tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 2, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EDT
capabilities, to shoot down helicopters, it does take and remember the helicopters tried to lake 1970s, that didn't exactly work out. >> no, that became almost a symbol of the there's so many things that this operation could have gone wrong. the media would have second guessed it and al qaeda and enemies overseas would have tried to capitalize on this. going in there, you never know, is he there? could there have been young kids in there? all of those things to make the united states look horribly bad. and you're right, he could have had a helicopter shot down.
and anyone knows that it's over. you don't know how accurate the intelligence is. something could have gone wrong and it could have been a disaster. that's why the president did the right thing, wolf. you and me, he did the right thing. he was the guy on the line making the decision up front and there was no guarantee that this was going to work. >> he deserves an enormous amount of credit for guts. even though his top commanders, secretary gates, cia director panetta, they all say, you know what, good idea, let's do it, we have good actionable intelligence, in the end it's up to the commander in chief to sign off on a risky decision like this, he did and it worked
out. go ahead. >> if it had not worked, it would have been the president's fault. so he deserves the credit for it working. >> absolutely. the people are cheering and world of mouth this has been going on for a while. here on the east coast of the united states, similar crowds gathering at ground zero in new york right now. in case you missed it, a while ago the president said. >> today at my direction, the united states launched a targeted operation against that compound in abbottabad,
pakistan. a small team of americans carried out with extraordinary courage and capability. no americans were harmed. they took care to avoid civilian casualties. after a fire fight, they killed osama bin laden and took custody of his body. >> there's the president. he made the dramatic announcement at the white house. later on, if you missed it, later we'll play that full statement for you of what the president said, give the full context. obviously they worked very, very hard making sure that every word, every word was precisely what the president and his top advisers wanted to say, knowing this could go down as the most important statement that the president has made since the most important statement that this president will make in a first term if he's re-elected in a second term because millions of americans wanted to hear those words bin laden is dead. justice has been served.
let's go to jason carroll over at ground zero in new york. big crowd over there, jason? >> reporter: wolf, the crowd keeps growing with every passing minute. it's absolutely incredible. i want you to get a sense of what it is like. people bringing flags and all of a sudden will you hear chairs and people singing, god bless america chants, usa. it's really like a celebration that just keeps growing and growing. i want to introduce you to someone right now. this is bob gibson. bob is a retired new york city police officer and in fact his son is also a police officer. this night holds special significance for you. you lost people, people that you know on 9/11. tell me why this night is significant for you. >> because i never thought this night would come when we would actually kill bin laden and thank the lord he's been
eliminated poll loitely. >> i think a lot of people in new york feel like this night, this day would never come. obviously you feel that way as well. for years i said it will happen t. will happen ait never happened. but a lot of us finally gave up and it did come and like everybody else here, we're overshowed that it happened and got here. >>. >> they finally now feel a sense of closure. i know that word closure is thrown out many, many times. but on a night like tonight, do you feel a sense of closure? >> yes. we're still feeling pretty for the families that lost loved ones. but i do feel a sense of closure and i think one thing that is striking to a lot of people here is that i think a lot of people never thought that we would see
a celebration taking place at ground zero. >> i think we want to bring in this gentleman as well. you're also new york city fire department tell me why this is significant to you. >> i actually retired from the fire department after 9/11 so it's very important to me. this has changed my life in horrible ways. and it's great and unbelievable and it's a call to justice. >> i heard one woman coming up here, and she said, it feels surreal to see people celebrating and it is in a sense a cause for celebration for some of us. how do you feel? >> it's an act of war.
it's a celebration because it's a war that we just won. it brings justice to 343 brother that we lost that day. that's why i'm down here to let them know that justice has been served. >> is this a night that you ever thought would see happen? >> no. after the first few months, i'm extremely happy today. it's bringing me to tears. i can't even explain that. >> a lot of people have the same feelings that you do as well tonight, sir. so thank you very much for joining us. really appreciate that. that's what we're experiencing as we come down here. more and more people keep coming down to this particular site. it's incredible. people bringing flags and singing god bless america. a lot of people never thought that this would be the time or type of place that you would see people actually celebrating at the site of ground zero.
