Barack Obama | News | Pakistan

President Obama Announces Osama Bin Laden Is Dead


President Obama announced late last night that Osama bin Laden has been killed and that his body is in the possession of the United States government. The President will made the announcement during a special press conference.

According to The Washington Post, the world's most well-known terrorist and the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks "was killed in a mansion close to the Pakistani capital."

Update: The President has confirmed that the CIA killed bin Laden during a fire fight at a compund in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The NY Times on how the government went about its task:

"Mr. Obama said in his national address on Sunday night that it took months to firm up that information and last week he determined it was clear enough to authorize a secret operation in Pakistan. The forces attacked the compound in what Mr. Obama called a 'targeted operation' that left Mr. bin Laden dead. 'No Americans were harmed,' Mr. Obama said. 'They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.' President Obama noted that the operation that killed Mr. Bin Laden was launched with the cooperation of Pakistani officials, but the fact that Mr. Bin Laden killed in an deep inside Pakistan was bound once again to raise questions about just how much Pakistan is willing to work with the United States, since Pakistani officials denied for years that Mr. Bin Laden was in their country."

He was found in a custom built $1 million mansion.

The NY Times on how the announcement was leaked:

"According to Brian Williams, the 'NBC Nightly News' anchor, some journalists received a three-word e-mail that simply read, 'Get to work.'"

Crowds A crowd began to grow outside of the White House celebrating the news of bin Laden's death. According to ABC News:

"As the President began his statement announcing the death of Osama bin Laden inside the White House, a large crowd of people, about 200 and growing, had gathered outside the White House gates on Pennsylvania Avenue, waving flags and dancing. They sang the 'Star Spangled Banner' in unison and chanting 'USA! USA! USA!' They also just sang, 'Na na na na -- na na na na ...Hey hey goodbye' in reference to Osama bin Laden. The crowd is swelling by the minute. People are running to join the group with American flags and there is lots of dancing and cheering. Complete jubilation."

Crowds are also reportedly gathering outside of Times Square and Ground Zero in New York City.

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder has more on that spontaneous ceremony: "Back on the street, random shouts punctuated the air. People were literally running to get to the White House. No one was quite sure what they were going to do once they got there, but they were going to get there as fast as they could."

Gay D.C. residents were among those joining the celebrations, the Washington Blade reports.

Mayor Bloomberg has released a statement:

“After September 11, 2001, we gave our word as Americans that we would stop at nothing to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. After the contribution of millions, including so many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, we have kept that word. The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation - and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation. New Yorkers have waited nearly ten years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”

Full text of Obama's statement here.

The news brings the possibility of increased terrorist attacks around the world: "U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world were placed on high alert following the announcement of bin Laden's death, a senior U.S. official said, and the U.S. State Department should be sending out a new 'worldwide caution' for Americans shortly. Some fear al Qaeda supporters may try to retaliate against U.S. citizens or U.S. institutions."

George W. Bush has released a statement:

"Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

A statement from Bill Clinton:

"This is a profoundly important moment not just for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in al-Qaida's other attacks but for people all over the world who want to build a common future of peace, freedom, and cooperation for our children. I congratulate the President, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al-Qaida attacks."

Video of President Obama's full televised address, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. God bless America.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | May 2, 2011 12:51:04 AM

  2. God bless everyone who lost someone on 911.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | May 2, 2011 12:55:19 AM

  3. great pic from DKOS that sums up OBL death and the birth certificate

    Posted by: | May 2, 2011 1:06:21 AM

  4. Given that it takes weeks to do a reliable DNA analysis, how can the US government be sure of the identity of someone that no one has seen for over a decade? Most certainly someone as wealthy as OBL could have had numerous face lifts and dental adjustments in the interim, in addition to extreme aging in response to his well know kidney failure (that is what most likely really killed him long ago).

    Why would this news have broken simultaneously all over the world and not first locally in the Arab world? If the Chinese had executed an illegal military incursion into a residential Washington suburb, most certainly news of it would have broken on the American networks long before news of it was released via official Chinese government channels.

