Al-Qaida Mastermind Osama Bin Laden Dead

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WV Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's Statement On Osama Bin Laden.

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant today issued the following statement:

“I am thankful for and proud of the men and women of West Virginia who continue to serve our country abroad, those who have come home and those who have given their lives to protect our freedom. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of 9/11 and their families, and I am grateful that justice has been brought,” said Natalie E. Tennant.

Tennant’s husband, Erik Wells, is a Public Affairs Officer in the Naval Reserves; his rank is Lieutenant Commander. Wells is being deployed to Afghanistan this spring for an eight-month tour of duty, where he will handle public affairs.


Rep. McKinley’s Statement on the Death of Osama bin Laden

“This is a proud day for our country. The president, our dedicated men and women fighting overseas, our intelligence community and all those who have tirelessly worked toward this day deserve our gratitude. As we near the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we are reminded again of those who lost their lives that day, and the sacrifice and perseverance of those who serve our country in uniform. While Osama bin Laden was a clear threat to global stability, we must caution ourselves that some who wish to do us harm are emboldened, already making a martyr out of this monster. We should be under no delusions that bin Laden’s death spells the end of al-Qaeda; it surely does not. That is why it is critical that we continue to remain vigilant. Nonetheless, Osama bin Laden was the face of evil and today he is standing before the ultimate judge answering for his heinous actions. May God Bless America.”


Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito Responds To News That Osama Bin Laden Has Been Killed

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., released the following statement in response to breaking news from the White House that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, has been killed.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to members of the U.S. Armed Services and U.S. Intelligence Agencies for their selfless service in pursuit of peace and protection. The killing of Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Americans, is a tremendous achievement in counterterrorism, and more importantly, a great reminder that freedom will always overcome terror, and good over evil.

“With the ten year anniversary of 9/11 only months away, I reflect on that tragic moment and am filled will sadness. America stood together that day in fierce defense of democracy and freedom, as those attacks were as much against American civilians as they were against the very ideals and values for which we stand. Today, we will come together as a nation to celebrate a significant success in the defense of freedom.”



WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Jay Rockefeller, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the former chairman, issued the following statement today after the President announced that Osama bin Laden was killed.

“Ten years after Osama bin Laden murdered nearly three thousand innocent men, women and children, justice has been served. Our courageous counter-terror professionals risked their lives to rid the world this mass murderer. The United States has rid the world of the mastermind of 9/11. But the fight against Al Qa'ida does not end with the death of its leader. The effort continues and we remain committed to fighting terrorism in any form. We should be grateful to the extraordinary troops and intelligence professionals who have pursued bin Laden and everyone else who would do us harm. Let us thank those who serve our nation for the sacrifices they make for our -- and the world's -- safety and security. Tonight and always, our thoughts and prayers are with the families whose loved ones were taken away by bin Laden.”



Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement following the news that the United States killed Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden:

“Osama bin Laden's death is a historic and just victory for this nation. I congratulate the President and salute the brave men and women in our armed services and the intelligence community for their courage, persistence and dedication in carrying out this mission.

“Finally, I hope that this nation and the families of those who lost loved ones on September 11 can take solace in the fact that justice was indeed served today.”


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led by the United States.

A small team of Americans carried out the attack and took custody of bin Laden's remains, the president said Sunday in a dramatic late-night statement at the White House.

A jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden's death after a global manhunt that lasted nearly a decade.

"Justice has been done," the president said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the
Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, is dead, and the U.S.
is in possession of his body, a person familiar with the situation
said late Sunday.

President Barack Obama was expected to address the nation on the developments Sunday night.

Two senior counterterrorism officials confirmed that bin Laden was killed in Pakistan last week. One said bin Laden was killed in a ground operation, not by a Predator drone. Both said the operation was based on U.S. intelligence, and both said the U.S. is in possession of bin Laden's body.

Officials long believed bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, was hiding a mountainous region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president.

The development comes just months before the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, orchestrated by bin Laden's al-Qaida organization, that killed more than 3,000 people.

The attacks set off a chain of events that led the United States into wars in Afghanistan, and then Iraq, and America's entire intelligence apparatus was overhauled to counter the threat of more terror attacks at home.

Al-Qaida organization was also blamed for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 231 people and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors in Yemen, as well as countless other plots, some successful and some foiled.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, is dead, and the U.S. is in possession of his body, a person familiar with the situation said late Sunday.

President Barack Obama was expected to address the nation on the developments Sunday night.

A senior U.S. counterterrorism official said bin Laden was killed in a ground operation in Pakistan, not by a Predator drone. The official said it happened last week.

Officials have long believed bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, was hiding a mountainous region along the Pakistan Afghanistan border.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak ahead of the president.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden is dead
and the United States has his body, a person familiar with the
developments says.

President Barack Obama is expected to make that announcement
from the White House late Sunday night.

It was unclear where how bin Laden was killed and how the U.S. captured his body. Officials have long believed bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, was hiding a mountainous region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak
ahead of the president.




East Room

11:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory -- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’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 Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

END 11:44 P.M. EDT