Osama bin Laden is dead after a reported firefight outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. President Barak Obama said justice has been done, calling the killing ‘the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.’
The President read a speech this evening. “And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.”
“Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” said Mr. Obama.
American intelligence groups have been pursuing bin Laden since the September 11th attacks, of which bin Laden was accepted as the mastermind and leader. Nearly 3,000 people were killed as the result of those attacks.
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), made the following statement this evening regarding the announcement made by President Obama that Osama Bin Laden has been killed:
“I am overjoyed that we finally got the world’s top terrorist. The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it. I hope the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done. I commend the President and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement.
“But while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them.”