    And speaking of that, do you think that anyone will have the spine to point out that Congress never authorized Obama to initiate on-the-ground military operations in Pakistan, let alone combat operations in its capital? Strikes me as yet another impeachable Constitutional violation fast on the heals of committing the same crime in Libya.

    Supposedly this news was released as soon as the information was confirmed, but the news conference was held in the East Room rather than the White House press room. That's very strange, as it would have required substantially more time, possibly many additional hours, to have set up in the East Room rather than to set up in a press room that was already preconfigured for the media.

    Given that this comes fast on the heels of Obama finally releasing his long-form birth certificate, there is every reason to suspect this is little more than Obama's reelection campaign kick-off.

    Posted by: S. | May 2, 2011 1:20:38 AM

  5. @Vonlmo, shove it.

    Posted by: RW | May 2, 2011 1:26:56 AM

  6. S

    google is your friend

    "rapid genotyping",or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=822bf32b5c0e0691

    2 to 4 hours max

    This was a US military lab with US military scientists with 1.2 trillion a year pentagon budgets

    This wasn't joe schmoe for profit private biz DNA testing

    Posted by: | May 2, 2011 1:32:22 AM

  7. I understand the relief, sense of justice and even perhaps the jubulation and excitiment this announcement will bring, but celebrating in the streets? Really? Isn't that what the terrorists did after 9/11 and we were shocked and horrified? I don't see how this is any better. Let's not forget that this is one man in a large ring of terrorists and the so-called "war on terror" will not be over. Do we really want to taunt the terrorists, provoking them to attack free countries again? Let's THINK, people, and act like humans, not animals. Just sayin'

    Posted by: GraphicJack | May 2, 2011 1:58:53 AM

  8. graphicjoack

    Have u ever been called "ice princess"?

    check out that photo diary of the missing person signs due to 9/11

    Jubilation over OBL's death is a very understandable human reaction. Any warm blooded human should at least be able to understand why people would react with joy

    "The war on terror"??? Dude terrorism is a tactic that has been practiced by humans since we first surprise bashed a fellow primate over the head with a stick

    Posted by: | May 2, 2011 2:11:00 AM

  9. Justice has been done! It'll be fun to watch Faux News
    choke as they report the news.....let's see how the "patriots"
    on the right react to the fact this was accomplished on
    President Obama's watch. A happy day...

    Posted by: Rocco | May 2, 2011 2:16:56 AM

  10. Damn. I must truly be a liberal ... Political correctness calls for me to celebrate the murder of another person. I feel awkward.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | May 2, 2011 2:35:39 AM

  11. In a move that should surprise no one, Fox News in Sacramento reported the story with graphics that said, "OBAMA bin Laden Is Dead.

    If this were the first time this thing has happened it would be easy to dismiss it as a mistake, but Fox (national and affiliates) has a long and well documented history of such "errors." The Osama/Obama switch has been used several times, as has identifying convicted Republican politicians as Democrats in graphics, and several times footage from much larger (and unrelated) rallies has been used to illustrate stories about poorly attended Tea Party events, making it appear they drew large crowds.

    Posted by: greenmanTN | May 2, 2011 2:45:30 AM

  12. OBL was but a figurehead. His death will be seen as martyrdom to millions. And unfortunately, nothing will change.

    Posted by: MoJo | May 2, 2011 2:48:46 AM

  13. @S.

    Birther scumbag. I hope you meet OBL in hell.

    Posted by: Jane Roe | May 2, 2011 3:39:38 AM

  14. " Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea, with his body handled in the Islamic tradition, U.S. official tells CNN. "

    This is a joke, right?
    This has got to be a joke, RIGHT?!

    Posted by: topher | May 2, 2011 3:51:22 AM

  15. @Topher -- Not a joke. NYT is saying it was done so as not to give his followers a shrine to flock to. And it was done quickly because Islamic law requires a quick burial, and the U.S. did not want to be seen as offending Islamic tradition in that regard.

