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Bush, Others Hail Bin Laden's Death

From around the nation and around the world, leaders are reacting to the news that an American assault team killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday. We'll add to this post as more statements come in:

-- Former President George W. Bush: "Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida 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."

-- House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al-Qaida 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."

-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I): "The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation — and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation. ... New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001." (Added at 4:15 a.m. ET, May 2.)

-- Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

"The death of Osama bin Laden marks a long-awaited end to the work of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks. No one who remembers the horror of that day can help but feel relieved that Osama bin Laden is dead. This is a great victory in the War on Terror and for all who have worked so tirelessly over the years to thwart the monstrous designs of this madman and his disciples.

"On September 11, 2001, America came together and vowed that we would never forget the memory of those whose lives were lost on that terrible day. Tonight's announcement shows that we have made good on that pledge. It is proof that no matter how difficult or how long it takes, our military, intelligence forces and law enforcement officials will never stop until the job is done. America celebrates tonight, and is grateful for the heroic efforts of the many men and women around the world who have fought and who are still fighting to protect the world from terrorism. Though they may never make the headlines, we are ever mindful of their many sacrifices. This war on terror continues, but we can be happy tonight that with the death of Osama bin Laden, the world is a better place."

-- British Prime Minister David Cameron: "The news that Osama bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world." (Added at 1:16 a.m. ET.)

-- Former President Bill Clinton:"This is a profoundly important moment not just for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in al-Qaida's other attacks but for people all over the world who want to build a common future of peace, freedom, and cooperation for our children.

"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." (Added at 1:15 a.m. ET.)

-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai: Reuters reports that "Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on the Taliban on Monday to refrain from fighting after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and said the Taliban must learn a lesson from his death. Karzai described the killing of bin Laden by U.S. special forces north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad as 'important news.' "

"The Taliban must learn a lesson from this. The Taliban should refrain from fighting," Karzai told a nationally televised news conference. (Added at 3:15 a.m. ET, May 2.)

-- 2008 Republican president nominee Sen. John McCain (AZ): "I am overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist. \The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it. I hope the families of the victims of the September 11 th attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done. I commend the President and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement.

"But while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them." (Added at 3 a.m. ET, May 2.)

-- 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin: "Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring Bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.

"This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda's other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.

"May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!" (Added at 3:30 a.m. ET .)

-- Rep. Peter King (R-NY):A frequent critic of the Obama administration on issues related to the war on terror, King just said on CNN that the president deserves credit for the success of the operation. If it had failed, King said, the president would have been blamed. It's only right then, said King, that the president and his team get credit for the success. (Added at 1:10 a.m. ET.)

-- The Palestinian Authority: The Associated Press reports that "the Western-backed Palestinian Authority said on Monday the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces was 'good for the cause of peace.' "

"Getting rid of bin Laden is good for the cause of peace worldwide but what counts is to overcome the discourse and the methods — the violent methods — that were created and encouraged by Bin Laden and others in the world," PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib said. (Added at 3 a.m. ET, May 2.)

[Note: NPR follows Associated Press style on the spelling of al-Qaida. Others use different spellings.]

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.