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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.

“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,” President Obama said.

“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 No.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,” President Obama stated. “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

 

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy

“This is monumental news for so many Long Islanders who lost loved ones on September 11 and responded so selflessly after that tragic day. Nothing will ever erase their pain and suffering, and the daily threat of terrorism is still very real both at home and abroad, but Osama bin Laden’s death is a development that we can only hope will have a positive effect on the safety of our troops and citizens.  Today is a good day, but we must continue to be vigilant.”

NYS Senator Jack Martins

 “I want to commend our Navy SEALs for their bravery and courage. Many of our families here in the Seventh Senate District lost loved ones in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. This will not bring them back, but at least we know that this terrorist coward has been brought to justice. Today, I want to say a special prayer for all those who were lost on that tragic day, their families and friends. It is as important as ever that we stand together with our President as one nation against all those who seek to spread hate. God bless our residents and God bless America.”

Congressman Gary Ackerman

“Justice has been done. After so many years of effort, the killing of Osama bin Laden represents a huge victory for the United States and proof that no matter how hard they try, our foes cannot hide from us. Osama bin Laden chose to make war against America and today, we can take satisfaction that we have answered him in kind. The head of the Al-Qaeda Worm Has Been Cut Off. But we must remember, Worms Grow New Heads.

“Although this is a gratifying occasion, and a crucial psychological boost for all Americans, we must remember that our enemies remain determined to attack us, despite this powerful and demoralizing blow.

“President Obama, his National Security Team, and the many intelligence and military professionals who developed the intelligence and executed this operation deserve the thanks of the entire nation. The more we learn about this amazing and daring mission, the more certain it becomes that it will be remembered among the most remarkable feats of arms in American history.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I hope this long-awaited success will provide some comfort and relief to those who lost loved ones on that terrible day.”