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Live Blog: Osama bin Laden is Dead

*UNCATEGORIZED*

9:11 p.m. -- Glenn Beck reacts to news of bin Laden's death

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8:54 p.m. -- Why proper burial for bin Laden?

According to news reports, 22 people were either "killed or captured" during Sunday's raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan. We've heard that the U.S. military went to great lengths to give bin Laden a "proper" Muslim burial, including washing his body and giving him his last rights of sorts.

There hasn't been mention, however, of what happened to the bodies of the other bin Laden insurgents who were killed in the firefight. If we had to go to such lengths to bury bin Laden (who President Obama says is not a real Muslim) according to Muslim traditions, I can't help but wonder why we didn't have to do the same for the others. I'm certainly not saying we should have, but it makes me wonder why we did it for America's #1 enemy in the first place.

Also, to correct the record -- the president's top counterterrorism official apparently misspoke earlier today when he said Osama bin Laden had used one of his wives as a "human shield" against the barrage of bullets from U.S. Special Forces during the raid. According to Reuters, the White House later confirmed that bin Laden's wife was injured but not killed in the assault.

Fox News' Bret Baier reports that bin Laden was apparently not carrying a weapon when he was killed.  Also, the woman that was reportedly used as a human shield was caught in a crossfire in another room.  Bin Laden was shot two times, once in the chest and then in the head.

8:29 p.m. -- Rep. King credits waterboarding in death of OBL

During an interview this evening with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., pointed to the Bush administration's support of enhanced interrogation (waterboarding) of suspected terrorists such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM). It was information obtained in this interrogation process which tipped off U.S. intelligence on bin Laden's trail.

7:57 p.m. -- Barney Frank accuses Eric Cantor of politicizing bin Laden's death

Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, praised President Obama who "followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice."

"For Eric Cantor to phrase it that way, to say [Obama] followed the vigilance of President Bush is a degree of key partisanship that exceeded what I even expected from Cantor. That’s just sad," Frank told the liberal blog site Think Progress.

Frank's comments seem more off base than Cantor's since it has been confirmed that information obtained from KSM tipped the CIA onto bin Laden's trail -- information that was likely drawn out through waterboarding during KSM's detention in Europe. It's this waterboarding interrogation that enabled us to track down bin Laden and to ultimately kill him. This was a policy the Bush administration stood by and many politicians -- including Frank and Obama -- vehemently opposed.

Watch:

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7:42 p.m.

Video of Osama bin Laden's sea burial will reportedly be released, ABC News reports.

Intel score: Politico reports that Navy SEALs recovered computer drives and disks during their raid on bin Laden’s compound, yielding “the mother lode of intelligence.”

The White House says President Obama will visit Ground Zero on Thursday. Additionally, Obama has received congratulatory messages from a number of world leaders, including Calderon, Cameron, Merkel, Netanyahu and Pinera.

In other news, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan remains crazy as ever.

7:12 p.m.

Hot Air has compiled a collection "shameless and stupid" reactions to bin Laden's death from many on the liberal left.

Also, U.S. officials suspect bin Laden recorded one of his infamous propaganda tapes shortly before his death and expect it to surface any day now.

4:11 p.m. -- TIME has unveiled its latest cover...

And it's beeeeautiful:

Liberals are itching to withdrawal from Afghanistan

3:05 p.m. -- Pro-Osama bin Laden graffiti pops up in California

From the OC Register:

[I]n Westminster, a seemingly pro-bin Laden 50-foot long graffiti was painted along the I-405 that said: "Osama Forever." An upside down American flag was drawn with black spray paint in the middle of the message, and Caltrans crews were called out quickly to remove it.

California Highway Patrol officer Denise Quesada said several commuters reported the graffiti.

Continue reading...

2:48 p.m. -- Chinese media repeats false report claiming Pakistani officials killed bin Laden, not U.S.:

At about 1:20 a.m. local time a Pakistani helicopter was shot down by unknown people in the Sikandarabad area of Abbotabad. The Pakistani forces launched a search operation in the nearby area and encountered with a group of unknown armed people. A fire exchange followed between the two sides.

