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Osama Bin Laden Is Dead

Osama bin Laden is dead, reports CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and several other news agencies. The U.S. government has the Al-Qaeda leader's body, which was recovered in a mansion outside of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

President Obama, in an address to the country, said he ordered the attack on the compound last week on a lead that dated back to August. No Americans were harmed during the attack which was carried out today. After a firefight, bin Laden was killed by U.S. agents who flew in on helicopters. Obama said it's important to note that Pakistani intelligence officials aided the U.S. "Justice has been done... May God bless the United States of America," said the president. Stay with us for updates throughout the night.


3:10 a.m. Headline News reports that bin Laden's body has already been buried at sea, a fact that could fuel speculation by conspiracy theorists demanding physical evidence of the killed terrorist. Still, with Reuters reporting that the U.S. is currently conducting DNA tests on bin Laden, it would seem that some physical remains of bin Laden's body are still in the U.S. government's possession.

2:35 a.m. The U.S. is conducting DNA tests on bin Laden's body and is using facial recognition techniques, reports Reuters.

Results of the DNA tests should be available in the next few days, the official told Reuters.

The strike force was on the ground for less than 40 minutes and the operation was watched real-time by CIA Director Leon Panetta and other intelligence officials in a conference room at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the official said.

"When word came in that the operation was a success, CIA officials in the conference room had a rather large applause," the official said.


2:28 a.m. The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal captured video of the celebrations at the White House and Alan Taylor has more photos from across the country.

1:50 a.m. ABC News has more details on the attack, which was carried out by Navy Seals: 

According to U.S. officials, two U.S. helicopters swept into the compound at 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Twenty to 25 U.S. Navy Seals under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command in cooperation with the CIA stormed the compound and engaged Bin Laden and his men in a firefight, killed Bin Laden and all those with him.

Two Bin Laden couriers were killed, as was one of Osama Bin Laden's son, as was a woman reportedly used as a shield by one of the men. Other women and children were present in the compound, according to Pakistani officials, but were not harmed. U.S. officials said that Bin Laden himself did fire his weapon during the fight.

One of the U.S. helicopters was damaged but not destroyed during the operation, and U.S. forces elected to destroy it themselves with explosives.

The report also has more details on the "multimillion dollar" mansion bin Laden was found in. It had seven-foot tall walls and was eight times larges than neighboring houses. It had no phone or television service and the occupants burned their trash. The U.S. government is "ensuring [bin Laden's body] is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. It's something we take seriously and therefore it's being handled in an appropriate manner."


1:22 a.m. CNN reports that bin Laden was shot in the head

1:11 a.m. In photos, Americans gather to mark bin Laden's death.

12:30 a.m. The mansion where bin Laden was killed, in Abbottabad, Pakistan (about 40 miles from Islamabad) has already been mapped on Google Maps (we can't confirm its accuracy):

Reprinted with permission from Atlantic Wire. The original story can be found here.

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