Front pages around the world reported the news. At the Newseum in Washington, D.C., many were on display today.
Front pages around the world reported the news. At the Newseum in Washington, D.C., many were on display today. Jacquelyn Martin/AP
It's been less than 24 hours since President Obama delivered the dramatic news that al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden is dead — killed by U.S. forces during a raid on a compound n Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday (early Monday, local time).
In the hours since that stunning announcement, we've learned a lot about the mission, codenamed Geronimo, and the intelligence operation that led to the demise of the most wanted man in the world.
Here are some links to stories and audio reports if you're looking to catch up on the news:
— On All Things Considered, NPR's Rachel Martin and Tom Bowman reported about how, as Rachel says, "four years ago everything changed." That's when U.S. intelligence officials first got wind of the identity of one of bin Laden's most trusted aides — a courier who they eventually would track to the compound where bin Laden was living.
Then Sunday, Tom says, Navy Seals and CIA operatives in helicopters "swept in from a base across the border in Afghanistan." For most of the 40 minutes or so they were on the ground, a firefight was reportedly underway.
— Obama administration officials said today that the U.S. was prepared to take bin Laden alive, NPR writes. John Brennan, President Obama's top terrorism adviser, said that while the possibility of capturing bin Laden alive was considered remote before the assault, "if we'd had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have." But, Brennan told reporters, bin Laden and his associates in the compound resisted.
— The al-Qaida leader was identified, NPR's Bowman says, by three ways. A woman who was at the compound told the U.S. team that the man was bin Laden. The U.S. personnel checked him against photos they had brought with them. And, later, DNA testing was "a 100% match," Tom says.
— Senior Obama administration officials said late this afternoon that bin Laden was not only shot in the head, but also in the chest. And, they said, it's no longer clear that a woman killed during the operation was being used as a human shield by bin Laden or one of the three other men who were killed. She may have been caught in crossfire, officials now say. They also report that bin Laden did not fire a weapon at the U.S. team.
— ABC News obtained what's believed to be the first video taken inside the compound where bin Laden was found and killed.
— Bin Laden, as we reported very early this morning, was later buried at sea. American officials say his body was prepared and a service was conducted according to Islamic traditions.
— Much of the focus is now shifting to how bin Laden was apparently able to live in a large compound in a city that's home to Pakistani military bases and many retired Pakistan officers. Brennan, the president's national security aide, told reporters today that it's inconceivable that bin Laden did not have some sort of local support.
CBS News reports that "counterterrorism officials told [correspondent Lara] Logan that there is no way the Pakistanis didn't know" bin Laden was there. "And that's the question they're going to have to answer," Logan said. "Because, you know, until recently the Pakistanis were even denying that Osama bin Laden was on their soil. And that appears now to have been a lie."
From Abbottabad, NPR's Julie McCarthy reported on All Things Considered that some people there believe the Pakistani military must have known bin Laden was there. Others, she said, "are too afraid to answer" when asked about whether authorities knew the al-Qaida founder was in the city.
— Tonight, President Obama told a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House that he hopes the sense of unity inspired by the news of bin Laden's death draws Republicans and Democrats closer together and leads to progress on the many challenges facing the nation.