    Posted by: BrianM | May 2, 2011 6:37:49 AM

  16. Rodney, the whole thing is horrible.

    The war on oil, training Osama at the first place, then going to war on iraq for oil again and then 9/11 and then going to war on Iraq over NO WMD's that killed thousands of Iraqis and Americans, then Cheney and Rumsfeld making over millions over the reconstruction of Iraq, then not finding any WMD, not finding Osama, the Bush deficit, the recession that hit the world, Tony Blair, G WB, the first black American president, the US going crazy from accusing Obama of being Muslim to not being born in the US, after 8 years of Bush a Tea Party movement grows because the black president is apparently at fault for the mess, birthers, then Osama is killed on Obama's watch.

    No, you're not alone in finding the whole thing really uncomfortable.

    The interesting fact here is that Pakistan worked with the US. If they did guys-THIS is HUGE because Pakistan is the country that radicalized Islam and made it into something no one recognizes.

    Posted by: Rowan | May 2, 2011 6:51:02 AM

  17. I'd bet all my cash that Pakistan helped Obama because he wasn't Bush.

    In your country you all live in your bubble about Obama. Abroad, we think it's the best thing to have happened to you.

    Dont underestimate how the Arab world now views America because you actually voted in a black president whose father was Muslim.

    It showed growth.

    Posted by: Rowan | May 2, 2011 6:53:00 AM

  18. @Rowan,

    PLEASE stop talking down to Americans. You are not superior, neither are other Europeans. We don't require any lectures.

    President Obama is president of the U.S., no where else. Americans judge him and his government mostly through domestic issues, not foreign affairs. It is silly and child-like to judge him and his administration primarily by how allegedly non-Americans think of him.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 2, 2011 8:44:56 AM

  19. I wonder if everyone remembers when W was questioned about where Osama Bin Laden was not too long after the terror attacks and sd he doesn't think about it too much anymore. Clearly, we all did. I feel weird celebrating the death of someone, but I have no problem dancing on this dude's grave. And thank you Obama, for keeping it classy and not making some kind of cheesy Michael Bay proclamation like the Bush administration did after Saddam was captured: "Ladies and gentlemen, WE GOT HIM!" Ughhhh. The president's speech was very eloquent and moving.

    Posted by: AJ | May 2, 2011 9:06:28 AM

  20. @RATBASTARD, if Americans only judge their president on mostly domestic issues and not foreign affairs, please explain Dubya being elected for a 2nd term.

    Posted by: RJ | May 2, 2011 10:22:48 AM

  21. All that I see are a ton of GW students at the White House. Is this a party or something cause al qaeda is still around. When people in the Middle East kill, it is bad. When Americans kill, we celebrate at the White House. Makes sense. Great message, not hypocritical at all.

    Posted by: AZ | May 2, 2011 10:57:04 AM

  22. Who's going to kill the terrorism-industrial complex?

    Posted by: anon | May 2, 2011 11:36:26 AM

  23. The world will still be a messy place for a while, but this is good news. I said this over at boyculture but want to say it here: Congratulations to the United States. (Also, excellent that this was done with a Democratic administration in power. It proves competence.) I'm pretty left wing and am against capital punishment, but this was not an ordinary crime. The end result is justified and overdue. Well done. And it's time to take a hard look at Pakistan's motivations and loyalties.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | May 2, 2011 12:26:59 PM

  24. One thing that helped draw attention to Osama's location was that the "compound" was in an affluent area, but they burned their garbage rather than have their trash picked up, they had no phone service, and no Internet connection, something that is easy to pick out using a computer-based search of records.

    The irony is that Osama might still be alive if they had set up an Internet connection and used it to download free porn, which would have suggested a plausible explanation for no other on-line activities.

    Posted by: Bill | May 2, 2011 8:14:47 PM

  25. The one thing that Osama bin Laden and the terrorists did achieve is that most people have a clear memory of 9/11/01 and its aftermath, but most have no memory of the day before- 9/10/01.

    I ask anyone to try this for yourself, get about 5-10 people together around a table, and ask each if they have any memory of the day before?

    Ten years later, and I don't remember where I was or what I was doing on 9/10! Sad. :(

    Posted by: Christopher | May 2, 2011 10:12:04 PM

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