Editor's note: We'll be providing you with the latest information, the most interesting and compelling details and angles on Osama bin Laden's death as we get them here on this live blog. For the big picture that tells the story in full, click here. But stay with us for news as it continues to break.
[Updated 10:01 p.m. ET] CNN's Chris Lawrence explains, step by step, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden early Monday at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan:[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/05/02/exp.tsr.lawrence.obl.raid.cnn"%5D
[Updated 9:30 p.m. ET] Addressing a group of congressional leaders at the White House this evening, President Barack Obama said that when Americans learned of Osama bin Laden's death, "I think we experienced the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11."
"We were reminded again that there is a pride in what this nation stands for and what we can achieve that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics," Obama said. "I want to again recognize the heroes who carried out this incredibly dangerous mission as well as all the military and counterterrorism professionals who made the mission possible.”
THE OPERATION: Attack details | Timeline | In plain sight | The compound
THE REACTION: U.S. | World | Middle East | Healing wounds | Your thoughts
THE MAN: Bin Laden, over the years | Face of terror | Ideology lives on| His life
THE SECURITY ISSUES: What's next for al Qaeda | A deathblow to al Qaeda?
THE POLITICS: A victory for Obama, U.S. | Re-election impact?
THE ANNOUNCEMENT: Obama: Justice done | Watch | Transcript
THE PAKISTANIS: What did Pakistan know? | Pakistan's role?
[Updated 9:10 p.m. ET] A senior U.S. official says that the woman who has killed during the raid on the compound where Osama bin Laden was found was not a wife of bin Laden, and that she may not have been used as a human shield as previously reported. A wife was there, according to an official, but not killed.
Earlier Monday, John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, told reporters that it was his understanding that the woman who was killed was one of bin Laden's wives. Other officials had said that the woman who died was used as a human shield in an attempt to protect bin Laden.
[Updated 8:48 p.m. ET] Time magazine contributor Omar Waraich says he spoke to Sohaib Athar, an Abbottabad resident and software engineer who unknowingly reported, on Twitter, details of Monday morning's raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Athar had written on Twitter that, among other things, he was hearing a helicopter hovering above Abbottabad.
"When he found out (the commotion was because of) Osama bin Laden, he said to me it was quite ironic," Waraich told CNN's John King. "He said he had left his native city of Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, for the quiet of Abbottabad so he could escape suicide bombings and the sounds of explosions rattling his home and frightening himself and his wife. And he said the ultimate irony was that (in) this quiet place he'd moved to, he had found Osama bin Laden as a neighbor.”
[Updated 8:27 p.m. ET] A Time magazine contributor says people with whom he spoke in Abbottabad - the Pakistani city where Osama bin Laden was found and killed early Monday - seemed surprised at the news that the al Qaeda leader had been there.
"When they found out that it was Osama bin Laden in (the compound), expressions just ranged from varying degrees of incredulity," Time contributor Omar Waraich told CNN's John King.
Waraich said people he spoke to in Abbottabad seemed neither ecstatic nor saddened that United States forces had killed bin Laden.
"In fact, Osama bin Laden seemed a bit of a mystery to them throughout the time that they’ve heard of him. They had heard, they said, that he was in Pakistan, but they didn't imagine where, and certainly if they thought he would be in Pakistan, he would be in the tribal areas, some distance away from them," Waraich said.
[Updated 7:28 p.m. ET] More details about Monday morning's raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, according to a U.S. official: Four helicopters were involved in the operation, but not all were on the ground.
About two dozen commandos were involved in the operation on the ground, the U.S. official said.
Officials don't know how long bin Laden was at the compound, which was completed in 2005, but they believe it was built especially for him, the U.S. official said. The U.S. intelligence community never saw bin Laden in or around the compound before the raid, according to the official.
The killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden should be the cue for the United States to end its war on terror, CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen said Monday.
"Killing bin Laden is the end of the war on terror. We can just sort of announce that right now," Bergen said.
Bergen believes that the iconic nature of bin Laden's persona cannot be replaced. He says that Pakistan still is a hotbed for terrorism, and that small-scale attacks are possible.
But at some point, he says, the United States has to say the war on terror is over. Otherwise, he says, the country will fight it forever.
The earliest possible time for the space shuttle Endeavour's final launch is May 10 at 11:21 a.m. ET, NASA said.
Endeavour had been scheduled to lift off on Friday and then Monday, but both launches were scrubbed because of what NASA said was a problem with the shuttle's heating system.
