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Obama: Osama bin Laden Killed by U.S. in Pakistan

Addressing the nation late Sunday night, May 1, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and planner of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States was killed by a team of U.S. military operatives in Pakistan.

President Obama said, “Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

 “It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

“And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.”

The president explained the military operation by saying, “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.

“For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

“Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.”

Obama went on to say, “We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

“Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

“And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.”

Statements

Congressman Peter King

“I commend President Obama on the announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden. The American people have seen justice. The leader of the United States’ top enemy has gotten what he deserves for orchestrating the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans on September 11, 2001.

“In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.’ President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda. This great success would not have been possible without the tireless work of countless brave men and women who have served around the world in this War on Terror.”

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer

“This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers — and citizens from all over the world — who were murdered on 9/11. It took close to ten years, but the world’s most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate. New York’s heart is still broken from the tragedy of 9/11, but this at least brings some measure of closure and consolation to the victims and their families.

“This is a massive accomplishment for the countless military and intelligence personnel who have been urgently dedicated to this task for the past decade. Because bin Laden’s evil dogma has poisoned the minds of so many others, we cannot let up in the war on terror. This successful mission sends a definitive message to those who would test the resolve of the people of the United States of America: do not doubt our resolve; if you do us harm, we will find you, we will mete out justice, and we will prevail.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

“On behalf of so many New Yorkers who lost loved ones nearly a decade ago, I congratulate President Obama, our brave men and women in uniform and our intelligence community for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. This is a tremendous victory for the world community in the fight against al-Qaeda that is both deeply satisfying and historic. But we must remain vigilant. We cannot take our eye off the ball in regards to security here at home or from emerging al Qaeda threats in other regions.”