NEW YORK (
) -- Al Qaeda confirmed Friday that Osama Bin Laden was killed in Sunday's raid on his hideout in Pakistan and the
, according to reports.
In this image released by the White House and digitally altered by the source to diffuse the paper in front of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama Bin Laden in the White House on Sunday.
"We stress that the blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama Bin Laden, God bless him, is precious to us and to all Muslims and will not go in vain," a statement posted on militant web sites on May 3 said,
The Associated Press
reported. "We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries."
"Soon, God willing, their happiness will turn to sadness," the statement continued, "their blood will be mingled with their tears."
The statement, posted on Web sites on which the group usually puts out its messages, was signed by "the general leadership" of al Qaeda.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama said the White House won't release any
in order to avoid inciting any additional terrorist violence. The president told "60 Minutes" that he believed the graphic image could "create some national security risk."
"We don't trot out this stuff as trophies," Obama said in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes.' "That's not who we are," Obama said.
The leader of al Qaeda and the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks
in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, about 40 miles outside the capital of Islamabad, on Sunday.
As more details about the raid emerges, the Obama administration continues to debate how much information it should make public.
Meanwhile, John Brennan, the U.S. counterterrorism chief, said the government is reviewing the materials that were gathered from the compound in which Osama Bin Laden was killed on Sunday.
U.S. Navy SEALs were able to collect a large amount of hardware from the compound, including 10 hard drives, five computers and more than 100 storage devices.
Investigators hope the hard drives will contain key information about the al Qaeda network and help them to prevent future terrorist attacks.
Click through the following photo slideshow to learn more about the U.S. operation that killed Bin Laden, and the global reactions to his death.
Supporters of a local social group Muthahida Shehri Mahaz rally to condemn the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on Friday.
Over a thousand Pakistani activists marched through the streets of Peshawar and Abbottabad on Friday to rally against the killing of Bin Laden, after Al Qaeda issued a statement in which it vowed revenge on the U.S.
The Internet statement also said that Bin Laden recorded an audio message about a week before his death. A network plans to
Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, is now considered the most prominent figure in the group and is a very likely contender to be named a successor to Bin Laden, according to
In a recent interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's The Situation Room, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers said that the U.S. could be getting closer to finding al-Zawahiri.
"We have lots of information on him," Rogers said. "I do believe we're hot on the trail."
President Barack Obama speaks to firefighters and first responders at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 before visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York, on Thursday.
to honor those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Before heading over to Ground Zero, Obama visited Engine 54 firehouse, which lost 15 men on Sept. 11.
He thanked the firefighters at the house and honored a bronze memorial plaque commemorating the men,
"You will always have a president whose got your back," Obama told the men.
Obama also met with survivors and family members of those killed in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the visit to Ground Zero was "to help New Yorkers and Americans everywhere to achieve a sense of closure."
President Barack Obama listens during one in a series of meetings discussing the mission against Osama Bin Laden, in the Situation Room of the White House on Sunday, May 1.
President Barack Obama ordered the military to launch a targeted operation, under the codename "Geronimo," after U.S. intelligence discovered that Bin Laden was hiding in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The president and the Central Intelligence Agency were able to remotely monitor the situation as the mission took place on Sunday night through cameras placed in the helmets of the soldiers conducting the raid.
"We were able to monitor on a real-time basis the progress of the operation, from its commencement, to its time on target, to the extraction of the remains," Brennan said in a White House news briefing on Monday. "We were able to have regular updates to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation."
U.S. officials said the CIA tracked Bin Laden to the location, then a team of 25 Navy SEALs flew to the hideout in four helicopters and slid down ropes into the hideout.
Once inside, the elite troops shot Bin Laden in the head and the chest after he and his bodyguards resisted.
Following the 40-minute overnight raid, his body was taken to the USS Carl Vinson, an American warship, and was photographed before being lowered into the North Arabian Sea in accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial.
After the al Qaeda leader was killed, a Navy SEAL on the mission sent a coded message to Obama in Washington that said, "Geronimo-E KIA." The E stood for enemy and KIA for killed in action.
reported that the U.S. chose to code name the secretive military mission "Geronimo" after the Native American war chief who had managed to evade capture for many years in the late 1800s.
President Barack Obama reads his statement to photographers after making a televised statement on the death of Osama Bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington on Sunday.
President Obama announced the news from the White House late Sunday night.
"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's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children," Obama said in his address late Sunday night.
Officials said one of Bin Laden's sons, Khalid, was killed in the raid. Also killed were the courier, another al Qaeda member and an unidentified woman, officials said, while Bin Laden's wife was shot in the calf but survived.
No Americans were hurt in the attack.
"Justice has been done," Obama said.
