tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS May 2, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
yesterday. >> were you following tweets last night. >> yes i was. everybody was retweeting them. >> all right. cbs is next for an hour. >> couric: the hunt for the most-wanted terrorist in the world is finally really virtual states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. >> couric: in sion, u.s. navy seals raid his hideaway in pakistan and gun down the man behind the 9/11 attacks. celebrations erupt all over america. but for families of the 9/11 victims, the pain never ends. >> i miss my son. >> couric: every day? >> every day, every hour, you know? he's my... shining star. >> couric: and there are reminders everywhere that the war on terror is far from over. captioning sponsored by cbs
this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: and this is a special expanded edition. good evening, everyone. it took nine years, seven months and 20 days but the united states has made good on a vow to hunt down the man who ordered the 9/11 attacks. u.s. forces found osama bin laden yesterday in his hideaway compound in pakistan and killed him. president obama made the announcement in a late-night address to the nation. >> 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 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.
>> couric: and then they buried him at sea. today the f.b.i. updated its web site to show the most-wanted terrorist in the world wanted no more. we have extensive coverage tonight from cbs news correspondents all over the country and all around the world. first, national security correspondent david martin on how this long-awaited day finally came. >> reporter: katie, the hunt that ended monday morning in pakistan began years ago when high-level al qaeda operatives first revealed the existence of bin laden's favorite courier. some of the leads to that courier came out of the c.i.a.'s secret prisons where those al qaeda captives were waterboarded. he was described as a protege of 9/11 mastermind khalid sheikh mohammed and the man who delivered bin laden's orders to al qaeda operatives in the field. but it was not until four years ago that u.s. intelligence determined the courier's real name. take a look at it. it cost bin laden his life.
it took another two years to find out what part of pakistan he operated in. then last august, an intercepted phone call led the c.i.a. to his residence. "we were shocked by what we saw" one official said. >> this intelligence case is different. what we see in this compound is different than anything we've ever seen before. >> reporter: a $1 million compound, eight times bigger than any of the other homes in a town where retired pakistani military officers live just 35 miles north of the capital of islamabad. it was built in 2005, apparently just for bin laden. walls as high as 18 feet topped with barbed wire. the main building with opaque windows facing out and a seven- foot privacy wall on the third- floor balcony. the residents of the compound burned their trash instead of putting it out for collection and despite the one million dollar price tag, there was no telephone or internet service. three families lived there-- the courier's, his brother's, and a third family about the size of
bin laden's. it was a convincing but circumstantial case. president obama considered attacking with b-2 stealth bombers flying non-stop from the u.s. but instead he chose the option that offered the best chance of coming away with proof bin laden had been killed-- a helicopter raid by navy seals. it was also the riskiest, american commandos operating without permission deep inside pakistani territory. the operation was so tightly held that when the seals began training on a mock-up of the compound, they were not told who the real target was. >> there were multiple opportunities to do that in terms of going through the exercises to prepare for it so that once they hit the compound they had already simulated that a number of times. >> reporter: the operation was set for saturday but had to be postponed a day due to weather. at 1:30 monday morning pakistani time, two black hawk helicopters carried about 25 seals to the compound with a second team as backup.
as the seals fast-roped in, one of the helos stalled apparently when it hit its own rotor wash inside the compound. the stalledhelo had to land. >> when that helicopter was seen to be unable to move all of a sudden you had to go into plan "b." >> reporter: the 22 people who lived in the compound-- many of them women and children-- were caught by surprise but bin laden and his men put up a fight. >> he was engaged in a fire fight with those that entered the area of the house through his end. whether or not he got off any rounds i quite frankly don't know. >> reporter: video taken the morning after showed a bloody and shattered compound. the seals cleared the smaller building first, killing the courier and his brother, then moved to the main building where bin laden and his family lived on the second and third floors. bin laden's son was killed and so was a woman when the men tried to use her as a human shield. >> here is bin laden who has been calling for these attacks living in this million-dollar compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front,
hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield. >> reporter: bin laden was one of the last to die. shot once in the head, once in the chest. the seals carried his body to the helicopter along with any material they could gather for intelligence purposes. the second helo could not fly so they rigged it with explosives and blew it up. this daytime photo shows what was left. facial recognition technology confirmed the body was bin laden's and this morning a d.n.a. match removed virtually any doubt. >> now we can say with 99.9% confidence that this was bin laden. >> reporter: the body was flown to an aircraft carrier in the arabian sea where it was washed, wrapped in a white sheet, and placed in a weighted bag. then the world's most infamous man was sent to the bottom of the ocean. in the words of one u.s. official, bin laden had been hiding in plain sight, but now he is vanished into an unmarked grave without a shrine to remember him by. katie? >> couric: david martin at the pentagon. david, thanks so much. now to chip reid at the white
house. chip, they have to be very pleased with how this turned out. can you tell us about the extensive planning that went into this operation? >> reporter: well, absolutely, katie. they've been planning this operation for more than eight months. countless meetings here at the white house, dozens and dozens of hours of surveillance over in pakistan and, of course, the navy seals had to rehearse the mission over and over again. but in the end it came down to a period of just 40 minutes when it could either be a major success or a disastrous failure. to give you an idea of how thick the tension was in the situation room at the white house, take a look at this photo. during those 40 minutes, they were actually watching it unfold in real time. take a look at the president's eyes. look at hillary clinton covering her mouth. john brennan, the president's top counterterrorism advisor, says it was one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time that anyone in that room had ever experienced. he said the minutes passed like days. and we're told that when it
finally became clear to the president that this mission was going to succeed, he announced to the room in a calm voice "we got him." katie? >> couric: chip reid at the white house. chip, thank you. for years, many assumed bin laden was holed up in one of pakistan's remote tribal regions possibly in a cave. but his hiding place was actually just 35 miles from the capital. elizabeth palmer is in islamabad tonight and, liz, what is the official response there to the u.s. raid against bin laden? from here in america it seems very muted. >> reporter: very muted. no response at all from the president's office. in fact, the only... the most complete statement came out of the foreign affairs ministry which said simply that the operation had been carried out by u.s. forces in accordance with u.s. policy and that the killing of osama bin laden demonstrated pakistan's dedication along with the international community to eliminate terrorism.
