A CIA-led team killed Osama Bin Laden at a compound inside Pakistan Sunday and recovered his body, bringing a close to the world's highest-profile manhunt after a decade-long search, President Obama announced to the world Sunday night.
"Justice has been done," the President said solemnly in a hastily-arranged late night TV address from the East Room of the White House. Bin Laden, he said, "murdered thousands of innocent men, women and children" and his death was "the most significant achievement to date" in the U.S. war against the al Qaeda, terrorist network that bin Laden founded, led and inspired.
As described by the President and top administration officials, the successful effort to track down bin Laden centered on a man whom the officials described as a trusted courier for al Qaeda, a protégé of Khalid Sheik Muhammed, the operational mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.
CNN reports the mission that killed one of the world's most notorious terrorist leaders was carried out by U.S. forces with the cooperation of Pakistan, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday night.
Osama bin Laden, the longtime leader of al Qaeda, was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
Members of Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, were on site in Abbottabad during the operation, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said.
Bin Laden resisted the assault and was killed in a firefight, senior administration officials said.
The Pakistani intelligence official said he did not know who fired the shot that actually killed the terror mastermind. U.S. sources including a senior official and a congressional source familiar with the operation said bin Laden was shot in the head. Three other men were also killed in raid, as was a woman who was being used as a human shield, senior administration officials said.
The U.S. team was at the compound for about 40 minutes, the officials said. There were no casualties on the American side, although a U.S. helicopter crashed during the raid due to mechanical problems. The helicopter was then destroyed for security reasons, senior administration officials said.
A senior administration official told reporters that Obama's administration did not share intelligence gathered beforehand with any other country -- including Pakistan -- for security reasons.
The official said only a small group of people inside the U.S. government knew about this operation ahead of time. Another official said a "small U.S. team" was involved in the operation; but the official would not confirm any U.S. military involvement.
However, a senior defense official said U.S. Navy SEALs were involved.