This is Endeavour's last scheduled mission, and it is expected to be the shuttle program's next-to-last mission.
Comments of the Day:
"Now that bin Laden is dead could the US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan go home now?"–rolinda
" 'How do we know he's really dead?' The biggest proof is the lack of reaction from al Qaeda. If this was really a bogus announcement from Obama, there would be a posting on al Qaeda websites, with a video from bin Laden saying 'I'm still alive.' But hey, why let logic get in the way of a good conspiracy theory?"–doubleR
Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight near Islamabad by U.S. forces early Monday morning. One of bin Laden’s own wives identified his body to U.S. forces, after the team visually identified it themselves. DNA matches later confirmed the identification of the body.
His body was buried at sea according to Islamic law, which requires burial within 24 hours. No country was willing or able to take his body for burial on land, senior Defense officials said.
As this story has unfolded, CNN.com readers have responded in several different ways. Many have expressed their joy, relief, and congratulations to the president and U.S. forces involved.
BMaryland said, "Thank you Mr. President! Thank you SEALs!" chitown27 said, "SEAL Team Six is the baddest group of men on this planet."
Guest said, "I was channel-surfing last night when I saw the "breaking news" bulletin. At first, it didn't register, but a couple minutes later I had tears for my sister (slaughtered on 9/11, AA #11)! I am beyond happy and so proud of our military men and women and say to all of them 'thank you' from the bottom of my heart!"
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will blow up a levee at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers due to record high-water levels in both rivers, with work beginning Monday night, said Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh, president of the Mississippi River Commission.
At 4 p.m. Monday, water levels outside Cairo, Illinois, were 61.4 feet - well above the flood stage of 40 feet - according to the National Weather Service. Walsh ordered the intentional breach to alleviate pressure in the river system and to protect Cairo, even though it may lead to the flooding of 130,000 acres of mostly farmland in Missouri.
Missouri officials have been fighting the proposed levee breach.
By the end of Sunday night's game against the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics were left in tatters, facing a 99-90 Game 1 loss. While Boston suffered a significant blow when Paul Pierce was ejected from the game after receiving two technicals in a span of less than one minute, that was the lesser of the Celtics' problems. As SI.com's Ian Thomsen explains, the Celtics crumbled under the pressure and lacked cohesiveness, all while the Heat found its stride atop an impressive 38-point showing by Dwyane Wade.
"Wade and Jones (25 efficient points) had dumped the Celtics in a deep 87-74 hole at the time of Pierce's ensuing run-in with Wade, which makes Pierce's ejection less the cause and more a symptom of Boston's opening-game downfall," writes Thomsen. "Wade was running the baseline defensively when he bore through a Pierce screen. Referee Ed Malloy instantly called double technicals on both stars, and then pointed Pierce to the locker room."
Having lost to the Heat twice within the last month, the Celtics will enter Tuesday's Game 2 match-up with something to prove. Their lackluster performance Sunday may light the fire the team and Pierce needs to avoid rookie mistakes and charge back into this series. Or could Game 1 be just a sign of things to come?
Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls (8:00 p.m., TNT)
Dallas Mavericks vs. L.A. Lakers (10:30 p.m., TNT)
By The Numbers
13 - Number of consecutive games the Cleveland Indians have won at home. Their 13th victory came against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday.
5 - Number of titles tennis star Novak Djokovic has won this season. His fifth title at the Serbia Open also marked his 27th straight victory.
76 - Number of first place votes NBA Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau received this year.
The compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces is located a bit more than 1,000 yards from a Pakistan Military Academy, raising some questions about how much information the Pakistan military may have had about his whereabouts.
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, said during a press conference that the Pakistani army has "a lot of explaining to do."
"I think the Pakistani army and intelligence have a lot of questions to answer, given the location, the length of time and the apparent fact that this facility was actually built for bin Laden and its closeness to the central location of the Pakistani army," Levin said. "So I think the army and the intelligence of Pakistan have plenty of questions that they should be answering and hopefully they are being asked by the Pakistani government."
Abbottabad is home to Pakistan's equivalent of West Point - and the website of the Pakistani military even describes the PMA as "a short distance from Abbottabad" also noting "a fine straight road leads to PMA."
Levin said while he appreciated some of the remarks made by President Asif Ali Zardari, he expected that he would have talks with the military about what they knew.
