Osama bin Laden is dead, President Obama says

This is a 1998 file photo shows Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, in a meeting at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, according to the source. A person familiar with developments on Sunday, May 1, 2011 says bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body.( AP Photo)

AP

This is a 1998 file photo shows Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, in a meeting at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan, according to the source. A person familiar with developments on Sunday, May 1, 2011 says bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body.( AP Photo)

This image taken from an undated video produced by al-Qaida's media arm, Al-Sahab, and made available Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, by the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terror messages, shows Osama bin Laden speaking in the first new video of the al-Qaida leader in three years.

This image taken from an undated video produced by al-Qaida's media arm, Al-Sahab, and made available Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, by the SITE Institute, a Washington-based group that monitors terror messages, shows Osama bin Laden speaking in the first new video of the al-Qaida leader in three years.

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, President Barack Obama confirmed tonight.

The U.S. today launched a military strike on a compound in Pakistan, where bin Laden was killed, Obama said. The president said he ordered the strike.

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 in a televised speech from the White House.

Two senior counterterrorism officials had 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 development comes just months before the 10th 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.

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