Obama Announces Death of Osama bin Laden

Obama Announces Death of Osama bin Laden


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In a dramatic late-night broadcast on May 2, 2011, President Barack Obama announces that the U.S. military and CIA operatives have located and killed Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader, in a nighttime raid on a compound in Pakistan where he had been hiding.


Barack Obama's full statement on the death of Osama bin Laden

Good evening. 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 leader of al-Qaida, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory - hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table.

Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al-Qaida - an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al-Qaida to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al-Qaida safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al-Qaida terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al-Qaida continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al-Qaida, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al-Qaida's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaida.

Yet 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.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not – and never will be - at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaida and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as commander-in-chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaida's terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.


Transcript: Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama addressed the nation Sunday night to announce the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the worst terrorist attack on American soil. The following is a transcript of his speech.

President Obama: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world, the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory -- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda.

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.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not --- and never will be --- at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as commander in chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.


What does this mean for Obama in the short term? Does it remove the notion that he is weak on national security?

Although we have this stereotyped notion that Obama was considered weak on foreign policy and in particular national security policy, when you look at how the 2008 election unfolded it was amazing that national security really was no issue at all.

What became central was the economy. In some ways I don’t think Obama has ever been challenged on his national security credentials. It is because he bought into the consensus on the war on terror.

We know he has been cool on that as a label for the current war, but it hasn’t stopped him fighting it. I was struck when I was listening to his comments announcing bin Laden’s death that he referred to it as “our war” he embraced the war that George Bush began.

His only contention has been, and he’s been fairly consistent on this, that he would fight it better: “I will get bin Laden when Bush didn’t”.

This notion that Obama was somehow a pacifist as some on the left-wing of his base would rather like to see him is entirely delusional.

He has co-opted the Bush national security strategy and for that reason, despite having two Arab names and coming from a far more complicated national security tradition from that wing of the Democratic party, he subverted all that, he got around it because he is clever and canny and he bought into the consensus on US national security.

He has said recurrently [that] the war on terror is America’s number one national security priority. It is not the deficit, its not unemployment, the number one issue facing the United States is the nexus of technology and terror. Bush was not wrong in sharing this analysis, he was wrong in how he went about it.


Obama Announces Death of Osama bin Laden

At 11:35 pm EST on May 1, President Barack Obama made an announcement that the American people had waited almost 10 years to hear:

"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 leader of al-Qaida and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Obama said.

Most wanted

Osama bin Laden has been the world?s most-wanted terrorist since more than 3,000 people were killed in al-Qaida?s attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

The president said he was briefed last August on a possible lead to bin Laden?s location. He said the terrorist leader had been hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Abbottabad is a relatively affluent area about 50 kilometers north of Islamabad.

Obama said he authorized a mission last week to "get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice."

The president said a small team of Americans Sunday carried out the operation on the compound.

"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body," Obama said.

An official said three other men were killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, and that a woman was killed while being used as a human shield by a male combatant.

An administration official says bin Laden's remains are being handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. News reports say a U.S. official has said bin Laden's body has been buried at sea.

Attacks expected

The president acknowledged that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against the United States, and he warned Americans to remain vigilant.

"I have made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9-11, that our war is not against Islam, because bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own."

Watch President Obama's Announcement:



Pakistan helped

Obama said counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead U.S. forces to bin Laden. He said he called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to notify him of bin Laden?s death. The president said Pakistani officials agreed that this was a "good and historic day" for both nations.

Phone call to Bush

Obama also called former President George W. Bush, who was president on September 11, 2001, and who launched the U.S. war on terror. In a written statement, Bush called bin Laden?s killing a "momentous achievement" and a "victory for America." He said "No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

Bin Laden vendetta

Osama bin Laden was born March 10, 1957 to a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, bin Laden joined the Afghan mujahedin Islamic fighters. Several years later, he used his wealth to form his own militia force, later called al-Qaida, Arabic for "the base."

In 1996, bin Laden declared a holy war against the United States, which he accused of looting the natural resources of Muslim nations and helping Islam?s enemies.

Terror mastermind

While hiding in Sudan, bin Laden is said to have plotted attacks on the U.S. military in Somalia and Saudi Arabia. He also orchestrated the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Within weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States led a coalition that overthrew Afghanistan?s Taliban government, which had refused to turn bin Laden over to the U.S.

For almost 10 years, U.S. soldiers and intelligence officers combed the mountainous area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, trying to find bin Laden.

Americans react

Shortly before President Obama announced that bin Laden had been killed, a jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House, chanting, cheering and singing.


Full text of Obama announcing the death of Osama bin Laden

This article was published more than 10 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good evening. 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 leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory. Hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky, the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground, black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon, the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet, we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world, the empty seat at the dinner table, children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father, parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

Story continues below advertisement

On September 11th, 2001 in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.