"I do think that the Pakistani president's statement today was a very reassuring statement when he very specifically said that he thinks it is a great victory and that it's a success and he congratulates us on the success of the operation," he said.
But although Levin said he was "not necessarily suspicious" that Zardari or civilian leadership knew, he added, "I must tell you I hope (Zardari) ... will follow through and ask some very tough questions of his own military and his own intelligence. They have got a lot of explaining to do."
A soldier in a special forces unit based in Georgia told CNN on Monday that while the news of Osama bin Laden’s death is cause for celebration, elite military units have sprung into high alert.
“A lot of guys got their security clearances elevated due to what happened last night,” said Lamont, who didn’t give his last name because of what he said were security reasons. “I lot of people got called back” overseas, he said, adding that his unit already was scheduled for deployment as early as two weeks ago.
The U.S. special forces operation that killed bin Laden took place Sunday at a mansion in Abbottabad, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
Lamont, who's been in the service for 17 years, called into Atlanta radio station WVEE-FM (V-103) on Monday morning to voice support for U.S. troops. "I didn't call for the glorification for ourselves," he told CNN. "We don’t do this for the praise, but I wanted to do this for other servicemen."
Lamont said while Americans celebrated the death of bin Laden, it was a time of vigilance for elite military units. “It’s a joyous time, don’t get me wrong, but we also have to look for what’s to come. It's not over."
Referring to the al Qaeda terrorist network, Lamont said, "You've got people who are trying to prove themselves and it’ll come down to, 'We want to avenge his death,' which is something (bin Laden) most definitely taught them."
Anti-terror experts agreed Monday, saying the demise of bin Laden doesn't necessarily reduce the terrorist threat.
"Al Qaeda is weakened. But it doesn't mean that the United States has no challenges," Steven L. Spiegel, director for the Center for Middle East Development at the University of California, Los Angeles, said Monday.
[Updated at 10:29 a.m. ET] The following is reaction from politicians and others around the world to Sunday night's news that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid involving the U.S. military on a compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan:
Iran Foreign Ministry: The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the death of Osama bin Laden will put an end to war and the killing of innocent people and restore peace to their region, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. The IRNA website reports Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that foreign countries now have no excuse for military buildup in the region to fight terrorism."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: The death of Osama bin Laden sends a message to the Taliban in Afghanistan that "you cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon al Qaeda" and participate in a peaceful political process. Bin Laden's death comes at a time of "great movements toward freedom and democracy" in the Middle East and elsewhere, she said. "There is no better rebuke to al Qaeda and its heinous ideology," she said. "The fight continues and we will never waiver." Some doubted bin Laden would ever be caught, she said, but "this is America. ... We persevere, and we get the job done."
CIA Director Leon Panetta: Today, we have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time. A US strike team stormed a compound in Abottabad, Pakistan and killed Usama Bin Ladin. Thankfully, no Americans were lost, and every effort was taken to avoid civilian casualties. Nothing will ever compensate for the pain and suffering inflicted by this mass murderer and his henchmen. But just as evil never rests, neither does good. May the fact that Usama Bin Ladin no longer inhabits the earth be a source of comfort for the thousands of families, here in America and around the globe, who mourn the victims of al-Qa'ida's barbarity. Within our Agency family, our thoughts turn to those who died fighting to make this day possible. Our brothers and sisters who gave their lives in the war against al-Qa'ida—from Mike Spann to our heroes at Khowst—are with us, in memory and spirit, at this joyful moment. In all that we do, they are our constant inspiration. My deepest thanks and congratulations go out to the officers of our CounterTerrorism Center and Office of South Asia Analysis for their outstanding expertise, amazing creativity, and excellent tradecraft. I also extend my profound appreciation and absolute respect to the strike team, whose great skill and courage brought our nation this historic triumph. The raid was the culmination of intense and tireless effort on the part of many dedicated Agency officers over many years. Our men and women designed highly complex, innovative, and forward-leaning clandestine operations that led us to Bin Ladin. One operation would yield intelligence that was carefully analyzed and then used to drive further operations. Along with our partners at NGA, NSA, and ODNI, we applied the full range of our capabilities, collecting intelligence through both human and technical means and subjecting it to the most rigorous analysis by our government's leading experts on Bin Ladin and his organization. Persistent hard work produced the results that the American people expect of their intelligence service: We gave President Obama and his team accurate, relevant, timely intelligence—providing the information and insight they needed at key points as this mission developed. I offered my personal thanks to the President for his willingness to make the courageous decision to proceed with the operation. Though Bin Ladin is dead, al-Qa'ida is not. The terrorists almost certainly will attempt to avenge him, and we must—and will—remain vigilant and resolute. But we have struck a heavy blow against the enemy. The only leader they have ever known, whose hateful vision gave rise to their atrocities, is no more. The supposedly uncatchable one has been caught and killed. And we will not rest until every last one of them has been delivered to justice. Remember how you felt in the anxious hours after the attacks of September 11th , and how our Agency vowed to run to ground a vicious foe. Whether you were here at the time or were inspired to serve at CIA in the months and years that followed, take heart in knowing that our Agency is doing its essential job for the American people, and for all humanity. A promise has been kept. And a war will be won. God bless the United States of America.
