‘Shoot to kill right’, say Brits

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
May 05, 2011, 5:34 PM GMT+0

A majority of Brits feels that the US was right to set out to kill Osama Bin Laden rather than capture him, our poll has found.

  • 54% agreed that US forces were right to set out to kill Bin Laden, even if he offered no resistance
  • 37% agreed that the US should have taken him alive if possible, and put him on trial

Former leader of Islamic terrorist network Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden was killed by US forces in a raid on his Pakistan-based compound on Sunday night. Previously at the top of America’s ‘Most Wanted’ list, Bin Laden was held as responsible for authorising the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York on 11th September 2001. His death was met with celebration in America, cautious approval from European leaders, and subsequent protest in Pakistan against the US’s use of violence in the country.

Much has been made of the fact that Bin Laden was found near Pakistan’s main military academy, and the country has faced criticism as it was revealed that the US did not share its plans for the raid with Pakistani leaders, because it was afraid that this could endanger the mission. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir has rejected claims that his country might have warned Bin Laden of an imminent attack, saying that it had a ‘pivotal role’ in tackling terrorism.

It had been reported that photographs of Bin Laden’s body were to be released in order to counter conspiracy theories that he is still alive, but US President Barack Obama has since ruled out the possibility, saying any photos would 'pose a security risk'.

See the survey details and full results