wolf? >> they have waited almost ten years for this moment for the world to know that bin laden is dead. especially new yorkers. they are moved beyond words right now, jason. i think that's fair to say. i want to come back to you and hear more from these people that have gathered at ground zero. ed henry is at the north lawn of the white house. just a few feet from you? >> late on this sunday evening, the news started spreading about the president about to announce that osama bin laden had been killed and people behind my right shoulders and down on
pennsylvania avenue a few hundred feet away from where this crowd is, they just have also been spontaneously singing the "star spangled banner" and the contrast, as our colleague was saying, that on 9/11 outside the northwest gate into lafayette park, which that crowd of 40 people from a couple hours ago is now well into the thousands as they look out there, stretches across lafayette park, a large park here in washington, d.c., as many of our viewers know, now appears to be pretty full. stark comparison to 9/11 where white house aides and press corps were run outthinking that a plane was going to hit here. now instead of the horror and
shock of that day, just pure euphoria. students from george fox university, other universities, tour rif tourists coming here outside the white house gates. it appears now that -- and look at this overhead shot that we have as well. i believe we have an overhead shot to give you a sense of the crowd. it appears the lights in the white house residence are out. it appears that maybe the first family has gone to sleep. i can tell you how loud this crowd has been for well over two, three hours. you can guarantee the first family has been hearing these chants, not just of usa, usa, but a few moments ago i heard this crowd chanting, yes we can, yes we can. that chant that we're so familiar with from 2008 and the campaign. there's another campaign coming up now just over a year from now. this is going to be looked through the political prism at some point. but on this night, the chance of
usa, usa, nothing i believe to do with politics, just pure euphoria, americans coming out into the streets of washington to celebrate this night, wolf. >> it's interesting, ed. as we look back, the president made it clear that they have been considering this for hours and days and and that it may be a suspicious compound. and they were looking at it, coordinating and they have to be careful because many of our viewers know that u.s. officials are suspicious of the pakistani community. this was a carefully coordinated
operation. there was no indication at all that anything was in the works and says a lot about this administration and that we could keep a secret like this. >> let's not forget that the president revamped that team and a lot of people were saying that the continuity may be a good thing. the bottom line is, an amazing job here in keeping the sensitive information and leon panetta moving over, still has to be nominated by the senate, replacing bob gates as the
defense secretary. we're told that the president was involved in five national security council meetings five national security meetings in march and april that were kept quiet as they worked very carefully behind the scenes. they are right. they didn't want it in the u.s. media or share it with pakistani officials and we've gotten the compound outside of islamabad, pakistan, a million dollar home. u.s. officials are now saying that even though it was a mansion, it had no internet service, no telephone service and undoubtedly to try and escape and there were 12 to
18-foot walls with barbed wire on the top. clearly he was trying to stay safe and secure and the u.s. team cot in, penetrated it, and killed osama bin laden. >> amazing story. let me show our viewers these live pick you ares that we're getting from time square. all of a sudden people are gathering in time square which is totally appropriate. that's on the right. on the left you can see where people are gathering at ground zero. no one could have anticipated how quickly this would have unfolded. once they got word that not only was the military operation successful but the person killed, at least one of the
person's killed was a 6'4" individual named osama bin laden. they confirmed that he's dead and did all of forensic work. they have retrieved the body and now they will make sure that they do what is absolutely essential to protect any fallout from this. that's why i want to bring in jeanne. there is a heightened precaution at various u.s. installations. what are you learning? >> well, an affiliate at the white house, officials there are acknowledging that there is a possibility, they say there is no specific threat information at this point in time but they are taking every reasonable precaution domestically as well as internationally. we know that in new york, for example, the new york police city commissioner sent out a message to all commands asking
them to be on alert. we know that in philadelphia the police are stepping up patrols around mosques and synagogues, checking them on an hourly basis. we have not heard anything yet from the department of homeland security but a former dhs official tells me that they have had plans on the shelf for some time that they could pull off in the event of bin laden's death that would involve heightened protection around transportation hubs and the like. this official stresses that this is not about protective measures, that there is going to be a big step up in intelligence and intelligence gathering. bin laden he points out has had ten years to prepare for this eventuality and there's been some belief in the u.s. government that he may have deployed people here, may have sleeper cells in position here in the united states who would on his death be triggered into action. so you can imagine that the intelligence community is going
