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Local politicians react to death of Osama Bin Laden

Updated 2:15 p.m. May 2 with information from conference call with Sen. Blunt

From Senator Roy Blunt:

"Osama bin Laden's death is a major victory for America. This development is the culmination of the sacrifices and dedication from our brave troops and intelligence professionals. After nearly a decade, it also brings a great measure of justice and closure for all Americans who lost loved ones as a result of the brutal attacks against our nation on 9/11. While this does not mean the end of our fight against global terrorism, bin Laden's death is a major blow to al-Qaeda and the terrorist organizations he financed."

In a Monday conference call, Blunt praised the president for sending Special Forces into bin Laden's Pakistani compound, rather than conducting a bombing raid.

"The risk was appropriate, rather than sifting through the rubble of a compound trying to determine whether or not Osama bin Laden might have been there at that moment," he said.

Blunt is a member of the Senate intelligence committee, and he called it significant that the president did not consult with the Pakistani government before conducting the raid.

"That totally eliminated the likelihood that at some point in the communication someone would be able to tip off bin Laden before we could get there," he said. "It will continue to be of concern to us what our relationship with the Pakistanis is."

But he added that despite the fact bin Laden's compound was located about an hour north of the capital city Islamabad, "I think it would be a mistake to assume that the Pakistanis knew more than they knew."

From Senator Claire McCaskill:

"After a long and very bad chapter of world history, Osama Bin Laden is dead and justice delivered. Thank you to all of our intelligence and military personnel who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedoms and ensure our security."

From Congressman Russ Carnahan:

"After 10 long years, we finally have justice. Thanks go to our brave troops who even now are fighting and dying to protect us. Though justice is served, the road to lasting peace and security is long. I look forward to working with our allies in the months ahead to achieve that goal.

From Congressman Todd Akin:

"America was not expecting the infamous attack on September 11th. Numerous times America has sustained surprise attacks, and the result of such attacks has proven to be a formidable opponent refusing to bend to tyranny. Our men and women in the armed services deserve tremendous credit for their tenacity, professionalism, and courage in taking the battle to our enemy. The death of Osama bin Laden will stand as a warning to would-be enemies of our country and as a fitting conclusion to the criminal mind behind the infamous and cowardly attacks of September 11th."

From Senator Mark Kirk, via Twitter:

"Thank you and Bravo Zulu to all service members and CIA who have sacrificed so much for this day."

From Senator Dick Durbin:

"I was advised by Vice President Biden this Sunday evening that Osama bin Laden has been killed. Though this is not the end of the threat of terrorism, it is a clear warning to our enemies that when they threaten and kill Americans,  they will be pursued and held accountable. Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to our intelligence community and military for pursuing this manhunt for almost ten years and successfully eliminating the most high-profile on earth. Those who believed bin Laden and his network were invincible will now awaken to a new reality."

From Congressman Jerry Costello:

"The death of Osama bin Laden is an extremely important and historic milestone in our fight against global terrorism.  Nearly 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, this accomplishment is first and foremost a testament to the dedicated service of the men and women of our armed forces and intelligence agencies.  Their determined and unflagging efforts have made this day possible, and I commend them all.  However, while bin Laden’s death is a significant victory and gives us some sense of closure, this is not the end of al-Qaida and we must not let this great achievement in any way lessen our resolve to combat terrorism.  We must maintain the same level of vigilance moving forward." 

From Congressman John Shimkus:

"I am pleased that our joint forces have been successful in carrying out this mission. Osama bin Laden founded al-Qaida and planned and carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks and many other terrorist attacks killing thousands. We have been steadfast in our search for him and justice has been served."


Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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