On that day, no matter where we came from, what god we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda, an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocence in our country and around the globe.

And so we went to war against al Qaeda, to protect our citizens, our friends and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.

In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support.

And around the globe, we've worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Story continues below advertisement

Yet, Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world. And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat his network.

Then last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.

It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.

I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan.

And finally last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.

Story continues below advertisement

After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda.

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. As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam.

I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam, because bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.

So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I have repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Story continues below advertisement

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens.

After nearly 10 years of service, struggle and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as commander-in-chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet, as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are.

And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work or know their names, but tonight they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

Story continues below advertisement

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they're a part of the generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people. The cause of securing our country is not complete, but tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens, our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things, not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.


Obama Announces Death of Osama bin Laden

Twenty-five minutes before midnight on Sunday night, President Obama made an announcement that the American people had waited almost ten years to hear.

“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 leader of al-Qaida and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children,” Obama said.

Osama bin Laden has been the world’s most-wanted terrorist since more than 3,000 people were killed in al-Qaida’s attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Mr. Obama said he was briefed last August on a possible lead to bin Laden’s location. He said the terrorist leader had been hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The president said he authorized a mission last week to “get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.”

Mr. Obama said a small team of Americans Sunday carried out the operation on the compound.

“After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” Obama said.

The president acknowledged that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against the United States, and he warned Americans to remain vigilant.

“I have made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9-11, that our war is not against Islam, because bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al-Qaida has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.”

Mr. Obama said counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead U.S. forces to bin Laden. He said he called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to notify him of bin Laden’s death. The president said Pakistani officials agreed that this was a “good and historic day” for both nations.

Mr. Obama also called former President George W. Bush, who was president on September 11, 2001, and who launched the U.S. war on terror. In a written statement, Mr. Bush called bin Laden’s killing a “momentous achievement” and a “victory for America.” He said “No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

Osama bin Laden was born March 10, 1957 to a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, bin Laden joined the Afghan mujahedin Islamic fighters. Several years later, he used his wealth to form his own militia force, later called al-Qaida, Arabic for “the base.”

In 1996, bin Laden declared a holy war against the United States, which he accused of looting the natural resources of Muslim nations and helping Islam’s enemies.

While hiding in Sudan, bin Laden is said to have plotted attacks on the U.S. military in Somalia and Saudi Arabia. He also orchestrated the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Within weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States led a coalition that overthrew Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which had refused to turn bin Laden over to the U.S.

For almost ten years, U.S. soldiers and intelligence officers combed the mountainous area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, trying to find bin Laden.

Shortly before President Obama announced that bin Laden had been killed, a jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House, chanting, cheering and singing.


Today in history: The death of Osama bin Laden

May 1, 1931: With the push of a button, President Hoover dedicated the Empire State Building. Hoover wasn't in New York, he was at the White House and merely pushed a symbolic button. The Empire State Building, 102 stories and 1,250 feet high, was the world's tallest structure — and took just one year and $40 million to build. Constructed during the depths of the Great Depression, it gave New York and the nation a renewed sense of pride.

May 1, 1970: Student protests erupted after President Nixon announced U.S. troops were moving into Cambodia — a neutral country — to pursue the Vietcong.

May 1, 2003: With a "Mission Accomplished" banner behind him, President Bush said "major combat operations in Iraq have ended." The war would continue for seven-and-a-half more years, ultimately claiming the lives of 4,486 Americans — and countless Iraqis.

May 1, 2011: President Obama announced that the U.S. had killed Osama bin Laden — the leader of al Qaeda and perpetrator of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Operation Neptune Spear, as the special forces operation that killed bin Laden was called, was among the most daring military missions in U.S. history. Months in the planning, the operation — conducted by Navy SEALS — was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-less mission. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan on a moonless night after the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death.

Quote of the day

"To those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror, justice has been done." — Barack Obama


This day in history, May 1: President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama bin Laden

Today is Saturday, May 1, the 121st day of 2021. There are 244 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation (because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end).

In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.

In 1915, the RMS Lusitania set sail from New York, headed for Liverpool, England (it was torpedoed and sunk by Germany off the coast of Ireland six days later).

In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered in New York.

In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his own life, Admiral Karl Doenitz effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.

In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.

In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.

In 1975, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Brewers broke baseball’s all-time RBI record previously held by Babe Ruth during a game against the Detroit Tigers (Milwaukee won, 17-3).

In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”

In 1998, Eldridge Cleaver, the fiery Black Panther leader who later renounced his past and became a Republican, died in Pomona, California, at age 62.

In 2009, Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.)

In 2015, Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van.

Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II, moving his predecessor a step closer to sainthood in a Vatican Mass attended by some 1.5 million pilgrims.

