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Osama Bin Laden Killed by US Forces, President Announces

Posted May 2, 2011 5:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces on Sunday, President Obama has announced.

Bin Laden was killed in a firefight with U.S. forces at his luxury hideout in Pakistan, the Washington Post and the New York Times report. Also killed in the raid were bin Laden’s son, two couriers and a woman used as a shield. No Americans were killed. One helicopter was lost due to mechanical failure.

Bin Laden was buried at sea, apparently to avoid creating a shrine for bin Laden’s followers, the Times says.

The announcement brought jubilation as crowds cheered outside the White House and at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

“The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaida,” Obama said in the late night announcement. “But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”

A senior Pentagon official told the Times that military bases are at a higher state of readiness because of fears of retaliation. Americans in dangerous areas were warned to limit their travel outside.

Attorney General Eric Holder had told a House subcommittee last year that there would be no trial for Osama bin Laden if the United States finds him. "Let's deal with the reality here," Holder said. "The reality is we will be reading Miranda rights to a corpse." Bin Laden “will be killed by us or he will be killed by his own people so that he is not captured alive,” he said.

U.S. officials first suspected the compound in Abbottabad housed an important al-Qaida official after tracing a bin Laden courier to the large and secure property last August, the New York Times reports in a separate story. Eight months of "painstaking intelligence work" followed.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Holder Says Bin Laden Won’t Be Captured Alive”

ABA Journal: “If I Represented Bin Laden”

ABA Journal: “But Is It War?”

Post last updated at 5:50 a.m. to correctly note that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in Pakistan.

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