Obama: U.S. killed bin Laden

Sunday, May 1, 2011 10:48 PM
Last updated Monday, May 2, 2011 2:57 AM
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Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was slain in his luxury hideout in Pakistan Sunday in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.

This undated photo shows al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The al-Qaida mastermind is dead and the U.S. has his body, multiple sources say.  Associated Press
Associated Press
This undated photo shows al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The al-Qaida mastermind is dead and the U.S. has his body, multiple sources say.

"Justice has been done," President Barack Obama said in a dramatic late-night announcement at the White House.

A jubilant crowd of thousands gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden's death. Hundreds more sang and waved American flags at Ground Zero in New York - where the twin towers that once stood as symbols of American economic power were brought down by bin Laden's hijackers 10 years ago.

Another hijacked plane slammed into the Pentagon on that cloudless day, and a fourth was commandeered by passengers who forced it to the ground - at cost of their own lives - before it could reach its intended target in Washington.

The United States attacked Afghanistan within months, pursuing al-Qaida, and an invasion of Iraq followed as part of the Bush administration's global war on terror.

U.S. officials said the CIA tracked bin Laden to his location, then elite troops from Navy SEAL Team Six, a top military counter-terrorism unit, flew to the hideout in four helicopters. Bin Laden was shot in the head in an ensuing firefight, these officials said, adding that he and his guards had resisted his attackers. U.S. personnel identified him by facial recognition, the official said, declining to say whether DNA analysis had also been used.

The U.S. team took custody of bin Laden's remains, which American officials said were being handled in accordance with Islamic tradition. Obama said neither Americans nor civilians were harmed in the operation.

Three adult males were also killed in Sunday's raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida.

Bin Laden's death marks a psychological triumph in a long struggle that began with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and seems certain to give Obama a political lift. But its ultimate impact on al-Qaida is less clear.

The greatest terrorist threat to the U.S. is now considered to be the al-Qaida franchise in Yemen, far from al-Qaida's core in Pakistan. The Yemen branch almost took down a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas 2009 and nearly detonated explosives aboard two U.S. cargo planes last fall. Those operations were carried out without any direct involvement from bin Laden.

Obama provided few details of the operation beyond to say that he had personally ordered it be carried out. Other officials said it was so secretive that no foreign officials were informed in advance, and only a small circle inside the administration was aware of what was unfolding half a world away.

But within hours of the announcement, Pakistani officials and a witness said bin Laden's guards had opened fire from the roof of the building, and one of the choppers crashed. The sound of at least two explosions rocked the small northwestern town of Abbottabad, where the al-Qaida chief made his last stand.

Flames were visible after the attack on the building, which was located about 100 yards from the gates of a Pakistani military academy - certain to raise questions about al-Qaida's ability to build a custom-made hideout in such close proximity.

Abbottabad, surrounded by hills and with mountains in the distance, is less than half a day's drive from the border region with Afghanistan, where most intelligence assessments believed bin Laden was holed up.

The White House said Obama convened at least nine meetings with top national security officials in the lead-up to Sunday's raid.

The president spent part of the day on the golf course, but cut his round short to return to the White House for a meeting where he and top national security aides reviewed final preparations for the raid.

Two hours later, Obama was told that bin Laden had been tentatively identified.

CIA director Leon Panetta was directly in charge of the military team during the operation, according to one official, and when he and his aides received word at agency headquarters that bin Laden had been killed, cheers broke out around the conference room table.

Halfway around the world, in Abbotabad, one witness described a military raid carried out under darkness.

"I heard a thundering sound, followed by heavy firing. Then firing suddenly stopped. Then more thundering, then a big blast," said Mohammad Haroon Rasheed. "In the morning when we went out to see what happened, some helicopter wreckage was lying in an open field."

A Pakistani official in the town said fighters on the roof opened fire on the choppers with rocket-propelled grenades. Another official said the four helicopters took off from the Ghazi air base in northwest Pakistan.

The U.S. and Pakistani officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

Obama said he gave the order for the operation after receiving intelligence information that he did not further describe.

Former President George W. Bush, who was in office on the day of the attacks, issued a written statement hailing bin Laden's death as a momentous achievement. "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done," he said.

Senior administration officials said the terrorist mastermind was found inside a custom-built compound with two security gates. They said it appeared to have been constructed to harbor one high-value target and that for undisclosed reasons, officials believed the hideout was bin Laden's.

The stunning end to the world's most widely-watched manhunt came just months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, orchestrated by al-Qaida, that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The attacks a decade ago seemed to come out of nowhere, even though al-Qaida had previously struck American targets overseas.

