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President Obama confirms the death of Osama bin Laden

Late last night, President Obama announced to the nation that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a small team of American forces at a mansion in Pakistan.

Obama called Bin Laden "a terrorist who was responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children."

Update 7:14 a.m.

The Detroit Free Press reports on the celebrations from the Muslim and Arab-American community in metro Detroit upon hearing the news of Osama bin Laden's death:

"The world is definitely a better place without the patron of all terrorists," said Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, the largest mosque in a city that has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the U.S. Qazwini called bin Laden "the world's most infamous thug."

"It is so comforting to see justice being served while the families of the thousands of his victims rejoice," he said.

Ibrahim Aljahim, 29, of Detroit, said of bin Laden: "He never represented Muslims or anyone else."

..."As gratifying as it is to see this, we should continue to be on alert," said Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. "Executing the symbol of bin Laden does not execute the ideology (of extremism). It's a vital mistake to focus on the person and ignore the ideology."

12:09 am

NPR reports:

Osama bin Laden, who created the al-Qaida terrorist network that killed 3,000 people in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, is dead.

He was killed, President Obama announced to the nation late Sunday night, in Pakistan by U.S. forces. During a firefight with bin Laden's guards, which the president said happened earlier in the day, no American personnel were injured.

With the al-Qaida leader's death, a new and dramatic moment has occurred in a long struggle that has seen the U.S. go to war first in Afghanistan — where al-Qaida was based — and then in Iraq.

Michigan delegation reacts

Senator Debbie Stabenow tonight made the following statement regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.

“Osama bin Laden murdered thousands of Americans, yet evaded justice for years. Our country is united in gratitude to the brave men and women of our intelligence and counter terrorism community and our troops for their sacrifices in keeping us safe from terror,” Stabenow said.

Updated at 12:43 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan's 8th District), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today released a statement on the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

"This is a day we have all been waiting for, for far too long. The brave men and women of our military and intelligence agencies have shown the world once again the reach and determination of American Power. "We have brought to justice a terrorist with the blood of thousands of Americans on his hands, and brought justice to the families of his victims. "This closes a key chapter in the war on terror – it’s hard to imagine an end to Al Qaida without the death of Bin Laden. While we can all certainly celebrate this important victory, the fight will go on. We will not stop until Al Qaida has been eliminated."

Updated at 8:41 a.m.

U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan's 2nd District) released this statement on the Death of Bin Laden:

"Tonight's announcement from President Obama that Usama Bin Laden is dead at the hands of US Special Forces is tremendous. My heartfelt thanks goes out to our military and the intelligence community for their determination, sacrifice and valor. While this successful attack against the head of Al-Qaeda is historic, the War on Terror is not over. We must remain, and even redouble our vigilance in this battle against world terror."

U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Michigan's 10th District) today made the following statement regarding the death of Osama bin Laden:

“For the last ten years the United States of America has been on the trail of Osama bin Laden after he masterminded the attacks of September 11, 2001. Last night, we received confirmation that he has met a fitting end at the hands of the brave men and women of the United States military and intelligence services. Our terrorist enemies must understand that our great nation will never relent in our effort to bring to justice those who would perpetrate acts of murder against the innocent. Let the death of this terrorist mass murderer stand as a symbol of our collective resolve. This is tremendous news for our nation and the world."

Updated 10:25 a.m.:

U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell (D-Michigan's 15th District) released the following statement today on the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden:

“All Americans, and indeed all peace and freedom loving people, can take comfort in knowing that Osama Bin Laden is dead. The evil man who masterminded numerous attacks on innocent civilians has been brought to justice. The fact that his death came at the hand of U.S. forces is very fitting, and I hope that the families of the victims of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks can find some closure and comfort in knowing he is gone. “I celebrate the men and women in uniform who served our country and continue to serve. It is their bravery, proficiency, and sacrifices that made possible this step in the war against terrorism. I applaud our President and his team for continuing the aggressive and exhaustive pursuit of this terrorist, and ensuring that our nation’s number one national security objective – killing Bin Laden – was achieved. Osama Bin Laden’s death will not end the war on terror – far from it. As a nation, we must remain vigilant and steadfast as we continue to battle radicalism at home and abroad. But today we can all feel a little better knowing that the evil man behind the deaths of thousands of Americans is dead. It is a good day to be an American and celebrate our national pride.”

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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