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American citizens congregate on the north side of the White House lawn while awaiting President Barack Obamas’ speech that will include the official announcement that a joint US/Pakistani military operation was successful today in killing Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan…
SOURCE: (CBS News)
Updated 11:43 p.m. ET
The founder and spiritual figurehead for al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, is dead.
President Barack Obama said in an address from the White House that a small team of Americans carried out the operation to kill bin Laden in Pakistan, and that cooperation from Pakistani authorities was crucial.
Mr. Obama said bin Laden was killed after a firefight with a U.S. team, and the his body is currently in U.S. hands.
A senior U.S. counterterrorism official told the Associated Press that bin Laden was killed in a ground operation in Pakistan, in a mansion near the capital, Islamabad. While details are still sketchy, CBS News correspondent Chip Reid reports from the White House that officials are saying bin Laden was shot in the head.
President Barack Obama is expected to address the nation on the subject shortly.
The long-lost terrorist mastermind had eluded an aggressive hunt by U.S. authorities for nearly ten years since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11, 2001.
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan reports that human intelligence was vital in killing bin Laden, which is an important boost to the image of U.S. international intelligence gathering, and says that no enemy is safe anywhere.
Bin Laden’s death is a major accomplishment for Mr. Obama and his national security team, as the administrations of both presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush hunted the Saudi-born terrorist.
Security at “strategic places in Pakistan has been beefed up as a precaution against any retaliation to news of Osama bin Laden’s death”, a senior Pakistani security official told CBS News early on Monday. “If he(bin Laden) is really dead, there will be attempts to seek revenge,” said the official who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity.
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