The terrorists hijacked planes, flew one of them into one of Manhattan's Twin Towers - and, moments later, into the other one. Both buildings collapsed, trapping thousands inside and also claiming the lives of firefighters and others who had rushed to help them.

A third plane slammed into the Pentagon, defacing the symbol of America's military night. Officials have speculated that the fourth plane had been heading for the U.S. Capitol or perhaps even the White House when it crashed in Pennsylvania.

Based on statements given by U.S. detainees, intelligence officials have known for years that bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular, and they believed he might be living with him in hiding. In November, intelligence officials found out where he was living, a huge fortified compound in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet high, topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates and no phone or Internet running into the house.

Intelligence officials believed the $1 million home was custom-built to harbor a major terrorist. CIA experts analyzed whether it could be anyone else, but time and again, they decided it was almost certainly bin Laden.

Obama spoke with Bush and former President Bill Clinton Sunday night to inform them of the developments.

The president struck a less than boastful tone in his brief announcement, although he said the death of bin Laden was "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaida.

"His death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant," he added.

Moments after Obama spoke, the State Department put U.S. embassies on alert and warned of the heightened possibility for anti-American violence. In a worldwide travel alert, the department said there was an "enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counterterrorism activity in Pakistan."

Reaction from the sports world

PHILADELPHIA - Fans at the Mets-Phillies game began chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as the news of Osama bin Laden's death spread through Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night.

People could be spotted all over the ballpark checking their phones as news that the United States had killed the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks was breaking.

The "U-S-A!" chants started in the top of the ninth inning of the game and picked up in intensity throughout the inning.

Bush reacts to news of bin Laden's death

DALLAS -Former President George W. Bush says he has congratulated President Barack Obama after hearing about the death of Osama bin Laden.

In a statement Sunday night, Bush said Obama called that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden. Bush said he also congratulated the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to the mission.

Bush said, "This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001."

He also said the U.S. "has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done. "

Leader: Bin Laden death to help US-Muslim ties

LOS ANGELES - A prominent Muslim leader says he expects the death of Osama Bin Laden to usher in a new, positive era of U.S.-Muslim relations, helping Americans to distinguish extremist terrorists from the mainstream Islamic faith.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press on Sunday night that the death of the "standard-bearer of terrorism" is "hopefully the end of an era of darkness" in U.S-Muslim relations.

Al-Marayati says some fundamentalist groups may try to seek retaliation for Bin Laden's killing, but he's confident that Bin Laden's demise marks the beginning of the end of terrorism at a time when democracy is spreading throughout the Middle East.

NY mayor says US kept promise to kill bin Laden

NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says Americans have kept their promise after Sept. 11 to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.

President Barack Obama announced Sunday night bin Laden was killed in an operation led by the United States.

Bloomberg says the killing of the terrorist leader doesn't lessen the suffering Americans experienced at his hands the day the World Trade Center was destroyed but is a "critically important victory" for the nation. He says it's a tribute to the men and women in the armed forces who've fought so hard.

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is just months away.

Bloomberg says in a statement he hopes news of bin Laden's demise will "bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones" that day.

McCain 'overjoyed' that US got bin Laden

PHOENIX - U.S. Sen. John McCain is commending President Barack Obama, armed service members and intelligence officials for the U.S-led operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.

The president announced late Sunday that a small team of Americans killed bin Laden in a firefight at a compound in Pakistan. The al-Qaida leader's death comes after a nearly decade-long manhunt and just months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, orchestrated by al-Qaida.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said in a statement that he was "overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist."

The Arizona senator added that al-Qaeda remains a dangerous enemy but that the "the world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it."

NYPD boss: Bin Laden's death a 'welcome milestone'

NEW YORK - The New York Police Department is welcoming news about the death of terror leader Osama bin Laden.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says bin Laden's killing in a U.S. mission in Pakistan is a "welcome milestone" for the friends and families of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and for those "who remain tenaciously engaged in protecting New York from another attack."

Kelly on Sunday night issued a message to all police commands reminding them that while there's no information indicating a specific threat to the nation's biggest city officers should remain alert following President Barack Obama's announcement of bin Laden's death.

