Osama bin Laden killed in firefight with U.S. Special Ops troops
President addresses the nation with the news
Declaring “justice has been done,” President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, marking the end of the worldwide manhunt that began nearly a decade ago on Sept. 11, 2001.
The president made the stunning announcement within hours of informing congressional leaders. He said bin Laden was killed the day before, on Sunday, May 1, the culmination of years of intelligence gathering. The news drew a large crowd to the front of the White House, as well as in Times Square, as people chanted “U-S-A. U-S-A.”
Obama, in his address to the nation shortly before midnight, thanked the Americans who have toiled in pursuit of bin Laden and applauded those who carried out the successful mission in Pakistan. Describing that mission only briefly, he said its result “is a testament to the greatness of our country.”
“For over two decades, bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” Obama said. “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda.”
The president traced the death of bin Laden to a tip received last August. He said he was briefed at the time on the “possible lead,” and that after months of intelligence work it was determined bin Laden was hiding in a compound “deep” inside Pakistan. Obama said, after determining the intelligence was sound, he authorized the operation to bring him to justice last week.
He said a “small team” of Americans went after bin Laden in Abbottabad on Sunday. “After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” the president said.
Senior administration officials, in a briefing with reporters, afterward said the administration had determined by February that they would pursue the compound “custom built to hide someone of significance” in Pakistan. This decision led to a series of national security meetings starting in March to develop a course of action. Obama gave the final order to pursue the operation on April 29, officials said.
The house was 100 yards from the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army-run institution where top officers train. A Pakistan intelligence official said the property where bin Laden was staying was 3,000 square feet.
If Pakistan cannot or will not take out these high-level terrorists targets and we have actionable intelligence about where they are, then I would take action to protect the American people. I firmly believe that if we know the whereabouts of bin Laden and his deputies and we have exhausted all other options, we must take them out.
Sen. Barack Obama
Op-Ed in the Globe Gazette
Mason City, Iowa
Aug. 12, 2007
Understandably, the killing of Osama bin Laden unleashed strong emotions among Americans—relief, satisfaction, fears of retribution, denial, and even exuberance.
But, there was something distasteful about the raucous celebrations that took place outside the White House, in Times Square and at Ground Zero. The late night news coverage gave us a one-night affair of fists pumping in the air, jubilant cries of “USA! USA!,” and demonstrators singing that famous post-game victory song “Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Good-bye!”
Justice Department officials are tight-lipped, but The Associated Press says it knows why federal agents wanted telephone records of its reporters.
A May 7, 2012, AP story broke the news that the CIA had thwarted an al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner around the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by American commandos. The story, which included reporting by five staffers, said the plot was significant in part because the White House had told the public that it had no information about planned attacks around the anniversary.
Just when you thought they were piling on President Barack Obama on issues of little or no consequence—namely the birth-certificate issue—the reversal of the president’s fortunes continue to show why he won the presidential election of 2008.
He’s just flat out smarter than his critics, and he demonstrated that this past week. One issue was put to sleep, the other was put to death. The first was the so-called “birther” issue.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Two years ago, a team of UCLA geography researchers and students used satellite images and studied the terrain around Osama bin Laden's last known whereabouts and came up with a theory of where he might be hiding.
As it turned out Sunday, they were pretty close.