Nine and a half years after the 9/11 terror attacks, Osama Bin Laden is dead.
President Obama formally announced the old monster’s death on Sunday night at 11:35 P.M. Eastern standard time, declaring “Justice has been done.” He stated intelligence about bin Laden’s location in Pakistan was developed over the last few months, and his location was pinpointed sometime last week, leading to an operation conducted today.
Obama called the death of bin Laden “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s struggle to defeat al-Qaeda.”
This was not a drone strike. Bin Laden died in a firefight, shot between the eyes by U.S. Navy SEALs. The operation took place in a compound near the city of Abottabad, north of Islamabad. That’s “deep inside Pakistan” as the President reported, not in the wild tribal areas. The al-Qaeda leader picked some interesting real estate to die on.
The exact degree of coordination with Pakistani forces was unclear, but comments from the Obama Administration suggest this was primarily an American mission. CNN reports they have been told by Pakistani officials that members of the ISI intelligence service were “on site” during the attack.
Early reports say that the SEALs suffered no casualties during the operation. We may all join in praying that report holds up. The precision of this strike, deep inside Pakistani territory, is nothing short of astonishing. The United States military sets some very high bars for itself… and dazzles the world by vaulting right over them. Hopefully bin Laden had time to be suitably dazzled before the SEALs sent him to Hell.
Cheering crowds gathered in Washington as the news spread Sunday night. At the same time, intelligence and security forces around the world went on high alert, to prepare for possible retaliation from al-Qaeda or affiliated terrorists.
The defeat Osama bin Laden suffered aboard United Flight 93, on the morning of September 11, is now complete. Congratulations are due all the way up the chain of command, from those who carried out the operation to the Commander-in-Chief who authorized it.
Congratulations are also in order for the previous Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush, whose leadership in America’s hour of crisis should never be forgotten. Tonight, Mr. Bush issued a statement congratulating President Obama and “the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission.” He added that “American has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”