to be looking very hard at people already on their radar and they will be looking additionally for others. the big concern that these may be lone wolf guess, much harder to detect than people who are working in groups. another thing that has been pointed out to me is the question of succession. what happens now? as strange as it may sound, there's been some stability under osama bin laden. there's been some knowledge of what to expect with his death what happens to the organization and with its affiliates. does it become more radical? do things become even less stable than they have been thus far? those are some of the things that they are concerned and worried about this evening, wolf. >> but, remember, it was only a week or two ago that janet napolitano, the homeland security secretary, changed the color coding from all of the various orange and yellow. there are basically two categories. have they gone up to a higher level of alert as a result of
this abundance of caution, jeanne? >> we have seen absolutely no indication that they are doing that at this time. they did, however, say that when they announced that new threat warning system that there would be instances where the public would not be aware of what they were doing. that it might go out specifically to law enforcement, certain spectors or infrastructure, that we might not be informed. but we've heard nothing to indicate that they are moving the threat level but we have seen these indications that abigs n aadditional measure are being taken. >> and no official word from any of bin laden's associates, al qaeda operatives confirming or denying or saying anything. at least not yet. peter bergen is here and has interviewed bin laden back in the 1990s.
we have a picture of you and bin laden. do you anticipate that what is left of al qaeda, not an kwid da in the arabian peninsula, in north africa, the splinter groups, the original al qaeda, will we hear from them at some point? >> i think we'll hear from them very quickly. first off, you bury the body very quickly and recognize the death very quickly. >> i assume they are going to do a full buy open tea, to see if he had kidney problems and -- >> they are going to do a nda match with other members of the family. they will take photographs of them and publish them as they did. >> so you think we'll see bin laden's face? >> i'm sure we will. we have to have for the graphic evidence and dna matches. the autopsy and there is in
islam, the body has to be buried within 24 hours. that will happen. there will be reprisals. not from al qaeda itself but in pakistan bin laden retained some popularity as it has been receding in recent years. 60% to maybe 20% level. but i think we'll see protests in the streets of pakistan and some violence. >> against the united states, you mean? >> against american and also don't forget the united states is not the only country involved in this. the largest attack in british history was carried out in 2005. al qaeda was attacked in many other countries. of course, the united states is the main target but there are other subsidiaries. a lot of people will feel the necessity to agree ate and if you're an american express office around the world or something lightly defended, tomorrow could be a nasty day where there's al qaeda, you
know, presence. >> we're showing our viewers the video of geo tv in pakistan. the compound in abbottabad where the special forces went in, navy seals, went in by helicopter and made a kill. >> quite interesting, it is sort of near a resort area called murray. it's quite hilly. it's up towards kashmir, where a lot of militant groups have had a presence. i and other people have said, would it be possible that bin laden may be up in this area and it's one thing i do want to say, wolf, adding to what you said about the dangerousness of this situation. abbottabad is far away from -- >> there are about 200 u.s.
forces in pakistan as of february. >> in islamabad? >> not necessarily in islamabad but around the country. >> with helicopters? >> yes. these would have had to have come from helicopters. >> hold on a minute. i want to bring gloria borger in. what are you learning? >> well, first of all, i want to give you some reporting from dana bash. she is reporting that a source familiar with the operation confirms that indeed osama bin laden was shot in the head during the u.s. raid. according to a briefing that this source received, the source would not go into the details of the other were killed except to say that the operation was conducted very carefully not to harm women and children. so that we do know indeed he was shot in the head. one other thing, wolf, that is very interesting to me, for those of us who have been covering the debate of how much
intelligence the detainees had given the administration about the whereabouts of osama bin laden and his top lawsuit tenants. in his briefing given by administration officials, it is clear to me that detainees were the ones who flagged for us, the people who have been providing direct help, to osama bin laden and his lieutenants. in particular, one courier had been named. they were given his nickname and not able to identify his real identity four years ago, wolf. this gives you some sense how long they have been working on this. four years ago they actually identified his real name but it was only two years ago that they could identify exactly the area where this courier and brother were operating. then it took them longer to find
out exactly where they were living by august 2010 they found the residence and it was -- it was where we know now that this so-called mansion was. so you get a sense, really, of how long and arduous this process was and also of the intelligence information that has been provided by the detainees. very important. >> fascinating details, gloria. i know that we're going to get a lot more of these details about how the operation unfolded, what we in the community call the tick clock. you're going to be seeing and hearing a lot about that on cnn and reading a lot about it elsewhere as well except for what is really classified. they don't want to do anything that would undermine national security sources and methods so
release sanitized versions but the details are just coming out. stand by for a moment. david gergen is with us. our senior political analyst has worked for american presidents. we throw that word out a lot. mth is truly a moment. >> it's almost as if we won a war. we've been in a long struggle. osama bin laden was not only the most hated men since hitler, he was the most hunted man in the world. and we've been after this such a long time and i think it's bringing out the sense of not only relief but celebration that we finally won one. and it's the best night of president obama's presidency.
