Osama Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda terrorist leader known as the man behind the the 9-11 attacks and others, has been killed in Pakistan. Immediately after the news broke crowds gathered outside the White House singing patriotic songs and cheering.
The fact that bin Laden was killed not in a remote tribal area but in the heart of Pakistan may further complicate the already frayed relationship between that country and the United States. Sources have said that Pakistani intelligence officers were involved, which may improve relations, but the fact that bin Laden was hiding out near Islamabad might suggest that he had been given some significant and perhaps even formal protection there.
“The United States has conducted an operation that has killed Osama bin Laden,” President Obama told the world at 11:35 PM Eastern time. “Our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us” to the terrorist, said Obama, and “a small team of Americans…after a firefight…killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.” A lead first obtained several months ago, the President said, led to a compound where it was determined bin Laden was hiding out. “His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity…Justice has been done.”