In this April 1998 file photo, al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is seen in Afghanistan.
Osama Bin Laden had been on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's lists of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives since 1999 due to his suspected role in organizing the deadly bombing of the U.S. embassy in East Africa on Aug. 7, 1998.
He was also on the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list, which included more than two dozen others who had been connected to terror plots.
He is linked to a string of deadly attacks on the United States and its allies, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.
Governments and leaders around the world have said the killing of Bin Laden has made the world a safer place. European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said that on Monday morning he woke up "in a more secure world," while British Prime Minister David Cameron said Bin Laden's death brings "great relief to people across the world."
"We can all agree this is a good day for America," Obama said during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the White House on Monday.
In this Dec. 24, 1998 file photo, al Qaeda leader Bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in mountains of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan
The New York Times
reported that U.S. officials have reason to believe that Osama Bin Laden may have ordered a pre-recorded tape to be released in the event of his death.
Authorities believe that Bin Laden made a propaganda recording shortly before he was killed. The tape, which could be an audio or a video recording, is expected to be released by his al Qaeda disciples soon.
Media outlets and the U.S. government will have to weigh the consequences of airing the tape if it does surface, as it could possibly boost his legacy as a martyr within the terrorist community.
Vehicles are parked inside the compound of a house where it is believed al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of people, was killed in his luxury hideout in Pakistan early Monday in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a decade-long manhunt.
U.S. forces targeted the compound after more than four years tracking one of Bin Laden's most trusted couriers, whom U.S. officials said was identified by men captured after the Sept. 11 attacks,
"Detainees also identified this man as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by Bin Laden," a senior administration official told reporters in a briefing. "They indicated he might be living with or protected by Bin Laden."
Bin Laden had lived at the fortified compound for six years, officials said.
This frame grab from video obtained exclusively by ABC News, on Monday, shows a section of a room in the interior of the compound where it is believed al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived in Pakistan.
Bin Laden was shot in the head and the chest in a firefight on Sunday night after he and his bodyguards resisted, firing at the Navy SEALs who stormed his compound.
to confirm that special American forces had in fact killed Bin Laden, officials said.
U.S. officials also said Bin Laden was identified through "facial recognition," a senior Pentagon official told
The Associated Press
after he personally saw a photograph of the corpse. The government is now trying to decide whether to release the gruesome photo to the public.
This undated aerial handout image, provided by the CIA, shows the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan where American forces found and killed Bin Laden
A senior administration official said the U.S. team was shocked by the extraordinarily unique compound.
The three-story home had intense security measures, including 12- to 18-foot outer walls topped with barbed wire and two security gates. The building also had a terrace with a 7-foot privacy wall, officials said.
"It is also noteworthy that the property is valued at approximately $1 million but has no telephone or Internet service connected to it," an administration official said,
reported. "The brothers had no explainable source of wealth."
Pakistani soldiers patrol in the vicinity of a compound where it is believed al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Monday.
CIA director Leon Panetta commanded the military team during the secretive operation,
reported, citing an official.
Obama said Sunday night that he had called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari after the raid, and said it was "important to note that our counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to Bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding."
However, Bin Laden's location, in a compound a half-mile from a Pakistani military academy, in a city that is home to three army regiments and thousands of military personnel,
raised questions of whether Pakistani authorities were aware of his whereabouts
Many critics have long speculated that elements of Pakistan's security establishment took a number of measures to protect Bin Laden. Islamabad, however, always has denied it.
One senior administration told reporters, "We were very concerned ... that he was inside Pakistan, but this is something we're going to continue to work with the Pakistani government on."
A crowd outside the White House in Washington cheers Sunday, May 1, upon hearing the news that terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden was dead
following the news that Bin Laden was killed.
In Washington, a crowd started gathering in front of the White House before Obama addressed the nation late Sunday.
Within 30 minutes of his speech, the street in front of the White House was filled and the crowd began filling Lafayette Square. Many were cheering, waving flags and singing the national anthem in celebration.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton makes a statement regarding the death of Osama bin Laden on Monday at the State Department in Washington.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that Bin Laden's death sends a clear message to al Qaeda's Taliban allies in Afghanistan.
"You cannot wait us out, you cannot defeat us, but you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda and participate in a peaceful, political process," she said.
Clinton said that the U.S. is committed to "relentlessly pursuing the murderers who target innocent people."
"The fight continues and we will never waver," she said. "Now I know there are some who doubted this day would ever come. Who questioned our resolve and our reach. But let us remind ourselves this is America. We rise to the challenge. We persevere. And we get the job done."