When the fire exchange ended, the Pakistani forces arrested some Arab women and kids as well some other armed people who later confessed to the Pakistani forces they were with Osama Bin laden when the fire was exchanged and Bin Laden was killed in the firing.

2:45 p.m. -- Was Pakistan helping bin Laden?

According to documents published by WikiLeaks, American diplomats were told that one of the main reasons why the U.S. had failed to find bin Laden for so long was that Pakistan’s security services tipped the al-Qaeda leader off whenever US troops approached, the UK Telegraph reports.

The leaked government files also suggest that Pakistan's national intelligence service helped smuggle known terrorists through airport security checkpoints to help them avoid capture as they traveled to Afghanistan to aid the Taliban.

According to a US diplomatic dispatch, General Abdullo Sadulloevich Nazarov, a senior Tajik counterterrorism official, told the Americans that “many” inside Pakistan knew where bin Laden was.

The document stated: “In Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden wasn’t an invisible man, and many knew his whereabouts in North Waziristan, but whenever security forces attempted a raid on his hideouts, the enemy received warning of their approach from sources in the security forces.”

2:28 p.m.

Another celebratory Obama tee-shirt spotted in Washington, D.C.: "It took Obama to catch Osama"

2:18 p.m.

Glenn Beck reacts to news of bin Laden's death

1:50 p.m. -- You had to know this was coming

(Warning: video contains animated violence)

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1:42 p.m. -- Obama praises military for bin Laden operation

Here's video from today's Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/Bnn_nv0u-Ck?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]

Obama looking particularly presidential -- I expect him to get a pretty good bump in approval ratings this week.

While the U.S. celebrated, hundreds of Pakistanis gathered today to mourn for bin Laden:

QUETTA, Pakistan (AFP) — Hundreds took to the streets of Pakistan's city of Quetta on Monday to pay homage to Osama bin Laden, chanting death to America and setting fire to a US flag, witnesses and organisers said.

Angry participants belonging to a religious party in Quetta, the capital of southwestern province Baluchistan, were led by federal lawmaker Maulawi Asmatullah. They also torched a US flag before dispersing peacefully.

It was the first rally in Pakistan after the United States announced that bin Laden had been killed in an overnight commando mission in Pakistan.  Organisers said between 1,000 and 1,200 people attended the rally, but witnesses put the figure closer to 800.

"Bin Laden was the hero of the Muslim world and after his martyrdom he has won the title of great mujahed (Muslim fighter)," Asmatullah said.

"His martyrdom will not end the movement. It will continue and thousands more bin Ladens will be born," he said.

Following the news of bin Laden's death, liberal filmmaker Michael Moore had unsurprisingly ridiculous reactions:

1:28 p.m. -- Pakistan: Friend or foe?

Hmmm: ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that the Pakistani military scrambled to get fighter jets in the air in hopes of intercepting the American Special Ops helicopters operating to take out bin Laden.  Fortunately, the U.S. forces extracted bin Laden's body and were safe across the border in Afghanistan before any engagement with the Pakistani military.

This doesn't sound like cooperation...

Neither does this:

“American troops coming across the border and taking action in one of our towns, that is Abbottabad, is not acceptable to the people of Pakistan. It is a violation of our sovereignty,” Mr. Musharraf told CNN-IBN, an Indian news channel. ...

Mr. Musharraf said the "lack of trust is very bad."

"If two organizations [are] conducting an operation against a common enemy, there has to be trust and confidence in each other," he said.

In other news, the stock market has surged following the news of bin Laden's death.  Is it fair to say that a strong America instills economic confidence?  I think so.

1:08 p.m.

For U.S. soldiers battling in Afghanistan, little changes in light of bin Laden's demise.

There's a graphic image being circulated around the internet, purporting to be that of a dead bin Laden.  The UK's Telegraph debunks the fake -- click here to see how.

Also: why did we bury bin Laden at sea?  According to the New York Times, the U.S. offered the al-Qaeda leader's remains to Saudi Arabia, but they declined.  After finding no other country willing to take the body, preparations began for a burial at sea:

According to Reuters, a defense official said the body was washed, covered in a white sheet and then placed in a weighted bag before "a military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body eased into the sea."

