After nearly a decade, the hunt for the mastermind behind the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001 in New York City is over.
President Barack Obama confirmed in an announcement at the White House on Sunday just before midnight that Osama bin Laden (who orchestrated the terrorist plot) was killed by elite American forces in Pakistan.
"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 President said, "The leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children." A crowd cheered outside the White House and hundreds more gathered at Ground Zero in Manhattan to celebrate the news.
Bin Laden was tracked down in a costly, custom-built hideout not far from a Pakistani military academy in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 60 miles north of the capital city of Islamabad. The military operation took mere minutes.
"The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda" President Obama continued." 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.