Here is the video clip of Barack Obama's Speech on the Death
of Bin Laden. Scroll down for full text transcript.
It follows the full text transcript of
Barack Obama's address to the Nation on the
death of Osama Bin Laden, delivered in the East Room of the
White House, at
Washington D.C. - May 1, 2011.
Tonight, 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’s
responsible for the murder of thousands of
innocent men, women, and children.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright
September day was darkened by the worst attack
on the American people in our history. The
images of 9/11 are seared into our national
memory -- hijacked planes cutting through a
cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers
collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing
up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93
in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions
of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak
And yet we know that the worst images are those
that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at
the dinner table. Children who were forced to
grow up without their mother or their father.
Parents who would never know the feeling of
their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens
taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the
American people came together. We offered our
neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our
blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and
our love of community and country. On that day,
no matter where we came from, what God we prayed
to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were
united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect
our nation and to bring those who committed this
vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned
that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al
Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin
Laden, which had openly declared war on the
United States and was committed to killing
innocents in our country and around the globe.
And so we went to war against al Qaeda to
protect our citizens, our friends, and our
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless
and heroic work of our military and our
counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great
strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted
terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland
defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban
government, which had given bin Laden and al
Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the
globe, we worked with our friends and allies to
capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists,
including several who were a part of the 9/11
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped
across the Afghan border into Pakistan.
Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from
along that border and operate through its
affiliates across the world.
And so shortly after taking office, I directed
Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make
the killing or capture of bin Laden the top
priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we
continued our broader efforts to disrupt,
dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking
work by our intelligence community, I was
briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was
far from certain, and it took many months to run
this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my
national security team as we developed more
information about the possibility that we had
located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep
inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I
determined that we had enough intelligence to
take action, and authorized an operation to get
Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States
launched a targeted operation against that
compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team
of Americans carried out the operation with
extraordinary courage and capability. No
Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid
civilian casualties. After a firefight, they
killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al
Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to
plot attacks against our country and our friends
and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the
most significant achievement to date in our
nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our
effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will
continue to pursue attacks against us. We must
–- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United
States is not –- and never will be -– at war
with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President
Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not
against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim
leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.
Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of
Muslims in many countries, including our own. So
his demise should be welcomed by all who believe
in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that
we would take action within Pakistan if we knew
where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done.
But it’s important to note that our
counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan
helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound
where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had
declared war against Pakistan as well, and
ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team
has also spoken with their Pakistani
counterparts. They agree that this is a good and
historic day for both of our nations. And going
forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue
to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its
The American people did not choose this fight.
It came to our shores, and started with the
senseless slaughter of our citizens. After
nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and
sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These
efforts weigh on me every time I, as
Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a
family that has lost a loved one, or look into
the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as
a country, we will never tolerate our security
being threatened, nor stand idly by when our
people have been killed. We will be relentless
in defense of our citizens and our friends and
allies. We will be true to the values that make
us who we are. And on nights like this one, we
can say to those families who have lost loved
ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless
intelligence and counterterrorism professionals
who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this
outcome. The American people do not see their
work, nor know their names. But tonight, they
feel the satisfaction of their work and the
result of their pursuit of justice.
We give thanks for the men who carried out this
operation, for they exemplify the
professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled
courage of those who serve our country. And they
are part of a generation that has borne the
heaviest share of the burden since that
Finally, let me say to the families who lost
loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten
your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see
that we do whatever it takes to prevent another
attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of
unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it
has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement
is a testament to the greatness of our country
and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not
complete. But tonight, we are once again
reminded that America can do whatever we set our
mind to. That is the story of our history,
whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our
people, or the struggle for equality for all our
citizens; our commitment to stand up for our
values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the
world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not
just because of wealth or power, but because of
who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.
May God bless you.
And may God bless the United States of America.