Local Officials Express Admiration, Caution Following Osama bin Laden’s Death
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The military raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death has prompted a congratulatory cry from area politicians.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Americans have kept their promise after Sept. 11 to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
Bloomberg and other officials held a briefing Monday at the World Trade Center site, where they honored victims of the 1993 and 2001 attacks and detailed progress on the Sept. 11 memorial and reconstruction.
LISTEN: Mayor Michael Bloomberg Comments On Killing Of Osama Bin Laden
(Download his full statement HERE)
“Osama bin Laden is dead, and the World Trade Center site is teeming with new life,” Bloomberg said. “Osama bin Laden is dead and lower Manhattan is pulsing with new activity. Osama bin Laden is dead, and New York City’s spirit has never been stronger.”
WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb At Ground Zero: Mayor Bloomberg Declared The Forces Of Freedom And Justice Have Once Again Prevailed
Bloomberg says the killing of the terrorist leader doesn’t lessen the suffering Americans experienced at his hands the day the World Trade Center was destroyed but is a “critically important victory” for the nation. He says it’s a tribute to the men and women in the armed forces who’ve fought so hard.
“In the dark days that followed September 11th, we made a solemn commitment to the dead and to the living that we would bring to justice those responsible for killing more than 2,900 innocent people. Osama bin Laden found out that America keeps its commitments,” Bloomberg said.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told CBS 2′s Don Dahler she was overjoyed at the news of bin Laden’s death, but remains cautious.
“Al Qaeda really has metastasized in the last ten years since 9/11. It is now an international organization that operations are done remotely from all over the world. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is deemed to be perhaps the most dangerous to the United States right now. Al Qaeda out of Yemen, Al Qaeda out of Pakistan — it’s everywhere.
President Barack Obama announced Sunday night bin Laden was killed in an operation led by the United States.
LISTEN: Obama Announces Death Of Bin Laden
(Download the entire address HERE)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is not the end of the war on terrorism and warned the network’s members that the United States would be relentless in its pursuit of them.
LISTEN: Reaction From Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton
(Download the full statement HERE)
“Even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden,” she said.
Turning to deliver a direct message to bin Laden’s followers, she vowed: “You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us but you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaida and participate in a peaceful political process.”
Rudy Giuliani, dubbed “America’s Mayor” for his leadership hours after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, spoke to CBS 2 on Monday and said he was watching television Sunday night when the news ticker indicated President Obama would be shortly addressing the nation.
“So I thought immediately that must be some very big thing, terrible thing that’s happened. And when I found out it was bin Laden being captured, there was a certain sense of relief and a sense of satisfaction that justice has been brought to this man who has done unspeakable horror and evils,” he said. “It may seem like it took a long time, but sometimes justice takes a while.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo called bin Laden’s death “a historic moment that represents a major step in our country’s efforts to defeat terrorism around the world.”
Cuomo said New Yorkers endured bin Laden’s most devastating attack, the destruction of the World Trade Center when two airliners were flown into the twin towers the morning of Sept. 11. More than 2,700 people died in Lower Manhattan that day.
1010 WINS’ Alice Stockton-Rossini with Rep. Peter King
Even with bin Laden dead, Cuomo said Americans must remain vigilant in preventing terrorist attacks.
“The death of Osama Bin Laden is a welcome milestone for the friends and families of those killed on 9/11, and for all who remain tenaciously engaged in protecting New York from another attack,” said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in a statement.
Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said in a statement Monday that bin Laden was responsible for killing 343 members of the FDNY on Sept. 11, 2001.
He said the entire department is thankful to the “members of the U.S. military that had a role in this successful operation.”
“This is going to shake up the Al-Qaeda leadership. They have all their plans in place – what would happen if bin Laden was killed – but having said that, no force can ever be ready for the death of someone as charismatic and as powerful as bin Laden was to Al-Qaeda,” Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said.
“This reinforces to the rest of the world how determined the U.S. is, how effective we are and it’s going to, more than ever, encourage them to stand with us and realize that we did the whole world a tremendous service by killing bin Laden,” King said.
“Finally, the great work of our military and intelligence is vindicated,” Senator Chuck Schumer said.
He hopes the takedown of bin Laden brings some measure of closure for the families of those who died in the World Trade Center attack but Schumer said this is a victory against terrorists seeking to destroy our way of life.
“We are here and he is dead somewhere in the ocean,” Schumer said.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: Schumer Says We Must Remain Vigilant
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says justice has finally been delivered with the death of Osama bin Laden.
The governor said he spoke “for all the families of this state who have courageously endured the unspeakable and devastating consequences of terrorism.”
Christie noted that “there is hardly a life that has gone untouched in New Jersey” by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and their aftermath.
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg says the news brings “great satisfaction and relief” to the civilized world. He called bin Laden “one of the worst killers in the history of man.”
New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez says we may feel “some measure of closure that justice was accomplished” but cautioned that bin Laden’s demise won’t end the terrorist threat.
WCBS 880′s Michael Wallace And Paul Murnane With Sen. Blumenthal
“Pride. Satisfaction. Still recalling with grief the horror and tragedy of the thousands of lives, obviously, many of them in Connecticut, lost as a result of the terror that was spawned by Osama Bin Laden,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), when asked for his reaction to all of this. “But we need to be vigilant and vigorous as ever in the war against terror.”
Community Board 1 chairwoman Julie Menin said in a statement Monday that bin Laden senselessly killed thousands of people on Sept. 11, 2001.
She said there will never be real closure. But she added that bin Laden’s death was a moment the Lower Manhattan community has been waiting for the last 10 years.
WCBS 880′s Pat Farnack With New York Times White House Correspondent Mark Landler On The Last Days Of Bin Laden
(Download the full interview HERE)
WCBS 880′s Pat Farnack With Robert Powell, Middle East Analyst For The Economist Intelligence Unit, On What’s Next For Al-Qaida And The Taliban
Here are some other reactions:
Former President George W. Bush: “President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done. “
Former President Bill Clinton: “I congratulate the president, the national security team and the members of our armed forces on bringing Osama bin Laden to justice after more than a decade of murderous al-Qaida attacks.”
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