Five years ago: A wildfire broke out near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada in the days that followed, the blaze destroyed 2,400 homes and other buildings and forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate. After a half-century of waiting, Cuban-born passengers set sail from Miami on a historic cruise to Havana, the first such trip from the U.S. since recent policy changes. Elephants performed for the last time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Providence, Rhode Island.

One year ago: A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after a confrontation with the family of a woman he had told to leave the store because she wasn’t wearing a face mask. (Three people, including the woman’s mother, were charged with first-degree murder.) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state’s stay-at-home order would remain in place for two more weeks her statement came on the same day that President Donald Trump tweeted that she should “make a deal” with protesters who gathered at the state Capitol a day earlier, some carrying assault weapons. U.S. regulators allowed emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug that appeared to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden emphatically denied allegations from a former Senate staffer that he sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s, declaring flatly that “this never happened.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in Canada, two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia.

Today’s birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 82. Actor Stephen Macht is 79. Singer Rita Coolidge is 76. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 75. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 72. Actor Dann Florek is 70. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 67. Actor Byron Stewart is 65. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 61. Actor Maia Morgenstern is 59. Actor Scott Coffey is 57. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 56. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 55. Country singer Tim McGraw is 54. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 53. Rock musician D’Arcy Wretzky is 53. Movie director Wes Anderson is 52. Actor Julie Benz is 49. Actor Bailey Chase is 49. Country singer Cory Morrow is 49. Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 47. Actor Darius McCrary is 45. Actor Jamie Dornan is 39. Actor Kerry Bishe is 37. TV personality Abby Huntsman is 35. Actor Lizzy Greene is 18.

Journalism, it’s often said, is the first-draft of history. Check back each day for what’s new … and old.


Contents

Three days after Barack Obama's May 1, 2011 speech from the East Room of the White House announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, [4] actor, impressionist, dancer and Internet personality Iman Crosson posted a YouTube video "President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden (SPOOF)" [5] that was a spoof of Obama's speech.

In the video, the East Room spoof followed a spoken-word introduction by Crosson, impersonating Barack Obama sitting at a desk, [6] explaining that the rest of the video was an "alternative speech" that had not been chosen for broadcast, replaced by the "traditional speech" that Obama in fact delivered. [7] In character with the spoof, TVGuide.com quipped, "originally, this diss track was supposed to be the nail in Osama's coffin." [8] CBS News' Bailey Johnson echoed that Crosson's version was "an earlier draft of the speech - a draft very different from the one that aired." [1]

The spoof was delivered in rap and included comedic dancing in an East Room-appearing backdrop, with The Huffington Post saying the video was "works in almost every meme from the last month." [9] The video not only included topics relating to bin Laden's killing, but referenced Internet culture [6] including contemporary memes such as Charlie Sheen's "Duh, Winning", Rebecca Black, Antoine Dodson, ENJ vs. Niks, [10] as well as snuggies, Donald Trump, and Google Earth. [7] [11] The single "Momentous Day" [12] is derived from the rap portion of the video.

One commentator described the video as what Obama's speech--"in all likelihood the most pimp moment of his first two-and-a-half years in the White House"--"would have looked and sounded like had the man gone swag with it," characterizing Crosson's performance as a "rhymed flow over a booming, Lex Luger-esque beat." [10] New York magazine's Amanda Dobbins referred humorously to Crosson's dancing of the Dougie as a "bonus: the official Obama Family Dance." [13] The Post-Standard affiliate Syracuse.com's Geoff Herbert described "the witty parody rap" as "a fierce rap with lots of swag." [7]

Crosson ended his speech with "Oh that'll be two terms please, thank you," [10] referring to Obama's possible 2012 re-election in view of his increased popularity [14] following the success of the bin Laden mission.

CBS News' Bailey Johnson contrasted Crosson's rap and dancing performance with Obama's "model of confidence, restraint, and calm authority," further stating that Crosson's version of the speech "seems to perfectly capture the national mood." [1] The San Francisco Chronicle's "City Brights" contributor Zennie Abraham quoted Johnson and added that the video "exactly expresses what you and I both know Barack wanted to say after the Navy Seal Team 6 got to their objective." [15] Al Jazeera 's "Listening Post" remarked that Crosson's satirical interpretation "cuts through the usual diplomatic platitudes and delivers - what seems to be - a more honest and rhythmically tuned account of what happened." [2] CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing Editor David Hawkings remarked that the video "skewered the president's 'no drama' affect and at the same time captured the mood of the country in the days after the Abbottobad raid." [3]

The media soon responded to the video as "a viral hit". [9]

The video was viewed at least 233,837 times in its first 24 hours, [17] and accelerated in its second 24 hours to achieve its millionth view about 50 hours after being posted, [18] and its two millionth view about 92 hours after being posted. [19]