we're going to hear more and more about obama got osama. but then within the next few days, as we get into the tick tock, what really happened in pakistan? it appears that at least since august, that's nine months ago, osama has been living in this compound, this mansion. and as gloria reported, it was built years ago, the signs point to the idea that it was built for him. he may have been there for several years. if he's been there for that long of time, is there any doubt that officials in pakistan must have known, they must have sat on that, that the united states had to find this out on its own and only at the last minute got the cooperation from pakistanis? there are going to be a lot of
question. how long. >> good question. the president gave a shout out, appreciation to president zardari of pakistan for the assistance provided to the insurance. it took guts, i must say, on mr. zardari's part because bin laden has a base of support not only within pakistan but within his own governments. president zardari got that vote of confidence and let's not forget that. >> it's very important that the president did that the subtext is going to be, how long has he been there? can you imagine, becoming the next secretary of defense? they are going to crown him. >> unanimous consent on that confirmation, secretary of defense. all right. david, stand by for a moment.
we've got a lot more -- we'll hear from the president of the united states, john king is standing by over at the magic map. he's going to show us precisely what happened, celebrations are continuing not only outside the white house but at ground zero in new york city. live pictures from the white house, live pictures from new york city. we're going to go to afghanistan. got a live reporter on the scene over there. our coverage, i must say, is only just beginning. stay with us. [ female announcer ] it's red lobster's festival of shrimp for just $11.99. combine two of our most tempting shrimp selections any way you like from favorites like crab-stuffed shrimp to special new creations like bbq-glazed shrimp or potato-crusted shrimp. create your own combination with unlimited cheddar bay biscuits all for just $11.99, during the festival of shrimp. get more of the shrimp you love in more irresistible new ways. for a limited time at red lobster.
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mets-philly game with the crowd getting the news. we're hearing that all over the country, usa, usa, usa. certainly hearing it outside of the white house on pennsylvania avenue at the north gate of the white house. we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11. it's now past 1:30 a.m. here on the east coast of the united states and the crowds are only getting bigger and bigger at the white house and folks are just coming up and chanting bin laden is dead. so many americans thought they would not be able to celebrate as they are right now but it was almost exactly about two hours or so ago when the president of the united states walked into the east room of the white house and made the announcement.
