President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, has been killed in a U.S.-led operation in Pakistan.
To the families of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, Obama said, "Justice has been done."
President Obama said the United States received a tip in August of last year that bin Laden was hiding out in a compound in Pakistan. The U.S. began working that tip, and last week President Obama said he determined there was enough intelligence to "bring him to justice."
"At my direction," Obama said, U.S. special operations forces launched an attack on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a town about 70 miles north of Islamabad. After a firefight, the U.S. "took custody of his body." NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports that bin Laden was shot at least once in the head.
Former President George W. Bush released the following 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."
President Obama said he told CIA Director Leon Panetta when he first became president that killing bin Laden was to be the U.S.'s top priority in the fight against al Qaeda.
The president called the killing of bin Laden the "most significant acheivement" in the fight against al Qaeda, but stressed that it is not the end of that fight.
He also stressed, however, "We must also reaffirm, we are not and never will be at war with Islam. ... His demise should be welcomed by all who welcome peace and human dignity."
The president also noted that cooperation with Pakistan helped lead to bin Laden.