Yesterday night, President Obama officially announced that Osama Bin Laden is dead and that “justice has been done.” Right now, hundreds are gathering outside the White House and across the country, cheering and chanting in celebration of the 9/11 mastermind’s death. From the White House’s East Wing, the President said that Bin Laden was killed today at a luxurious, armed compound in Pakistan. Apparently, the compound where Bin Laden was hiding was situated in an affluent suburb just outside of Islamabad. The compound was first discovered in August in 2010, but it was not until last Friday that the President felt intelligence was strong enough to order an attack. Reportedly, an American soldier killed Bin Laden with a single shot to the head, and U.S. Armed forces now have possession of Bin Laden’s body. NBC News reports that the firefight that killed Bin Laden lasted only forty minutes, and that Bin Laden himself engaged U.S. forces. One civilian woman who was being used as a human shield by the terrorists was killed during the battle.
During the President’s speech, Obama said that Bin Laden’s death is, “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s struggle to defeat al-Qaeda.” He also stressed that the U.S. is not in a war against Islam, but only against al-Qaeda. He also thanked Pakistan for their help in counter-terrorism efforts; however, U.S. spokesmen add that the Pakistani government was not informed about yesterday’s attack. The President said in his speech that Bin Laden’s death is a “testament of the determination of the American people,” and that “America can do whatever we put our mind to.” The President’s remarks on American determination and the ability to achieve anything highlights the important moral boost Bin Laden’s death will give the American people and armed forces. Tonight’s achievement could also have a huge political impact: Bin Laden’s demise may improve American prestige abroad by demonstrating the strength of American military forces. But, most important domestically, the death of Bin Laden will certainly may give the President political capital going into the 2012 election season by proving Obama’s strength as Commander-in-Chief.
Finally, the President closed his speech by saying that America can do great things because “we are one nation, under god, with liberty, and justice for all.”
While Americans across the country are jubilant, the U.S. State Department has put U.S. embassies on alert and is warning Americans abroad that retaliation attacks from al-Qaeda are possible. Furthermore, the State Department is cautioning Americans in areas where there has been anti-American violence in the past to stay indoors and to avoid large gatherings.