>> today at my direction the united states launched a targeted operation against that compound in abbottabad, pakistan. a small team of americans carried out the operation with courage. no americans were harmed. they took care to avoid civilian casualties. after a fire fight, they killed osama bin laden and took custody of his body. >> that was the president later on. we'll play the entire statement that he made. chris lawrence is our man at the pentagon. he has details of how the operation unfolded. for those viewers, chris, who may just be tuning in here in the united states or around the world, this was a very, very risky dangerous military operation? >> yeah, exactly, wolf. we may never know the name of some of these intelligence and special forces operators who
conducted this mission but they certainly undertook incredible risk. when you hear about the fascinating details about how this came together, you come away with the perception that in some ways osama bin laden may have been the architect of his own destruction in that he built a highly secure isolated compound but because it was isolated, he had to get information in and out and it was those couriers who would be his downfall. the intelligence action on this really started years ago but it really came to a head in january. that's when the u.s. found out that indeed osama bin laden may be located in a compound in pakistan. by february they determined that the intelligence was good enough to take action and by march the president started to convene national security council meetings with high-level officials. the last of which were held just
about a week and a half to two weeks ago. now, when this operation went down, what they were learning, this courier and his brother who live in this million dollar mansion have no real discernible or means. how do these two people afford a compound that's eight times bigger than anything around it. it had intear yell walls and some of the outside walls were 12 to 18 feet where other residents around them would take trash out on the streets, these residents burned their trash. and for a million dollar mansion, it had no cell or internet service. all of these were clues to the intelligence officials that something wasn't right. they determined to the best of their ability, this this was to
house and harbor a high-target and they determined that, yes, they believed it was owe saum minute bin laden, his youngest wife and some of his children living there as well. when the assault came down as well, they looked at it and said, this is it. when the word came down and president obama gave the okay for this elite team, the u.s. operators which included special operation members to go in and try to take that compound they apparently practiced how to do it beforehand because when this compound was built it was very isolated. over the previous five years, other homes had been built around it. now you have a situation where there is potential vast civilian
casualties. when they eventually went in, they went in during a helicopter drop. coming in through helicopters, into this compound, from what we're hearing from officials osama bin laden did resist and our congressional correspondent, dana bash, is hearing from her sources that it came down to a fire fight and osama bin laden was shot in the head in which the u.s. forces were able to take possession of his body. wolf? >> we know that the government had a $25 million reward for the arrest, capture, or killing of bin laden. do we know if anyone is eligible for that? >>. >> that i don't know, wolf. again, it goes back to the fact that when these intelligence and these special operations forces, they volunteer for this very dangerous duty. that's true. but from all accounts, this was a highly dangerous mission. the security around this area was called extraordinary.
so the risks that some of these -- that the small team of u.s. operators took to try to accomplish this mission, again, because they are in the intelligence field, special operations, we don't know. we might not see their faces or hear personally their stories but they obviously took great risk to get this job accomplished. >> they certainly did and mission was in fact accomplished. we'll find out if somebody in pakistan or be in else within obama's inner circle ever did provide the information leading to the capture or killing of bin laden. chris, stand by for a moment. john king is at the magic wall for us. the location of this so-called magic about 60 miles hour 100 kilometers outside of the capital islamabad, walk us through this. >> it's significant because how many times has the pakistani government told us no, osama bin laden is here in afghanistan? how many times have the owe
figures said, no, he's here. it turns out tonight, let's take a closer look, we'll measure it out for you as we zoom in. it turns out, where was he, about 120 miles to the east of the afghanistan border, waziristan was where people said he was probably hiding. 30 miles north of islamabad. let's take a closer look as we come in and you see somewhere in the ball mark of one million people. it's very closely in residential areas and you come up here and educational institutions up here. this location here is where we are told tonight, somewhere right in this area here people are saying is where this played out. you can see a large complex here and other large complexes here. walled off areas, residential complexes within, walled off, big complex here. and then chris lawrence was said
they were worried about civilian casualties. this is the area. i'm going to shrink this down a little bit and show you the terrain of this town. it's in a mountain valley. there are mountains around the outskirts and you come into a city of about one million people. look at this highly dense population in here, wolf. but as we look at this year, not in the mountains. not in afghanistan. not in a cave, but in a very highly developed, highly populated area we're told is where this special operation played out. it would be fascinating to get more of the details. if the seals went into an area like this, what a high-risk situation to capture and kill osama bin laden. >> and if they go in by helicopter and come down on ropes, you can only imagine how
vulnerable the navy seals might have been. our viewers need to get a sense from how far the afghan border and military personnel, 100,000 troops, if those helicopters did in fact come from a u.s. base in afghanistan, they would have had a nice journey. give us. >> for the past ten years we've had the questions of presidents and cia directors and of people in the afghan and pakistan, where is osama bin laden. the answer has always been right here. we're told by sources launching this operation not telling the government of pakistan, only talking about after the operation took place. u.s. bases coming across the border. let's measure out what we're talking about. as you watch and zoom in, you come off and hit the measure and you see what we're talking about.
