I will update with details as I learn them.
Update: The White House confirms. He was killed in a ground operation authorized by the President which resulted in a firefight.
Update 2: Former President George W. Bush issues a statement:
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001.
I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude.
This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.
Former President Bill Clinton issued one as well, “”I congratulate the President, the National Security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al-Qaida attacks.”
Update 3: Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), a prospective Presidential candidate, issued a statement tonight as well, “This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. Americans have waited nearly ten years for the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden. As we were vigilant in taking him out we need to demonstrate we will continue to be vigilant until the enemy has been subdued.”
Update 4: Statements from four members of the Iowa Congressional Delegation
Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA 1st): “Today the world is a safer place. Tonight’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces is good news for all Americans. Nearly ten years after his cowardly attacks on innocent Americans and citizens of the world, and on the eighth anniversary of declaring ‘Mission Accomplished,’ we can finally close a tragic chapter in our nation’s history. Our troops have made tremendous sacrifices, with many lives lost and many changed forever, and we must never forget the real cost of this war on terror.”
Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA 2nd): “Tonight’s announcement is a testament to the men and women of our armed forces’ and intelligence community’s commitment to tracking down the man responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Americans. Tonight stands as a profound chapter in our nation’s fight against those who work every day to do harm to the American people. Even as we mark this day, however, we must remain vigilant – the threat against the American people remains and there are those who may seek revenge. The safety of our nation is paramount. Having just traveled to Islamabad to discuss critical counter-terrorism issues, and as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to work to ensure the security of our nation.”
Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA 3rd): “After hearing the news of Osama bin Laden’s death tonight, I immediately thought of our men and women in uniform who have bravely fought al Qaeda forces in the pursuit of the man responsible for attacking our nation on September 11, 2001. President Obama and our military leaders should be commended for their steadfast commitment to pursuing Osama bin Laden and his followers. I look forward to joining Iowa’s military families in welcoming our brave troops as they return home
Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA 4th): “The reign of a ruthless killer has been brought to an end. The death of Osama bin Laden is welcome news for America and her allies around the globe. We owe a debt of gratitude to the military and intelligence officials who carried out this operation. This is a critical victory for the cause of freedom and liberty. God bless the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and God bless the United States of America.”
Update 5: Video of President Obama’s announcement below transcript here:
Update 6: Statement from Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead. The leader of Al Qaeda— responsible for the deaths of 3000 innocent citizens on September 11, 2001, and whose maniacal hate is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US servicemen and women was killed by U.S. military. President Obama confirmed the announcement late last night. DNA tests confirmed his death and his body is in the possession of the U. S.
It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens.
Update 7: Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) sent out a tweet after the news, “Thank you, American men and women in uniform. You are America’s finest and we are all so proud. Thank you for fighting against terrorism.”
Update 8: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad issued a statement from the National Governors Association meeting in North Carolina.
I am proud of our president, and our troops, who never lost their resolve in finding Osama bin Laden and bringing him to justice. While the world is no longer nervously looking over its shoulder for this ruthless murderer, Iowans must remain vigilant in our support of the nearly 3,000 Iowa National Guard members deployed overseas. Our thoughts, prayers and support are with our brave men and women who remain in harm’s way.
Update 9: Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued a statement this morning.
On a sunny Sept. 11, 2001, our nation learned of Osama bin Laden, and the organization he lead which killed 3,000 innocent people on that fateful day. His death is a symbolic victory and a significant achievement in the war against terror, but it isn’t an end. Al Qaida and radical terrorists around the globe remain a grave threat to our country and its people. We must remain vigilant in our fight to maintain the security of the United States. As the memories of 9/11 come flooding back with the death of Osama bin Laden, we remember and honor the families of those who lost their lives that day and we pay special tribute to the men and women of our military and national security teams who continue to protect this nation and have led the effort over the last 10 years to bring justice to bin Laden. More work remains and we must remain vigilant against possible retaliatory attacks.