But the acceptability of a sea burial for Bin Laden was the source of debate among Muslim clerics and scholars Monday morning. Such burials are generally not permitted except in cases of death aboard a ship.

12:56 p.m.

Just 12 hours after announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama declared that “this is a good day for America.”

“The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden,” he said at the White House. “Today we are reminded that as a nation, there's nothing we can't do when we put our shoulders to the wheel, when we work together. And we remember the sense of unity that defines us as Americans.”

12:46 p.m. -- Was bin Laden compound actually Pakistani government property?

via The New Yorker:

[Abbotobad] is most notable for housing the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistan Army’s premier training college, equivalent to West Point. Looking at maps and satellite photos on the Web last night, I saw the wide expanse of the Academy not far from where the million-dollar, heavily secured mansion where bin Laden lived was constructed in 2005. The maps I looked at had sections of land nearby marked off as “restricted area,” indicating that it was under military control. It stretches credulity to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without it coming to the attention of anyone in Pakistan’s Army.

The initial circumstantial evidence suggests the opposite is more likely—that bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control. Pakistan will deny this, it seems safe to predict, and perhaps no convincing evidence will ever surface to prove the case. If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, however, I would be tempted to call a grand jury. Who owned the land on which the house was constructed? How was the land acquired, and from whom? Who designed the house, which seems to have been purpose-built to secure bin Laden? Who was the general contractor? Who installed the security systems? Who worked there? Are there witnesses who will now testify as to who visited the house, how often, and for what purpose? These questions are not relevant only to the full realization of justice for the victims of September 11th. They are also relevant to the victims of terrorist attacks conducted or inspired by bin Laden while he lived in the house, and these include many Pakistanis as well as Afghans, Indians, Jordanians, and Britons. They are rightly subjects of American criminal law.

12:31 p.m.

Sen. Lyndsey Graham is also questioning the decision to immediately dispose of OBL's body:

"To me, that didn't make a lot of sense," Graham said during an interview with conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is urging Americans to stay vigilant, but not issuing any new terror alerts or warnings.

What does bin Laden's death mean for the future of al-Qaeda? National Journal's Michael Hirsh writes:

Is the "long war" against terrorism really over? Undoubtedly, the death of a leader who had attained nearly mythological stature over the past two decades is a great symbolic victory for the United States and its allies. But many intelligence experts believe it has been some time since bin Laden had been directly in control of al-Qaida operations. Reliable reports in 2007 indicated that there was even a split between bin Laden and his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and that the latter was running operations.

In subsequent years, al-Qaida has become a far less centralized movement. It has relied on freelance radicals who had become deft at using the Internet, among them Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric who is believed to be hiding in Yemen. ...

“I was disturbed to hear people say al-Qaida was finished. That’s a lot of bunk. The movement goes on,” says [John Arquilla, an intelligence expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.]. “al-Qaida has lost a leader and gained a martyr. How does that cut in terms of recruitment and in terms of the narrative?”

12:13 p.m.

CNN dropped the ball in reporting news of bin Laden's death

A bomb explosion in a Pakistan mosque has killed three people -- not yet clear whether bombing is linked to death of bin Laden

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is unloading heaps of praise on President Obama for "continuing the policies of George W. Bush..."

11:45 a.m. -- Bin Laden's death has the internet buzzing.

The Smoking Gun offers several thousand reasons why the free world is celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden with the photos of the men, women and children killed on 9/11 (click here to expand):

11:37 a.m. -- AP: Former President George W. Bush praised at his Dallas home

Flag-waving supporters of former President George W. Bush have left flowers and patriotic balloons outside his Dallas home after the U.S. strike that killed Osama bin Laden.  Bush, who was home Sunday night, released a statement saying he congratulated President Barack Obama after hearing of bin Laden’s death and praised U.S. military personnel.

About a dozen backers of Bush, who was in power during the September 2001 terrorist attacks, gathered outside the gate leading to his residence until early Monday as thunderstorms reached the

area.

Some displayed U.S. flags. A sign said: “Thank you President Bush.”

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has released the following statement:

The man who once called the United States “a paper tiger” and issued a fatwa to “kill all Americans” believed that our nation would not strike back if provoked.  Today that man, responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans on September 11th, Osama bin Laden, is dead.  It is an achievement of which our country can be proud.