120 miles in, 30 miles north of the capital of pakistan. right in here this takes out. again, we've focused over here. the tribal areas and cave areas and ungovern nabl areas of pakistan. it turns out that he was living in a large city, not a suburb. a city of about 100,000 -- of about one million people. when you come in and see how densely populated it is, a very different kind of operation that for years people have talked about finding bin laden in a cave, in a remote area, protected by tribes up in the hills. in fact, it turns up that he was hiding in a very densely populated area and, again, we're told to look at something like this, somewhere in this ballpark right here. one of the focuses of the operation. you can see the large walls and spaces and all around it you can see. which shows you the risks that any of the elite forces, not
only risks to the fire fight but of civilian casualties and, again, a very old decision of the president of the united states to launch this operation and tell the pakistani government after the fact the u.s. special forces were right here on the ground, wolf. >> it's as if the president got the phone call and whether it was 3:00 a.m. or whatever time it was, it was a gutsy decision as you pointed out to go ahead and give the go ahead. john, excellent presentation. stand by for a moment because i want to bring in -- show our viewers what is going on at the white house. folks are still gathering even though it's now approaching 2:00 ark m. 2:00 a.m. on the east coast. they are celebrating the death of bin laden. nick paton walsh, you're getting information from sources there. tell our viewers what you're learning. >> reporter: well, i think we
have two conflicting view points here. pakistani official has told me that it was pakistani operatives on the ground during this operation. we're seeing that conflict what we're hearing in washington. i think it's to pre-empt that some part of the pakistani establishment which is per vaf sif may have known that bin laden was hiding there for a long time. and this -- bear in mind, a lot of the recent taliban activity has been in another area. they've moved to larger cities to hide in the bustling
situation. we get to see the pakistanis explaining how they were involved in this operation in the coming hours. it would be enormously surprising, given the sheer breakdown in trust between washington and islamabad and what they are saying about intelligence cooperation and apparently it was on hold for quite some time. and it would be remarkably strange, the scope of this operation prior to launching it. >> many say mission accomplished. it's time to pull out of pakistan. the united states has 100,000 troops in afghanistan. the troops are scheduled to start withdrawing, at least on a modest level, later this year. this summer all of those troops are supposed to be out by the
end of 2014. i suspect given the death of bin laden, a lot of americans say it's time to leave and move on. afghan officials express any concern to you that maybe the appetite for prolonged u.s. military stay in afghanistan may be going away? >> i think they are already concerned. the administration here does not want to see the rushing sound, a sucking sound as the american forces pull away from here in the next coming years. we haven't spoken to them but there will be two narratives. the first one is that with bin laden dead, the story as it were has come to an end. we can begin to start drawing down here. that leaves the whole nation leading question. obviously the reason it was a failed state, under the taliban. so they say we need to stay here, finish the job, and make sure that the new al qaeda, perhaps regenerated or a
different generation of leaders, that they don't seek to come back here and use afghanistan as a reason to launch attacks on the united states. >> nick, stand by. fran townsend is our national security contributor, the former homeland security advisor to president bush. even earlier the u.s. officials were saying that there could be 200 al qaeda operatives there. not with the pressure no doubt that will mount on the president to start withdrawing even more rapidly than he may have anticipated. >> yeah. i think that's right, wolf, as a political matter. but let's just be clear i bin the fact that bin laden is dead does not mean that the war on
terrorism is over they are nowhere near as dangerous. bin laden was responsible for financing and weapons and all of those things. by no means did these other cells as nearly as dangerous as he is but we'll continue to have to fight in chaotic places where we know that bin laden and al qaeda had been attracted, whether that's yemen or somalia who saw this recent bombing in morocco. the war on terror is not over. it's a significant victory, though, wolf. dare i say many americans for at least almost ten years, peter, we're only beginning to digest what this will mean for the u.s.