More than 20 NYPD officers were killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

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AutumnLeaves
6916
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AutumnLeaves 05/01/11 - 10:55 pm
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For those of you that have to

For those of you that have to commute to Fort Gordon, there will be increased security, announced in another article on AC earlier today. I guess this is why.

guinpigmomma
0
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guinpigmomma 05/01/11 - 11:15 pm
0
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God Bless America. God Bless

God Bless America.
God Bless our troops.
YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

scoopdedoop64
2354
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scoopdedoop64 05/01/11 - 11:22 pm
0
0
YES, YES, YES! NOW HE WILL

YES, YES, YES! NOW HE WILL SEE WHO THE REAL GOD IS AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT HE WILL NOT BE GREETED BY A BUNCH OF VIRGINS! We rejoice that our enemy is finally been removed yet we realize that he is just one of many in that radical Muslim movement. This is good news tonight!

robaroo
715
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robaroo 05/01/11 - 11:33 pm
0
0
Excellent!I'm sure there are

Excellent!

I'm sure there are plenty of others willing to take his place. These terrorists are like dandelions in the yard. You'll never get them all, but you have to keep at it to keep them under control. Well done!

bclicious
668
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bclicious 05/01/11 - 11:39 pm
0
0
Also, a couple of weeks after

Also, a couple of weeks after the crucifixion, we should take his head and place it in the Washington monument, and send his limbs to the 4 corners of Afghanistan as warning to those who would dare to defy America.

kissofdeath
397
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kissofdeath 05/01/11 - 11:43 pm
0
0
Great job,Great job,Pres.

Great job,Great job,Pres. Obama for refashion the U.S. forces and making it your top priority with special forces and secret operation that gave the needed resources and extra tools to killed Osama Bin Laden. Finally, we elected a president that was able to bring demised to Osama Bin Laden,justice has been done.

bclicious
668
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bclicious 05/01/11 - 11:45 pm
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0
Obama didn't do anything. If

Obama didn't do anything. If anything, the military can be credited, but what did any president do to bring Osama to justice?

Shawn M.
0
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Shawn M. 05/01/11 - 11:56 pm
0
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Congratulations to the

Congratulations to the clandestine services of the United States! A rather difficult task which they already had the resources and tools to accomplish, just lacked the opportunity. Although Mr. Obama may be glad this occurred, I hardly think there is any evidence to attribute this victory to him or his administration. The people involved in this have been working on it long before Mr. Obama was President...even long before he was an elected official.

bclicious
668
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bclicious 05/01/11 - 11:59 pm
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In addition to the U.S.

In addition to the U.S. Military, I would also like to credit this success to the efforts of our intelligence community in the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc.

Great job guys! Believe me, dead is much better than alive!

kissofdeath
397
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kissofdeath 05/02/11 - 12:02 am
0
0
bclicious, the President is

bclicious, the President is the Chief Commander of the miltary. Before any forces take a shot or attempt to make a capture, the President Of United States must be notified and Pres. Obama was and he ordered the forces to killed Osama Bin Laden.

charliemanson
1
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charliemanson 05/02/11 - 12:05 am
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0
Job well done. Now, I know

Job well done. Now, I know why people were shooting off firecrackers tonight after 9.

scoopdedoop64
2354
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scoopdedoop64 05/02/11 - 12:11 am
0
0
Look, I don't like Obama's

Look, I don't like Obama's policies, didn't vote for the guy and sure won't vote for him when he runs again, but for just a moment, lets not be political about this. Let's be American! I am thankful that Pres. Obama made the right choices to help this happen and especially thankful to all the intellengence agencies, and special forces. Good going and may God bless America!

ADAMS
19
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ADAMS 05/02/11 - 12:12 am
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bclicious, u need to read the

bclicious, u need to read the constitution ,so you will know the role of the president relating to miltary action.

bclicious
668
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bclicious 05/02/11 - 12:23 am
0
0
I am soldier with 3 tours

I am soldier with 3 tours under my belt, and a degree in Criminal Justice, believe me when I say that I am well versed on the Constitution. But, I will be darned if any president will take credit for my blood and sweat!

albertoli
179
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albertoli 05/02/11 - 12:25 am
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may he roast in hell on a

may he roast in hell on a spit while Allah lets him relive the horror of his victims, and the nightmares of the survivors and the innocent's families. all the while being basted in butter by 18 virgins.

Lorraine
140
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Lorraine 05/02/11 - 12:37 am
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Justice has now been served!

Justice has now been served! Foremost, I thanked God for his hand in this endeavor. Secondly, bless our troops and President Obama for mission accomplished. Of course, President Obama has my unyielding support and vote again in 2012. Way to go!

TheGeorgian
408
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TheGeorgian 05/02/11 - 01:22 am
0
0
Let us not forget about the

Let us not forget about the Egyptian pediatrician even as we celebrate sending Osama to meet his maker. It's not over until it's over. Once upon a time bin Laden was the CIA's golden boy when it was important to Washington's interests to call the Afghans 'glorious freedom fighters' and send them arms to use against the Russians. When Russia withdrew we no longer needed support the 'glorious freedom fighters' and they became superfluous, dispensable. Can it be that bin Laden was so politically naive as to not understand that nations have interests rather than 'friends.' Ah, but to mention that would be to probe the noxious underbelly of the DC elite. Mines in other nation's harbors, mass murder in Chile following a presidential coup which benefited Wall Street and our financial interests in the copper mines...it's a long list of meddling on behalf of special interests.

