World·In Depth

SPECIAL REPORT: Osama bin Laden dies

U.S. raid kills Al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan after 10-year manhunt

Hunting bin Laden

12 years ago
Duration 6:43
Featured VideoGene Coyle, a former CIA officer, tells us about the ways this secretive counter-intelligence mission met with success


  • Justice has been done, says U.S. president
  • Al-Qaeda leader killed 150 kilometres north of Islamabad
  • Americans celebrating terrorist leader's death

What: On May 1, U.S. President Barack Obama went on national television to report that the world's most wanted man, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, had been killed in a U.S. raid in Abbottabad, a Pakistani town 150 kilometres north of Islamabad.

"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 is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Obama said during a statement televised live from the East Room of the White House.

"Justice has been done," Obama said.

The driving force behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, bin Laden was the subject of a decade-long manhunt through Afghanistan and areas of Pakistan. He was thought to have been hiding in one of the unadministered tribal areas of Pakistan, but last August, U.S. intelligence officials got information suggesting bin Laden was living in a less mysterious area, namely a compound in Abottabad.

The raid: U.S. officials said four helicopters carrying CIA paramilitaries and a Navy SEAL team attacked bin Laden's compound. An Abbottabad resident said the raid took place at 1:30 a.m. local time. A local man named Sohaib Athar inadvertently tweeted about the raid after hearing helicopters fly over his house.


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American reaction: In New York, celebrations broke out in Times Square and people began to gather at the site where the World Trade Center towers stood. The site is now a construction zone where a memorial and new tower are being built. Crowds also began to gather outside the White House. After Obama confirmed the death, the crowd burst into chants of "U.S.A.!"

Canadian reaction: Tory leader Stephen Harper made a statement while on the election campaign trail in British Columbia. "Canada receives the news of the death of Osama bin Laden with sober satisfaction," he said. "Sadly, others will take his place."

PHOTOS: World reaction