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Usama bin Laden is dead, putting an end to the worldwide manhunt that began nearly a decade ago on Sept. 11, 2001. The architect of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil was killed a week ago inside Pakistan by a U.S. bomb.
President Obama announced the stunning development during an address to the nation late Sunday night from the White House.
"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Usama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda."
Bin Laden was the leader of al Qaeda, the terrorist network behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. U.S. officials said that their forces have the body of bin Laden.
The enormity of the destruction -- the World Trade Center's towers devastated by two hijacked airplanes, the Pentagon partially destroyed by a third hijacked jetliner, a fourth flight crashed in rural Pennsylvania, and more than 3,000 people killed.
He was found in a $1 million complex, in an affluent neighborhood of mostly military retirees 35 miles north of Islamabad in Pakistan.
The officials would not allow their names to be used in discussing the sensitive intelligence and military details of an operation which began Friday morning at 8:20 a.m. ET. Obama, on his way to view tornado damage in Alabama, made the decision to send a small U.S. team in helicopters into the compound to go after bin Laden.
The U.S. had been waiting for the results of a DNA test to confirm his identity before going public. Sources said the vice president informed congressional leaders late Sunday night that the world's most wanted man had indeed been killed.
Justice has been done, according to President Obama.
Bin Laden was killed in a 40 minute fire fight with US Navy seals. « less