military operation in afghanistan. >> well, i was there in december with the initial announcement that we would be drawing down in a significant way. you may recall that in november president announced because a lot of afghans were breathing a sigh of relief. they are looking for the capacity to keep the taliban at bay and the taliban with other islam mist terrorist groups when they control afghanistan. >> so we're going to begin to appreciate what is going on with the days to come, the nature of what this means for the overall mission with afghanistan and cooperation with pakistan and all of that. peter, thanks very much. those are live pictures, by the
way, the north lawn of the white house on pennsylvania avenue where folks have gathered even as we approach 2 clrk m. on the east coast. they are celebrating usa, usa, that's here in washington, d.c., outside the white house in new york city they are celebrating as well of what was the world trade center site ten years ago. jason carroll is on the scene for us. are folks beginning to leave or are they showing up, jason? >> reporter: no sign of leaving at all, wolf. i ran into one of my co-workers. she told me when the announcement came on the television, people went silent, all of a sudden people started handing out american flags. they've been bringing them down here and chanting. more and more people are coming
down here. now that we've heard about what is happening, people are coming down here to celebrate. i want to introduce you to anita, valley, and you have a special -- this is a very special night for you because you remember when it all happened back on 9/11? >> yes. we were here working in the area. this is our community. we watched the planes hit the buildings we watched the people jump out of windows and people fleeing the area. and the day after 9/11, we still reported to work, had to come into the area, see the clean up, had to do our work within the community to bring more street circuits back up, bring the customers back up. and each day we watched as we even are watching now as they tried to rebuild. this is very special to us because this is now finally a
closure. it's a closure for this community. it's a closure from new york city. it's a closure for the united states and it's a closure now for the entire world. >> and then valerie, are you feeling that as well? are you feeling a sense of closure? >> definitely. from everything that happened to what we see now to coming back, it's definitely closure to the people that lost family and friends. it's a beautiful feeling. >> and it's amazing that this obama, osama, bin laden, his death we also for this occasion. >> thank you so much for coming. wo wolf, i want to bring in lisa and mark. they were watching the television, saw what was happening and decided to come down here tonight. tell me what this experience has been like for you.
you guys lived right here in the snabd. >> right. i think it's just an important part to be here with other new yorkers and people in the united states about the celebration that finally he's been captured and obviously killed. >> you also heard valley talk about a sense of closure at this point. do you feel more of a sense of closure? >> i'm not sure if i feel a sense of closure. there's a spontaneous outpouring of emotion. perhaps it will be closure at some point in the future but it's certainly nice to come down here and feel a sense of community and people sort of rejoicing in what is happening tonight. >> i think a lot of people from new york to come down and see how you see ground zero develop over the past few years and then you see something like this happening today, that's just got to be incredible as well. >> it's a great thing for this neighborhood but for the
country. >> thank you for coming down. again, wolf, it's really incredible. i know you were saying, do we get a sense of people leaving, i wonder what is going to happen as the hours go by and people wake up and the rush hour starts, it's the crowd that keeps continuing to grow. i want to show you over here, more and more flags and people coming down, chanting, singing, it's really just sort of a sense of celebration that's happening down here. i know you've been experiencing it as well in washington, d.c., at the white house, happening here as well, down here at ground zero. wolf, back to you. >> an appropriate place, i must say, jason, for folks to celebrate ground zero almost exactly ten year ago in september it will ten years since those twin tower went down. bin laden now is down. he's been killed. we also have live pictures to show you from outside the white house.
outside of the north gate of the white house. the northwest gate. this is pennsylvania avenue, lafayette park. you can see the crowds there. large crowds have gathered. we're told a lot of students from george washington, american university and the schools in the area. the students are coming down. they are getting ready. they wanted to celebrate. many of these students of course remember what happened almost exactly ten years ago when al qaeda operatives did what they did in new york, pennsylvania, and right here in washington over at the pentagon. gloria borger is watching this unfold for us. gloria, rare that a president of the united states can make an announcement like this one did? i guess it was about three hours ago? >> well, that's right, wolf. i just literally got off the phone with the national security council who described this as one of the best days of his life and was asking about the confirmation about the fact that
this is indeed osama bin laden's body and made it very clear to me that they have multiconfirmations on this and that they have the ability to do what he called run images of body and face of osama bin laden. at some point we may be able to see that. but he made it very clear to me that the world knows that osama bin laden is dead and that's something that we're all just starting to absorb this evening. >> thanks very much, gloria. all of our reporters, analysts, it's an historic story, certainly one all of us will remember for the rest of our lives, where we were, what we were doing when we heard the president of the united states inform us and the world that osama bin laden is dead. we'll continue our coverage right after this quick break.
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