified as a specially configured stealth model Black Hawk in an Army Times report.

Bloomberg quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the chopper lost the lift necessary to hover because it entered a "vortex" condition. At least two factors were at play — hotter than expected air temperature and the compound's 18-foot-high walls.

The wall blocked rotor blade downwash from moving down and away as it normally would. This caused disturbed airflow to move in a circular, upward and then downward path back through the top of the rotor, causing insufficient lift.

Al-Qaida admits bin Laden is dead 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 11:01pm]
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