With the new One World Trade Center building in the background at left, a large, jubilant crowd reacts to the news of Osama Bin Laden's death at the corner of Church and Vesey Streets, adjacent to Ground Zero, during the early morning hours of Monday, May 2 in New York.
Upon learning the news, thousands of Americans flooded Ground Zero, cheering, waving flags and singing the national anthem in celebration.
"We've been waiting a long time for this day," Lisa Ramaci, a New Yorker whose husband was a journalist killed in the Iraq war, told the
early Monday. "I think it's a relief for New York tonight just in the sense that we had this 10 years of frustration just building and building, wanting this guy dead, and now he is, and you can see how happy people are."
Mementos are seen outside the World Trade Center site after the death of accused Sept. 11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden was announced on May 2.
The mood at Ground Zero was "euphoric" following the news of Bin Laden's death,
Voice of America
reported as New Yorkers, military veterans and visitors came together to celebrate the news.
"It's really a terrific day for not just America but for the world. To have this cancer pulled from us is the right thing," Guy Madsen, 49, told the
. He said he drove into New York from Clifton, N.J., when he heard of Bin Laden's death. "This is judgment day, and we're winning."
An armed Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officer stands guard in New York's Grand Central Station on Monday.
Security in the United States and around the world was heightened as a result of the announcement of the killing of al Qaeda leader Bin Laden.
While his death has given hope for peace to many, others believe that al Qaeda will continue campaigns against the United States.
"We have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time," CIA director Panetta said in a memo to agency employees Monday morning,
The Associated Press
He warned that "terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge" the killing of a man deemed uncatchable. "
," Panetta said.
Obama expressed the significance of Bin Laden's death on Sunday night, but he warned it doesn't mark the end of America's effort against terrorism.
"There's no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us," Obama said. "We must -- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad."
Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam rally to condemn the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Quetta, Pakistan, on Monday.
While many people around the world rejoiced following the news of Bin Laden's death, many others expressed their opposition to the killing.
On Monday, Hamas, classified by the U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist group over its violence against Israel, condemned the killing of Bin Laden.
"We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior," Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, said,
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, a conservative organization with links around the Islamic world, also condemned the killing, stating that the group "is against violence in general, against assassinations and in favor of fair trials."
For many, Osama Bin Laden's death marks a psychological triumph after a decade-long struggle following the Sept. 11 attacks.
On Sept. 11, 2001, a group of al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, killing everyone on board and many others in the buildings.
The hijackers also crashed an airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.
The fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after a few passengers and flight crew members struggled with the hijackers to retake control of the plane. It is believed that the hijackers were aiming to redirect the airplane toward Washington to target either the Capitol Building or the White House.
Nearly 3,000 were killed in the attacks, the worst terror assault on American soil.
Remains of a tower at Ground Zero in New York on Sept. 11, 2001.
Many friends and family members of victims in the Sept. 11 attacks have said they were happy to learn of Bin Laden's death on Sunday.
One father of a Rhode Island woman killed in the attack said he is happy that Bin Laden was found and killed. But he added that there is still no closure for him or his family as they continue to deeply feel his daughter's loss,
The Boston Herald
Gene Yancey's daughter, Kathryn LaBorie, was a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center. Yancey said it's a good thing that Bin Laden is gone, but he will always hurt when he thinks about his daughter's final moments.
A wax replica of Thomas Franklin's photograph from Sept. 11, 2001, is seen at Madame Tussaud's wax museum Sept. 3, 2002, in New York. The replica was a part of an exhibit at the museum called "Hope: Humanity and Heroism."
Shortly after Obama's late-night announcement on Sunday, hundreds of people cheered and waved American flags at Ground Zero in New York.
Al and Maureen Santora, the parents of a 23-year-old firefighter who died in the attacks on Sept. 11, expressed their elation when they learned of Bin Laden's death on Sunday evening.
"I was just overjoyed. I had been waiting, I had been waiting for this day. I had been waiting for him to be found," Maureen Santora told U.K.'s
Construction worker Paddy Garvey puts an American flag on a fence at Ground Zero in New York, Monday.
Crowds flocked Ground Zero in New York City on Monday to celebrate the news of Bin Laden's death.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the event a "critically important victory for our nation" in a statement released Sunday night.
"New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news," Bloomberg said. "It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001."
Jim Schweizer straightens flowers at the grave of Thomas Burnett on Monday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Bloomington, Minn.
Burnett was one of the nearly 3,000 people who died on Sept, 11, 2001.
He and 39 other passengers and crew were flying to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., on Flight 93 when the airplane was hijacked.
A few passengers and flight crew members courageously fought the hijackers to retake control of the plane. It is believed that the hijackers were aiming to redirect the airplane toward Washington to target either the Capitol Building or the White House.
The plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pa., killing everyone on board.
Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston
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