Credit belongs to the courageous special operators who executed the mission.  As America awoke to celebration this morning, these professionals quietly went about their work, for they know as well as any that this fight is not over.  Recognition should also go to the intelligence professionals who have worked tirelessly over the past decade to collect information on al Qaeda.  Initial reports indicate that intelligence efforts at Guantanamo Bay may have played an essential role in this success.

All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue. This is an important victory in the fight against Islamist terrorism, but the struggle will go on.  We must not have any illusions that it ends today or that America can afford to let down its guard tomorrow.

11:23 a.m. -- Why did the U.S. act alone?

While I'm sure more will come to light in the coming days about why the U.S. acted without Pakistan's blessing, the Daily Beast's Christopher Dickey writes:

Going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against Al Qaeda and its affiliates,” said Obama. But for its own geopolitical—and purely political—reasons Pakistan is likely to continue being as much part of the problem as part of the solution. At least after the Abbottabad shootout, it’s clear the administration isn’t kidding itself. When it got a shot at Bin Laden, it took it. No dithering. No dilatory diplomacy. Secrecy was maintained. The Pakistanis were cut out. And justice was done.

Also, it's sounding like the testimony of Gitmo detainees played a pivotal role in taking down the al-Qaeda leader:

In September 2010, the CIA presented Obama with a set of assessments that indicated bin Laden could be hiding in a compound in northwest Pakistan. Starting in mid-March, the president convened at least nine National Security Council meetings to discuss the intelligence suggesting bin Laden may be hiding out virtually in plain sight.

The CIA developed their theory through leads from individuals in bin Laden’s inner circle and other captured fighters following Sept. 11. Intelligence officials were repeatedly told about one courier working for bin Laden, as someone that America’s Most Wanted Man deeply trusted.

The detainees provided U.S. officials the courier’s nickname, and identified him as protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al Libbi, once al-Qaida’s third highest ranking official. (He was captured in 2005).

11:16 a.m. -- NBC animates Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden compound

DNA testing will likely confirm bin Laden's identity

11:03 a.m. -- In this official U.S. Army photo, American troops in Afghanistan take in the news of bin Laden's death:

10:51 a.m.

National Guard unit of Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., has been called up for duty in Afghanistan

ABC News' Jake Tapper: White House officials are debating whether to release photos of bin Laden's corpse:

The Obama administration has photographs of Osama bin Laden’s dead body and officials are debating what to do with them and whether they should be released to the public, officials tell ABC News. “There’s no doubt it’s him,” says a US official who has seen the pictures and also reminds us that OBL was 6’4”.

The argument for releasing them: to ensure that the public knows and can appreciate that he's dead. There is of course skepticism throughout the world that the US government claim that it killed bin Laden is true.

The argument against releasing the pictures: they’re gruesome. He has a massive head wound above his left eye where he took bullet, with brains and blood visible.

Meanwhile, many are predicting the White House will be forced to release the photo to try and dispel conspiracy rumors.

10:38 a.m.

Must read: Marc Ambinder looks at the secret team who killed bin Laden

Military officials feared "Black Hawk Down" scenario after SEAL helicopter crashed at Abbottabad compound

10:28 a.m.

"Obama got Osama" tee shirts already on sale in Washington, D.C. and online:

This tee shirt company has also put together this design, drawing on comedian Jeff Dunham's ventriloquist bit with "Ahmed, the dead terrorist":

10:23 a.m.

Report: U.S. Special Forces weren't sure if bin Laden was in Pakistan compound until they met him face-to-face.  Bloomberg reports:

While U.S. intelligence officers had concluded there was a “strong probability” bin Laden was living in the compound near the Pakistani capital Islamabad, all they could be positive about was that it was a high-value individual, unidentified officials said at a White House briefing. The military’s target was a specially built property in the city full of retired military 35 miles northeast of Islamabad.

The U.S. team was on site for just 40 minutes, and bin Laden was killed resisting the assault, an official said. Three other men, one of whom may have been one of bin Laden’s sons, were killed in the raid along with a woman used as a human shield. Two women were injured. No other civilians or U.S. personnel were injured, said the officials, who spoke on condition they wouldn’t be identified.