Mexico Ministry of Foreign Relation: The Government of Mexico reiterates its deep conviction that terrorism is a criminal activity that must be fought decisively by the international community because it represents a serious threat to global peace and stability and causes many innocent lives to be lost. That's why the Government of Mexico recognizes the efforts carried out by the Government of the United States to fight against and capture Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. These efforts have resulted in his defeat and death during an operation by U.S. armed forces in Pakistan. This is an act of great significance in the efforts to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism which threatens peace and international security, in particular the one practiced by one of the most cruel and bloody terrorist organizations which has acted against the civilian population and which has caused the loss of many innocent lives, including Mexican citizens in the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney: "The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American forces is a victory for the United States and a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission. Their tireless work since 9/11 has made this achievement possible, and enabled us to capture or kill thousands of al Qaeda terrorists and many of their leaders. I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team. At this moment when bin Laden has been brought to justice, we especially remember the sacrifice of the young Americans who've paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation, as well as the nearly 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9/11. Al Qaeda remains a dangerous enemy. Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on. We must remain vigilant, especially now, and we must continue to support our men and women in uniform who are fighting on the front lines of this war every day. Today, the message our forces have sent is clear - if you attack the United States, we will find you and bring you to justice."
Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh: "I welcome it as a significant step forward and hope that it will deal a decisive blow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The international community and Pakistan in particular must work comprehensively to end the activities of all such groups who threaten civilized behavior and kill innocent men, women and children."
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper: In my nearly 50 years in intelligence, never have I seen a more remarkable example of focused integration, seamless collaboration, and sheer professional magnificence as was demonstrated by the Intelligence Community in the ultimate demise of Osama bin Laden. The careful, diligent work of CIA, NGA, and NSA was simply incredible. It is with great pride and admiration that I offer thanks to all of the dedicated men and women of our community who worked so tirelessly in this achievement. I want to thank the President for his cool, decisive leadership. The Intelligence Community will never waver in our continued commitment to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh: The government of Iraq supports international efforts to combat terrorism. The Iraqi government is feeling greatly relieved with the success of U.S. forces over the killing of the leader of al-Qaeda (Osama bin Laden) during a military operation carried out in its efforts to combat terrorism. The crimes committed by al-Qaeda terror organization, that Iraqi people and other peaceful nations have suffered from, represents a major threats to the safety and security of the international community. Iraq stresses its support of any international effort to eradicate the poles of blind extremism and terror elements who terrorized safe communities with their crimes.
Esam El Erian, Muslim Brotherhood official spokesman: We see that Osama's death especially after the revolutions in the region, as a new beginning for a normal relationship with the United States in the Middle East so that the US can finalize the peace treaty and recognize Palestine as an independent nation, allow the return of Palestinians to their land, withdraw of US forces from the region and start a new relation with the Arabs. We would like to put behind us the old image portrayed by the 9/11 attacks which has mixed politics, religion and media.
Statement on Saudi Press Agency: "An official source has expressed the hope of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the extermination of the terrorist head of Al Qaeda is a step towards the reinforcing of the international efforts to combat terror and breaking up its cells. And the extinguishing of the misleading school of thought it rests on. "
Former President George W. Bush: "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 U.S. President Bill Clinton: "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 Qaeda attacks."
British Prime Minister David Cameron: "The news that Osama bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world. Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen - for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives, many of them British. It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror. This is a time to remember all those murdered by Osama bin Laden, and all those who lost loved ones. It is also a time too to thank all those who work round the clock to keep us safe from terrorism. Their work will continue. I congratulate President Obama and those responsible for carrying out this operation."
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.FULL STORY