Dead? Let's hope so. Is justice done? I think not. The death of bin Laden cannot bring back all those who suffered and died for monomaniacal rhetoric. Neither can some loonies at a Florida church set things to rights by burning the Koran. All they succeeded in was getting some of ours killed for their gross stupidity.

Where will it end? It will end when there is peace and brotherhood and I don't look for that to happen anytime soon......

NAAustin
0
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NAAustin 05/02/11 - 02:28 am
0
0
This is all phoney baloney.

This is all phoney baloney. It's strange how the media has rallied around the new tough guy Obama. Why did NBC cut Celebrity Apprentice short?

NAAustin
0
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NAAustin 05/02/11 - 02:31 am
0
0
This was done to celebrate

This was done to celebrate the birth of the Illuminati. Also,this was the same day Bush declared "Mission Accomplished". NWO!

Riverman1
81940
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Riverman1 05/02/11 - 04:48 am
0
0
It's a wonderful thing and

It's a wonderful thing and all that, but realistically NUMBER TWO simply moves into the position. The attacks on us will begin again, unfortunately. Wait and see.

Riverman1
81940
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Riverman1 05/02/11 - 05:00 am
0
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Bill Clinton asked Obama if

Bill Clinton asked Obama if he got the certification from the CIA before the attack.

Brad Owens
4226
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Brad Owens 05/02/11 - 05:12 am
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Much praise goes out to the

Much praise goes out to the Clandestine Services of the Central Intelligence Agency and all the analysts that worked in their cubicles (in windowless buildings) parsing message traffic looking for the missing pieces to this puzzle. I hope this helps ease the sting of not being able to stop th 9-11 attacks.

And much praise goes out to Seal Team 6 for carrying out the raid. The Navy Seals are some of the best at what they do, I hope each member of the raid party gets medal for taking part, and the man (or men) who put the bullet (or bullets) in OBL head gets a Navy Cross.

For everyone, there is a reckoning. There is a balance of accounts that must take place. Some feel it is here on earth while others think it is beyond the grave, either way, OBL is having his now.

I celebrate his death as I would any enemy of my country who has harmed us and tried to destroy the American way of life. Live by the sword, die by the sword. We paid him back in spades. Good job Mr. President.

This is a great day for America,

Brad

carcraft
25142
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carcraft 05/02/11 - 06:17 am
0
0
I want to thank George Bush

I want to thank George Bush whose enhanced interrogation techniques (objected to by many posters on this site, but approved by congress) that lead to information about the courier, I want to thank the military and CIA operatives that tracked the courier for years (even before Obama was President). I want to thank the military and CIA for their professionalism in doing an excellent job. And last I want to thank Obama for ordering and allowing the military to do what it does best!

csrareader
1287
Points
csrareader 05/02/11 - 06:21 am
0
0
The Navy Seals put on their

The Navy Seals put on their big boy pants and took care of business. Congratulations and thank you to these brave soldiers.

RunningMan
346
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RunningMan 05/02/11 - 06:50 am
0
0
While many others were

While many others were running around asking for proof of birth and citizenship, you can bet the Commander-and-Chief along with many others were doing the important business of finally tracking this guy down. Hat off to all involved, especially the service-members on the ground making in happen.

comet2u
28
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comet2u 05/02/11 - 07:15 am
0
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History is now written

History is now written "Barrack Obama the President who got Bin Laden"

bclicious
668
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bclicious 05/02/11 - 07:55 am
0
0
Yes, Barrack Obama literally

Yes, Barrack Obama literally walked up to Osama Bin Laden and shot him point blank in the head. You are so right comet2u.

bclicious
668
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bclicious 05/02/11 - 08:14 am
0
0
YES! Osama Bin Laden is

YES! Osama Bin Laden is dead!

We should totally do a public crucifixion of Osama Bin Laden's body in Kabul! That would send a clear message to those terrorists that, "You don't mess with America!"

augusta citizen
9060
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augusta citizen 05/02/11 - 08:20 am
0
0
carcraft, your 6:17 post

carcraft, your 6:17 post expresses my thoughts exactly. Many deserve thanks for this. God Bless America!

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 05/02/11 - 08:22 am
0
0
Acording to reports, his body

Acording to reports, his body is at the bottom of the ocean.

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