it seems almost as if they're trying not to claim credit for it. which is probably not a surprise because he had many, many sympathizers in this country and for the government to own up to having a role in his killing could really destabilize pakistan and certainly provoke violence. katie? >> couric: and, liz, along those lines, pakistan's former president pervez musharraf, made very provocative comments about this raid. he used to be our close ally. what's going on there? >> reporter: well, on the one hand, he did say it was a positive thing. but then he went on to say that it was an infringement of pakistani sovereignty to have the u.s. come in and carry out this operation without any visible pakistani corporation. he's voicing the opinion of a lot of people here. it remains to be seen tomorrow and the days to follow whether some violence does ensue. katie?
>> couric: all right. liz palmer in islamabad tonight. thank you so much, liz. now, before he went on television to announce bin laden's death, president obama telephoned former presidents bill clinton and george w. bush to tell them. bush, who once said he wanted bin laden dead or alive, congratulated president obama as well as the u.s. military and intelligence communities and said america has sent an unmistakable message: no matter how long it takes, justice will be done. now, behind me you can see where the twin towers once stood. those footprints will be part of a memorial here at ground zero, still an open wound in the city. today's "daily news" captures the feelings of more than a few new yorkers. our chief national correspondent byron pitts reports bin laden's death was celebrated all across the country. >> reporter: today from coast to coast, america seemed to have a pep in her step. the nation's nemesis, that face so many associated with evil,
was dead. down at new york's ground zero... >> i've been working down on this site for over two years now. it's a great day for me to know that they got the bastard. >> reporter: call it pride with an edge. but there's also the lingering pain. lenny cresci feels that. this afternoon he laid flowers for his brother john at a memorial to firefighters who lost their lives almost ten years ago. >> i told my brother i missed him very much. i don't think there's been a day in the last nine and three quarters years that i have not thought of my brother. >> reporter: raw emotion spilled out into the streets across the country with word osama bin laden was killed. and the party was even bigger outside the white house. a flash mob of nearly 3,000 people. at a ball game last night between the new york mets and the philadelphia phillies, patriotism trumped team loyalty.
and from coeds in virginia to cadets at west point, the joy was unmistakable. then there was john cartier, who did the bulk of his celebrating by the t.v. set at home. >> i've been waiting for this for almost ten years. >> reporter: john's brother james was 26 when he was killed on 9/11. he was an electrician in the south tower on the 105th floor. john cartier, like the thousands of 9/11 families, commemorates the day every year. he shook hands with president bush at ground zero on the one year anniversary. tonight he'd like to shake the hand of those navy seals to who took out the most wanted man in the world. >> they should know that killing that piece of crap was a job well done. >> reporter: along with pride, people talked a lot today about anxiety wondering what will
happen next now that bin laden is gone. >> couric: byron pitts, byron, thank you. president obama, meanwhile, said the world is safer with bin laden gone, but no one's declaring victory in the war on terror. homeland security correspondent bob orr now on the continuing terror threat. >> reporter: the killing of osama bin laden was trumpeted on the f.b.i.'s list of most-wanted terrorists with a single word on a red banner, "deceased." but the death of al qaeda's founder and spiritual leader does not end the terror threat. across america today, heavily armed police bolstered patrols at airports from boston to los angeles. train stations in new york and san francisco, and around the u.s. capital in washington. >> you should expect al qaeda to try to do something. sympathizers of bin laden, sympathizers of al qaeda in general will be looking to take action to avenge bin laden's death. >> reporter: while sources say there is no credible intelligence pointing to an imminent terror attack, radical islamist web sites are vowing revenge and, in an internal
message today to the c.i.a., director leon panetta issued his own stark warning. the greatest threat may come from american-born cleric anwar al-awlaki and his yemen-based terror network, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. al-awlaki and a.q.a.p. have already tried first to hit the u.s., first with the christmas 2009 underwear bomb plot and last fall with explosives hidden in printers. and there's also increased worry about so-called lone wolves, individuals like mayor nidal hasan at fort hood who strike out in the name of bin laden and his terror network. >> it may be a mortally wounded tiger that still has life in it and it's dangerous and we need to keep up the pressure, we cannot relent. >> reporter: the u.s. has not raised its terror threat level but military bases around the world are on alert and the f.b.i. has ordered field offices
