President Obama praises those Americans who carried out the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, tells the families of the victims of September 11, 2001 that they have never been forgotten, and calls on Americans to remember the unity of that tragic day.
Simon Mann, watoday.com.au,
May 2, 2011:
The leader of al-Qaeda was killed in Pakistan, where he was staying in a compound outside the capital, Islamabad.
A top secret operation involving a small team of US special forces was responsible for an attack on bin Laden's hideout early on Sunday, US time.
The Saudi-born terrorist, who had evaded capture for a decade, was killed in the ensuing firefight.
"After a firefight they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body," US President Barack Obama said.
Navy SEALs from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group DEVGRU, an elite counter-terrorism unit were reported to have carried out the operation on the ground backed up by an RQ-170 drone overhead, the White House correspondent for the National Journal, Marc Ambinder, said.
"Justice has been done," Mr Obama said. "Today's achievement is testament to the greatness of our country."
''The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's efforts to defeat al Qaeda.
''Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.
''There is no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.
''We must and will remain vigilant at home and abroad.''
Obama reaffirmed that the US was not 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 mass murderer of Muslims.''
''So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.''