“We heard a loud explosion and then the sound of guns firing,” said Iqbal Alam Khan, 37, who works as a merchant in the town of Abbottabad where the assault took place. “It came from Bilal Town,” a property development of newly built villas and mansions about two miles from the center of Abbottabad, he said in a phone interview.

“We didn’t know the cause of the fighting and we didn’t go outside to see because it was the middle of the night,” Khan said.

9:50 a.m. -- CIA director Leon Panetta warns that al-Qaeda will "almost certainly" try to avenge bin Laden

9:38 a.m. -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is delivering remarks now, reacting to the death of Osama bin Laden. "I want to thank the brave men and women who have worked tirelessly to bring bin Laden to justice," she says.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has released the following statement (h/t Weekly Standard):

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 vigiliant, 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.

Former President Pervez Musharraf complains that the U.S. strike on bin Laden inside Pakistan violates national sovereignty.

9:23 a.m. -- "This was a kill operation."

The U.S. special forces team that hunted bin Laden was under orders to kill the terrorist mastermind -- not capture him -- a U.S. national security official tells Reuters.

The State Department has issued a travel warning for U.S. tourists traveling abroad:

Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

9:16 a.m.

Michael Yon sees bin Laden's burial at sea as a big mistake:

Major mistake. OBL was/is a powerful cult figure who has vanished with no "death certificate." His body should have been displayed. The only thing more powerful than a living cult leader is one who disappears off the face of the earth. Making his body disappear was a deadly blunder that plays straight into the hero myth...

9:00 a.m. -- Politicizing bin Laden's death

New DNC chief says Obama deserves credit for bin Laden's death

Dem congressman mocks Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment

2:00 a.m.

ABC News: bin Laden will be buried at sea

Raid that got bin Laden was culmination of years of work

This man live-tweeted the entire operation that killed bin Laden... without realizing it

Here's a fitting historical quote for the occasion: "You don't win wars by dying for your country. You let the other poor, dumb bastard die for his." -Gen. George S. Patton

1:55 a.m. -- Students at Penn State celebrate bin Laden's death

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin: bin Laden was asked to surrender before he was shot; about 40 Americans were involved in the operation.

1:36 a.m.

CNN is reporting that intelligence leading to bin Laden's hideout came from Gitmo detainees

Well said from Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Mich., who tweets:

Tonight, we do not revel over the death of the butcher. We rejoice in the triumph of justice.

Pakistani television is showing this footage of a building on fire, purportedly bin Laden's compound -- a sizable place from the looks of it:

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The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes of the political fallout of bin Laden's death: "The news that Osama bin Laden has been killed in a CIA operation will have a massive — although yet-to-be-fully determined — impact on the political landscape of the country."

1:32 a.m. -- Monday's NYTimes front page revealed:

1:27 a.m. -- MSNBC reporter accidentally tweets "Obama shot and killed"

Pakistani media is reporting that bin Laden's two wives and six children have been arrested. This report has not yet been confirmed by American officials.

1:14 a.m. -- Amazing photo

AP has raw footage of students descending on the White House following the news -- crowd turns into frat house-like party scene.  There's a bit of difference in atmosphere outside White House, where students are escaping final exams, and in New York, where people are gathering to reflect on the last decade:

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/nUrrFBnO_g0?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]

1:00 a.m.

Reuters: Israel's PM Netanyahu calls Osama bin Laden killing "resounding triumph for democratic nations fighting terrorism."

The U.S. State Department has issued a warning for employees about the "enhanced potential for anti-American violence."

Bin Laden wasn't the only terrorist busted recently in Pakistan.

12:55 p.m. -- Statement from House Speaker John Boehner

This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world. We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people. I want to congratulate -- and thank -- the hard-working men and women of our Armed Forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success. I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.

Earlier this evening, fans attending the Mets-Phillies game happily received the news of bin Laden's death:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/35pfllMiLag?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]

12:49 p.m. -- Bracing for possible retaliatory attacks, the protection condition at all U.S. bases and military installations around the world has reportedly been raised to "Bravo"

NBC's David Gregory tweets that the U.S. is "ensuring bin Laden's body is handled in accordance with Islamic tradition."

