Osama bin Laden killed
'Justice has been done' - Bin Laden dead
U.S. troops kill terrorist mastermind in firefight
Saying "justice has been done," President Barack Obama announced Sunday that Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden is dead.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in a firefight in Pakistan, Obama said.
"We can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaeda terror, 'justice has been done,'" Obama said.
"We have not forgotten your loss," he said.
"Tonight I can report to the American people, and to the world, the United States has conducted an operation that has killed Osama bin Laden," Obama announced from the White House.
Saying that "the images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory," Obama said he told CIA chief Leon Panetta that the "killing or capture of Osama bin Laden was the top priority of our war against al-Qaeda."
Crowds gathered outside the White House, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "We Are The Champions" as the president spoke. Others celebrated at Ground Zero in New York City.
Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, north of the Pakistani captial of Islamabad, the president said, ending a decade-plus-long manhunt for the world's most wanted terrorist leader.
Bin Laden resisted during a 40-minute raid by U.S. Navy SEALS and was shot in the head during a gun battle. His body was buried at sea, officials said.
Obama praised the "extraordinary courage and capability" of the U.S. troops who conducted the operation.
"No Americans were harmed" and they "took care to avoid civilian casualties," the president said.
Bin Laden's death is the "most significant achievement to date in our effort to defeat al-Qaeda," Obama said.
"His death does not mark the end of our effort," Obama said. "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."
Officials told various news agencies that bin Laden's body had already been buried at sea, after being handled in accord with Islamic tradition.
Just after the president spoke, the State Department issued a worldwide travel alert, saying there is an "enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counterterrorism activity in Pakistan."
"The United States is not at war with Islam," Obama said. "Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims."
"His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."
"Let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11," Obama said.
"Today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country," he said. "We can do whatever we set our mind to."
U.S. special forces personnel were involved in killing the Saudi architect of the worldwide terrorist organization al-Qaeda, which means "the Base" in Arabic. Navy SEALS participated in the raid, reports said.
"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," Obama said.
U.S. officials learned where bin Laden was living in November. Rather than a cave in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan or Pakistan, he was in a compound in an affluent city just north of Islamabad, surrounded by 12-foot walls topped with barbed wire.
The mansion, built in 2005, had no phone or Internet connections. U.S. officials believe it was built to hide bin Laden.
"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," Obama said.
Three other men were also killed in Sunday's raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida. A woman being used as a shield was also killed.
No American troops were killed, but one U.S. helicopter crashed during the operation, due to a mechanical failure. It was later blown up for security reasons.
A resident of Abbottabad, Sohaib Athar, unwittingly gave live reports on the raid on Twitter.
He reported a helicopter hovering over his neighborhood at 1 a.m.;, "a rare event," he said.
Athar, who tweets as @ReallyVirtual, then reported that there were two helicopters, and that one had crashed or been shot down.
Hours later, after many tweets about the situation, he wrote, "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."
Most widely known for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, al-Qaeda has been responsible for numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets worldwide.
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, frequently refered to as 9/11, were a series of suicide attacks coordinated by the jihadist group.
The morning of September 11th, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger airliners.
The terrorists intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Both towers collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others, and killing 2,752 people.
The third airliner was crashed into the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C., killing 189.
The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Penn., when some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. 45 were killed.
It is thought that the terrorists were targeting either the Capitol or the White House.
Bin Laden's death ends a lengthy campaign to bring him to justice.
Bin Laden was sought by the U.S. even before the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He was implicated in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, that killed over 200 people.
A $25 million price was put on his head by the U.S. government.
Al-Qaeda also claimed responsibility for the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, which killed 17 American sailors in Yemen.
Osama bin Laden founded al-Qaeda in 1988, as the Soviet Union was driven from Afghanistan by the U.S.-supported mujahedin.
After the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to flush al-Qaeda from its training camps, bin Laden hid out in the rugged mountains of Tora Bora.
He eluded capture as U.S. attention shifted to Saddam Hussein and Iraq, and taunted the West with 30-some video and audio messages through the years as he urged his followers to continue their attacks.
Bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 10, 1957. His father, Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, was a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family
Bin Laden's interest in his family's billion-dollar business, Saudi Arabia's largest construction company—the Bin Laden Group, underwrote much of his support of al-Qaeda.
As a result of his advocacy of violent extremist jihad, Osama bin Laden lost his Saudi citizenship and was disowned by his family.
See a timeline of Bin Laden's life and al-Qaeda attacks.