to press for any evidence at all of new plots against america. katie? >> couric: bob orr reporting from washington tonight. still ahead here on the "cbs evening news" from ground zero, living with the loss. we check back in with the son growing up without his father. but up next, he was hiding just a half mile from a military training facility. what did the pakistanis know? istanis know? ... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain,
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>> couric: back now from ground zero in new york. president obama's counterterrorism chief, john brennan, says osama bin laden had to have plenty of help to elude capture in pakistan for nearly a decade. chief foreign affairs correspondent lara logan is in washington tonight. lara, were the pakistanis protecting him? >> well, it certainly looks that way, katie. no one wants to come out and say it. no one's pointing a finger directly at pakistani officials but everyone from politicians to counterterrorism officials, special operations are saying it's impossible, improbable, unlikely, inconceivable that the pakistanis did not know that osama bin laden was there. you know, and just the nature of the compound alone that he was living in, where it was located, all of this seems to indicate that it really is inconceivable that the pakistanis not only knew he was there but were protecting him. >> couric: so what do you think this means for u.s./pakistani relations going forward? >> well, that's the interesting part, katie.
because although on the one hand the u.s. is clearly angry with pakistan about this, in their public statements, at least, they're treading very carefully, which is perhaps a sign of the fact that the u.s. still needs pakistan. i mean, they are a complicated ally to say the least. but they remain in, in theory, an ally in the war on terror and there are still a number of very significant al qaeda-leading taliban leadership and others who remain on pakistani soil so the u.s. will be looking for cooperation but i have to say that the relationship has been at its lowest point for a long, long time. and, you know, this is a moment where the u.s. can really use some leverage here and regain the upper hand. because the u.s. definitely has not had the upper hand in this relationship for some time. the. >> couric: all right. lara logan. lara, thanks. coming up next, portraits of grief. some families of 9/11 victims finally feel some relief. ...
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>> couric: nearly 3,000 people died on september 11, 2001. each anniversary they're remembered here in lower manhattan, at the pentagon and inñ%i shanksville, pennsylvania. but their families live with the loss every day of the year. >> i try not to focus on that. >> couric: many family members called the news of bin laden's death bittersweet and they're still trying to process it. >> my situation has not changed. you know, my kids still don't
have their father. i would hope now that a lot of the killing and this war could be ended.ñi bring the troops home now. >> couric: sonya houston lost her husband, a port authority police officer. her son hasani, only four at the felt vengeful. >> i knew that he was responsible. i knew that he was a bad person. but i never thought that he was... that he had to die, he had to get him. >> couric: and just as it was when we interviewed him five years ago, he still has his father's jacket and says one day perhaps he'll be a police officer, too. do you still miss him? >> i miss him a lot. i was four. but i still remember the moments we had. >> couric: ginny bauer became a victims' advocate after her husband david was killed working at the financial firm cantor fitzgerald. osama bin laden's demise is a
testament, she says, to america's persistence and commitment and a tribute to all who died. >> i'm just so proud of our country. it might have been a long time coming but we were successful. they did it. they got them. >> reporter: carrie's mother judy was on american airlines flight 11 when crashed into the world trade center. >> it's important the victims' voices are stronger and louder than that of the terrorists and today we know bin laden's voice has been silenced. >> couric: she says her mission is to keep her mother's spirit alive. >> my mom was a big red sox fan so she brought my sister and i up to believe that anything is possible. and in 2004 when they finally won the world series for the first time in 86 years, it was her birthday. >> couric: in the wake of her mother's death, carrie produced a documentary about global terrorism that she hopes will send a message ofok non-violence to would be radicals. >> we're always upset at bin
laden and other terrorists but to release these videos and get this publicity, we thought if they do it, why shouldn't we? >> couric: 9/11 left a lasting legacy on the riches family. three of them became firefighters after older son jimmy perished that day. he was 29. jim riches, a deputy fire chief, almost died himself of respiratory problems he suffered as a first responder. the news about osama bin laden has finally provided him with some relief. >> we'll always have a hole in our heart but it's nice to know that the men who bragged that they murdered our children have met their end. >> couric: he didn't focus on the death of bin laden for long. >> i miss my son, you know? >> couric: everyday? >> everyday, every hour. you know, he's my... shining star. ations.
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