Accessibility links

Breaking News

World Leaders Welcome bin Laden's Death

Dionne Layne, facing camera, hugs Mary Power as they react to the news of the death of Osama bin Laden, May 2, 2011 in New York. At left is the rising tower, 1 World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower.

The news that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead was widely welcomed around the world, as leaders warned the fight against terrorism was not over.

Former U.S. president George W. Bush called bin Laden's death a "momentous achievement." Bush was president when al-Qaida terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for news of bin Laden's death. He said it is his hope that the development will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11.

Crowds gathered outside the White House to celebrate bin Laden's death. There were similar scenes in New York City, both in Times Square and at the site known as "ground zero," where the World Trade Center twin towers stood before being destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said bin Laden was a symbol of international terror. She said while the world is a bit more safe with his death, the danger of terrorism persists.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the news of the al-Qaida leader's death brings "great relief" to people across the world. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi described the death as a great result for the U.S. and all democracies. French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed bin Laden's death as a major coup in the fight against terrorism.

Both bin Laden's ancestral homeland of Yemen and his birthplace of Saudi Arabia also welcomed his death, saying that they hope it will contribute to anti-terrorism efforts.

In Israel, a key target of bin Laden’s wrath, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the al-Qaida leader's death a resounding victory for justice. India called the killing a joyous milestone, and said the world must press to eliminate safe havens provided to terrorists.

Pakistan called bin Laden's death a major setback for terrorist groups around the world. But the Pakistani Taliban threatened revenge attacks against the Pakistani and U.S. governments.

Video footage of reaction in Washington D.C., New York City