President Obama is about to address the world and tell us that Osama Bin Laden has been killed… almost 10 years after September 11th, 2001.
I’ve seen many differing reports on how this happened and when, so I’m going to wait to post the details until they seem more clear.
No matter what the details, today is a great day for the world, for America, for President Bush and President Obama, for General Petraeus, and for all of our brave men and women serving around the world! Today is truly a day that all Americans can be united in the ultimate defeat of one of our greatest enemies!
President Bush Responds:
“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.”
Mitt Romney’s statement:
This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden’s many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist.
This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere http://mi.tt/mSSHKJ
UPDATE 2 by Jayde:
WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was slain in a firefight Sunday with U.S. forces in Pakistan, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.
A jubilant crowd of thousands gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden’s death. Hundreds more sang and waved American flags at Ground Zero in New York — where the twin towers that once stood as symbols of American economic power were brought down by bin Laden’s hijackers 10 years ago.
Senior administration officials said the terrorist mastermind was found inside a custom-built compound with two security gates. They said it appeared to have been constructed to harbor one high-value target and that for undisclosed reasons, officials believed the hideout was bin Laden’s.
U.S. officials said the helicopter raid in Pakistan was carried out by CIA paramilitaries together with the elite Navy SEAL Team Six. The U.S. team took custody of bin Laden’s remains, which American officials said were being handled in accordance with Islamic tradition.
A senior administration official said Obama gave the final order for U.S. officials to go after bin Laden on Friday. The official added that a small team found its quarry hiding in a large home in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. The raid occurred in the early morning hours Sunday.
Administration officials offered some details of the operation.
Based on statements given by U.S. detainees, intelligence officials have known for years that bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular, and they believed he might be living with him in hiding. In November, intelligence officials found out where he was living, a huge fortified compound in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet high, topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates and no phone or Internet running into the house.
Intelligence officials believed the $1 million home was custom-built to harbor a major terrorist. CIA experts analyzed whether it could be anyone else, but time and again, they decided it was almost certainly bin Laden.
Three adult males were also killed in Sunday’s raid, including one of bin Laden’s sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden’s sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida.
Read entire article here.
UPDATE 3 by Jayde - Osama Bin Laden’s Body Buried at Sea, Official Says
(WASHINGTON) — In accordance with Islamic law, the body of Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea, a U.S. official told ABC News.
Officials said the last thing they wanted is for bin Laden’s burial place to become a terrorist shrine. In order to avoid that, his body was laid to rest at sea, leaving no definitive location for the final resting place of his body.
UPDATE 4 by Jayde – More details from Reuters:
Officials said bin Laden was killed inside a mansion near a Pakistani military training academy in the town of Abbotabad. [...less than two hours' drive from Islamabad, putting Pakistani officials under pressure to explain how he could have lived so close to their capital.]
“After midnight, a large number of commandos encircled the compound. Three helicopters were hovering overhead. All of a sudden there was firing towards the helicopters from the ground,” said Nasir Khan, a resident of the town.
“There was intense firing and then I saw one of the helicopters crash,” said [Nasir] Khan, who had watched the dramatic scene unfold from his rooftop.
Senior Pakistani security officials said the operation, carried out at around 1:30 a.m., involved both helicopters and ground troops.
Express 24/7 television showed an image of what it said was bin Laden shot in the head, his mouth pulled back in a grimace.
UPDATE 5 by Jayde – Questions are arising. How could the Pakistani government not have known Bin Laden was in their midst? His highly fortified million dollar compound was centered in a community of retired Pakistani military and located just one kilometer from Pakistan’s main military academy.
The carefully rehearsed operation struck about 1:30 a.m. Monday local time.
It involved flights from an Afghanistan base by four Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters, one of which suffered mechanical failure and made a hard landing within the compound. It was later destroyed by the commandos.
About 40 troops, largely Navy SEALs, were involved, with 24 rappelling into the compound from the hovering Chinooks. Officials said the firefight was fierce and significant.
The armed resistance also reportedly came from Bin Laden himself, who was identified by a resident. The U.S. troops gave Osama what was described as a brief opportunity to surrender before firing several times, at least once into the head. During the operation, a photo of his face was transmitted to analysts, who confirmed the identification.
One unidentified woman also died as she was being used as a human shield by one of the dead men.
The entire operation took about 40 minutes. Hopefully, information was gathered that will shed further light on Al Qaeda operations and their number two in command – Ayman al-Zawahiri.
UPDATE 6 by Jayde – Bloody aftermath inside Osama bin Laden’s compound (Telegraph, UK)
Pictures purportedly taken inside Osama bin Laden’s house at his compound in Abbottabad, showed evidence of a bloody gunfight. […]Footage obtained by the US broadcaster ABC showed large pools of blood on the carpets of the upturned bedrooms inside.
DNA tests confirm Bin Laden’s identity.
UPDATE 7 by Jayde – The man who used a woman as a human shield during the shoot-out was Osama himself; the woman was one of his wives:
“Here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million-dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield,” Brennan told reporters at the White House. “I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years.”
To see a TwitPic of an impromptu thank you display on President Bush’s home gate, click here.
UPDATE 8 by Jayde – Authorities believe the million dollar fortress Obama was living in was custom built for him. They also believe he took up residence when it was completed sometime between 2005-2006.