Late Sunday, President Barack Obama announced to the United States and the world that he had directed the U.S. attack in Pakistan that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and that justice had been done. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Osama bin Laden was the leader of the terrorist group al-Qaida, and according to President Barack Obama, was responsible for the murder of thousands.
Nearly 10 years after the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, bin Laden is now dead. A team of Americans killed bin Laden in a firefight in Pakistan and took his body.
"For over two decades, bin Laden has been al-Qaida's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaida," said Obama.
Nevertheless, the president stressed that bin Laden's death by no means signaled an end to the war against the terrorist organization.
"There's no doubt that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must, and we will, remain vigilant at home and abroad," said Obama.
Bin Laden managed to avoid capture or death for years. The big break came last August, when Obama says he learned about a possible lead on his whereabouts.
Senior administration officials said the raid was carried out without the knowledge of the Pakistani government.
In his late-night announcement, Obama took credit for bin Laden's death.
"Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation," he said.
The president also made it clear that the United States is not at war with Islam.
"Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims," said Obama.
Senior administration officials warned that in the wake of the announcement, there may be a heightened threat to America as well as to U.S. citizens abroad. It is possible bin Laden's death will prompt his supporters to seek revenge.
Obama was speaking Sunday to the entire world, but had a special message for one group in particular.
"We can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaida's terror: Justice has been done," said the president.