Obama: Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed by US forces
President Obama announced Sunday night that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden – the mastermind behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – had been killed by US Special Forces in Pakistan.
President Obama announced Sunday night that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden – the mastermind behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people on US soil and the leader of a worldwide terrorist operation – had been found and killed by US Special Forces in a compound deep inside Pakistan.Skip to next paragraph
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"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," Obama said. "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 fire fight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."
Capturing or killing the Al Qaeda leader had been his top priority in the war on terrorism, Obama said, and he called Sunday’s operation “the most significant achievement in our effort to date to defeat Al Qaeda.”
In a statement that perhaps would resonate most profoundly, he said simply, “Justice has been done.”
It was a stunning announcement in many respects, one that riveted late-night television viewers and drew tens of thousands of people to the White House after midnight – and to Times Square and Ground Zero as well – where they cheered, waved American flags, and sung the National Anthem.
It had become a cliché to say that “everything changed” after 911, but in many ways it was a transformational point in US history.
Americans got used to much stricter security measures at airports, the concrete barriers around the White House and other potentially vulnerable sites, color-coded threat levels, and the other attempted attacks on US targets – the “shoe bomber,” the “underwear bomber,” the failed or thwarted bomb attacks in New York, Portland, Oregon, and other locations.