Before the end of its second 24 hours after being posted, YouTube had reported Crosson's video as being its fifth most viewed video across all categories. [20]

At the end of its third 24 hours after being posted, YouTube reported Crosson's video as being the Comedy category's #1 most "Popular Around the Web," (which YouTube defines as "Videos with the most views when embedded on other websites"). [21]

On its sixth day, the video was shown on the front page of the Funny or Die comedy video website. [22]

By the end of its sixth day, the video had received over 2.5 million views [23] and Crosson's "Alphacat" YouTube channel had received over 20,000 new subscribers. [24]

When the video received its three millionth view on its ninth day, it had received over 20,000 comments, and its "Like/Dislike" ratio was 51. [25]

Three months after the video was posted, Matt Wilstein of The Huffington Post.com named it among the top five Obama impressions. [26]

The video received substantial media attention within days, with the video's views-per-day actually increasing over the course of its first three days. [27]

Media attention included features from such news outlets and political commentators as CBS News's Bailey Johnson, [1] The Huffington Post [9] including Matt Wilstein, [26] Al Jazeera 's "Listening Post," [2] MSNBC's "The Last Word" staff, [28] Sean Hannity, [29] New York magazine's Amanda Dobbins, [13] The San Francisco Chronicle 's "City Brights" contributor Zennie Abraham, [15] The Atlantic 's Chris Good, [30] and The Post-Standard affiliate Syracuse.com's Geoff Herbert, [7] recognition from comedy video websites such as Funny or Die, [22] in addition to mentions in a variety of pop, cultural and celebrity websites such as TV Guide. [8]

Within a day of the video's posting on YouTube, Excite (Italy) reported that L'imitatore numero uno del Presidente degli Stati Uniti (the number one impersonator of the President of the United States) had turned Obama's speech into rap. [31] The same day, Obama's "comedic doppelganger" was said to have "spit hot fire" . "with one of his best Obama impressions to date, . his lyrics (being) pretty tight, especially coupled with his on-point presidential delivery and hitting his Dougie." [32] CBS News's Bailey Johnson concluded that Crosson was "one of the best presidential impersonators working today." [1] Calling Crosson "master of the interweb airwaves," Infotainment News remarked of the video, "yeah, it's a meme, and the interweb will be full of them soon enough, but this is done with good clean humor." [33] NonAmos.com remarked that "It's difficult to strike a perfect balance between political satire and complete poor taste. But . actor and impressionist Iman Crosson gets it right." [34] "Alphacat is a legitimate genius for making this video spoof. Alphacat's touch up on the speech is much more than a comedic approach, it's a mass collection of all 2011 memes, from Rebecca Black's Friday, Charlie Sheen's winning, to Dougies' Dougie, it's an endless troupe of hilarity. [11]

On the second day after the video's posting on YouTube, The Huffington Post said that the video was "fast becoming a viral hit," and that Crosson "doesn't stop at getting the look and sound of the president down, he has created an impression that is almost a parallel worlds version of the man one who raps or sings his way through every major event while maintaining his signature calm, collectedness.". [9] MSNBC's "The Last Word" linked to the video, remarking that "comedian Iman Crosson does a pretty spot-on impression of our Commander-in-Chief. He's also not half bad at writing political rhymes." [28] TheRoot called it an "hilarious video" from "the man best known for his Obama impersonations during the 2008 elections." [35] [36] Fanpage Italia (Italy) called it "one of the most anticipated and successful parodies by. one of the most popular political Internet Webstars." [37] Crosson's impression of Obama was called "spot-on . absolutely nailing the hand gestures and uh, vocal, uh, tics of our nation's 44th president." [10]

On the third day, New York magazine's Amanda Dobbins called Crosson "he of the spot-on YouTube Obama impersonations," saying "he really goes in" during the video [13] Il Quotidiano Italiano (The Italian Daily (Newspaper)) wrote that Crosson was "punctual as always" [6] in his production of the video so quickly after the news event it was spoofing. "Alphacat, one of the most popular political Internet Webstars. has not missed an opportunity to mount a parody ad hoc for this historic event." [6] The Moderate Voice expressed that "there have been some great spoofs of Obama in the past and this impersonator, Alphacat has been responsible for a good chunk of them. This new video has to be one of his best yet." [39]

Ten days after the video was posted, Al Jazeera 's "Listening Post" named Crosson's video "Internet Video of the Week," remarking "we found a clip of a talented Obama impersonator putting all his acting, singing and dancing skills to work." [2]

More than a month after the video was posted, The San Francisco Chronicle 's "City Brights" contributor Zennie Abraham commented on the spoof video and its related behind-the-scenes video, calling the spoof video "a work of genius." [15]


Watch the video: أوباما يعلن موت أسامة بن لادن