World News Brief, Friday May 6

US suspects Pakistan of harbouring bin Laden as Pakistan warns against future raids (+ analysis & multimedia); Syria protesters promise 'day of defiance'; Engineers enter Fukushima reactor for first time; Obama ready to pass trade deals; and more

Top of the Agenda: White House Withholds Bin Laden Photo

The White House decided not to release an image depicting the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (BBC), claiming that it would pose a national security risk and possibly incite retaliatory violence. Analysts say US leaders have been monitoring world reaction amid conspiracy theories about bin Laden's death following conflicting accounts given by the Obama administration. Only a day prior, CIA director Leon Panetta stated that a photo of bin Laden's corpse (FT) would ultimately be released to the public.

The Wall Street Journal reports that US and European intelligence officials increasingly believe the Pakistani military or intelligence officials provided aid to bin Laden, enabling him to remain hidden in a large compound just a mile from an elite military academy. Analysts claim elements linked to Pakistani intelligence have helped other domestically based terror groups, as well as the Haqqani militant network and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Pakistan warned against future raids on suspected fighters, saying they will face consequences from the military. Despite the obvious strains over the bin Laden affair, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States will stand by Pakistan (al-Jazeera) and continue cooperation in the fight against al-Qaeda in that country and Afghanistan.


While US military efforts in Afghanistan won't be directly affected, bin Laden's death could result in an expedited draw-down schedule, leaving the country open to a Taliban takeover and leading to upheaval in Pakistan, says CFR's Stephen Biddle.

This CFR issue guide provides background and analysis on the foreign policy implications of the death of Osama bin Laden.

In the Washington Post, Vali Nasr discusses the implications of the hunt for bin Laden on the relationship between the CIA and Pakistan's ISI, as well as overall US-Pakistani relations.

Osama bin Laden's death is a real and symbolic blow to al-Qaeda, and its stature in the Middle East is already diminished by the pro-democracy movements in the region, but the group remains lethal. Seven CFR experts discuss.


Foreign Affairs offers a collection of articles on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

This CFR backgrounder on al-Qaeda offers historical insight into the international terrorist organization behind the September 11 attacks.


See what CFR's Crisis Guide: Pakistan, recent winner of an Overseas Press Club award, has to say about the roots of Pakistan's challenges, what it means for the region and the world, and some plausible futures for the country.

This interactive timeline from the New York Times provides significant milestones in the life of Osama bin Laden.


PACIFIC RIM: Workers Enter Fukushima Reactor

Japanese engineers entered the stricken Fukushima reactor (NYT) for the first time since the March 11 quake and tsunami. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said the workers were attempting to install a ventilator to help lower radiation levels inside the building.

Australia: Seven detainees at an Australian immigration center (BBC) in Sydney were charged in connection with a riot and fire that destroyed nine buildings. The riot began as a rooftop protest by detainees whose applications for asylum had been rejected and spread to involve nearly one hundred others.



- Syria Withdraws from Deraa
- White House Set for Trade Talks




This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on