Obama: Osama Bin Laden Killed in Pakistan by U.S. Forces

Mastermind of 9/11 attacks had been missing since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001; military operation is major coup for U.S. president and his national security team; Bush: This is a 'momentous achievement.'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States is dead and the U.S. had recovered his body, U.S. President Barack Obama said from Washington late Sunday.

Click here for full Haaretz coverage on the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Osama Bin Laden Credit: AP

"Justice has been made," Obama said in a heartfelt address from the White House, as he remembered the close to 3,000 people victims of the 2001 attacks.

The United States first discovered a lead on bin Laden's whereabouts in August 2010, and Obama recounted his meeting with CIA head Leon Panetta, in which he said the capture of the al-Qaida leader was to be a top priority.

View Larger Map

Obama said that he and his national security team had met tirelessly for months, until last week when there was enough intelligence to take action.

The U.S. president authorized the operation on the compound where bin Laden was hiding. No civilians or Americans were harmed in the strike, the president said.

Calling this an historic day for both Pakistan and the United States, Obama said that the two countries had in the operation, and that they must also cooperate going forward.

A driver and passengers celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden in the streets of Lawrence, Kansas, Sunday, May 1, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden in an address to the nation from the White House on May 1, 2011.
10 of 10 |
A driver and passengers celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden in the streets of Lawrence, Kansas, Sunday, May 1, 2011.Credit: AP
2 of 10 |
U.S. President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden in an address to the nation from the White House on May 1, 2011.Credit: Reuters
Americans celebrate Osama bin Laden's death

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said bin Laden had been killed in a ground operation in Islamabad, Pakistan, not by a Predator drone. A senior Pakistani intelligence official also confirmed that bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.

This is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, had repeatedly vowed to bring to justice the mastermind of the September 11, attacks, but never did before leaving office in early 2009.

Bush lauded the capture of the al-Qaida mastermind, calling it a "momentous achievement."

U.S. officials said that after searching in vain for the al-Qaida leader since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born extremist is now dead and his body has been recovered.

He had been the subject of a search since he eluded U.S. soldiers and Afghan militia forces in a large-scale assault on the Tora Bora mountains in 2001. The trail quickly went cold after he disappeared and many intelligence officials believed he had been hiding in Pakistan.

While in hiding, bin Laden had taunted the West and advocated his militant Islamist views in videotapes spirited from his hideaway.

Besides September 11, Washington has also linked bin Laden to a string of attacks - including the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole in Yemen.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott