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The Final Chapter in the Hunt for Bin Ladin

"The president gave us a mission and we delivered on it. This success is a testament I think to our great skill, great creativity, and perseverance, and really the courage of hundreds of Agency officers over the last nearly 10 years. You never lost focus. You never lost determination. You never lost faith that we would ultimately tighten the net around Bin Ladin and ultimately rid the world of the most infamous terrorist in our time."

—CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, May 2, 2011

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D/CIA Panetta in Command Center Mini.jpgAl-Qa'ida leader Usama Bin Ladin was killed when a U.S. strike team stormed his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the early hours of May 2nd. The operation was executed at the direction of  President Obama and under the authority of CIA Director Leon E. Panetta. The raid was the culmination of many years of complex, thorough and highly advanced intelligence operations and analysis led by the CIA with support from partners across the Intelligence Community.

This page offers a sampling of Director Panetta's remarks on the operation, key images, and comments from the public.

"Since the elimination of Usama Bin Ladin, there have been a countless amount of interviews with everyone in the administration that was involved, but by far the best one that I have seen was conducted by Brian Williams and Director Panetta. He was straight forward and a true professional. He gave credit to everyone that was involved from the very beginning since 9/11 no just to the present administration."


"Thank you for your hard work, perseverance and dedication to our country on a job well done. I was a survivor of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and lost dear friends that day. I will never forget walking over burning debris and body parts on my way to the New York Waterway and catching the last ferry to the New Jersey side before the second plane hit. ... I cannot express my gratitude and pride to all of you working at the Agency - from the bottom of my heart and the hearts of the families of the victims that day, thank you all."


"Congratulations, Director Panetta. I wish I could shake your hand today and tell you the amount of pride I am feeling for my country, the Intelligence Community and our military. I was proud to grow up a military brat and prouder to have worn the uniform ... today that pride is even greater."

Posted: May 05, 2011 10:21 AM
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2013 11:06 AM