After a years of searching, it is now being reported that Osama bin Laden, most known for his leadership of terrorist group Al Qaeda and the organization of the events of September 11, is dead. In an address on national security, President Obama made a late night announcement informing the media and public that bin Laden was killed in a U.S. led attack in Pakistan. In his televised address, the President 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 the terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
Shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the kiling or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against Al Qaeda. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead on bin Laden. It was far from certain and it took many months to run this thread to ground.
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 U.S. launched a targeted operation against that compound [where bin Laden was residing] in 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.
Watch the President’s full speech below.
Many political analysts have pointed out that bin Laden has not been very operational or influential in the past recent years and that his death, of course, does not mean an end to terrorism. Still, the report and proof of his death has the potential to have large impacts, both politically and psychologically.