Fox News: It appears compound built about five years ago, specifically designed to protect bin Laden -- suggests the terror leader felt VERY comfortable living in that region of Pakistan.

12:40 p.m. -- Unrelated, but interesting

Because I'm a big history nerd, I can't help but point out this irony. Here's the New York Daily Record front page report, 66 years ago to the day:

12:34 p.m. -- Celebration erupts at Ground Zero in Manhattan:

(photo)

12:29 p.m. -- NRO's Daniel Foster has more details of the operation that took down bin Laden:

U.S. Joint Special Operations Command Special Mission Unit (SMU) from the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU — formerly known as Seal Team Six) did the shooting. There were other JSOC spotters on the ground, as well as two special operations helicopters and an unmanned drone overhead.

One of the special-ops helicopters reportedly suffered mechanical difficulties and crash landed onsite. It was destroyed by U.S. forces.

Bin Laden was killed along with two al Qaeda couriers and one of Bin Laden’s adult sons. A woman who was used as a human shield by one of the couriers was also reportedly killed. Several other women were wounded and are reportedly receiving treatment.

The compound was located in an affluent suburb 35 kilometers north of Islamabad and is being described as huge, with a central building many times larger than other houses in the area and ringed by a 12-15-foot tall security wall. The compound reportedly had no incoming or outgoing electronic communications.

12:27 p.m. -- Bin Laden's compound already on Google Maps:

12: 16 p.m. -- NY firefighters celebrate news of bin Laden's death in Times Square:

(photo)

Another look at White House crowd:

(photo)

Politico's Glenn Thrush tweets: "Choppers dropped SEAL team in, "surgical" strike took 40 mins no contact to w/ local authorities... lost one [helicopter] to 'mechanical failure'"

12:12 a.m. -- Messages of thanks pour in for former President George W. Bush. If there was ever a time for Democrats to "blame Bush," tonight would be it.

12:08 a.m. -- Bin Laden is dead, but radical Islamists' war on the west continues

It looks like the entire undergraduate campus of nearby George Washington University has descended on Pennsylvania Avenue, celebrating in front of the White House with loud cheering. The elated behavior of people celebrating bin Laden's death at the White House ironically mirrors radical Islamists' reactions to 9/11 attacks.

12:02 a.m. -- Statement from former President Bill Clinton:

"I congratulate the President, the National Security team & the members of our armed forces on bringing bin Laden to justice"

11:54 p.m. -- What does bin Laden's death mean for US policy in the Middle East? Questions may arrise over how the CIA was able to operate in Pakistan. Will this also put pressure on President Obama to end military operations in Afghanistan?

11:53 p.m. -- Glenn Beck's Czar at Large tweets: "Bin Laden's body is being flown to Trump for verification." Indeed, the announcement of bin Laden's death came in the middle of Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."

11:46 p.m. -- Obama concludes remarks

OBL not a "Muslim leader," Obama said, noting that the USA has not been at war with Islam. In fact, Bin Laden was a shia Muslim.

President Bush releases statement: "This momentous achievement marks a victory for America... Tonight America has sent an unmistakable message. No matter how long it takes, judgment will be done." In addition, Bush congratulated Obama and America's military, saying they have "our everlasting gratitude."

Obama reportedly phoned Bush earlier this evening to personally deliver the news.

11:44 p.m. -- People have gathered in celebration outside of the White House

photo: Kerry Picket

11:40 p.m. -- Obama alludes to "fire fight" in which bin Laden was killed

"Justice has been done."

Here is where it all went down

11:35 p.m. -- President Obama addresses the nation

Obama says "Tonight I can report .... that the US conducted an operation that killed Osama bin-Laden."

11:30 p.m. -- We're still waiting for President Obama to address the news that al-Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden has been killed, reportedly just outside Islamabad, Pakistan -- not in a cave, but in a mansion. There are also conflicted reports about whether the terrorist chief was killed in a U.S. air strike or was shot during an on-the-ground operation by an American "human asset."

Politicos will debate who should get credit for bin Laden's demise -- Bush or Obama -- but to me it's quite clear: the men and women who serve in American uniform, as well as the people manning U.S. national security and intelligence. Here's to you:

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