WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders praised U.S. troops for tracking down and killing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and called for continuing vigilance in the fight against terrorism.
"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al-Qaida and radical extremism around the world, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement late Sunday night. "We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people.
"I want to congratulate — and thank — the hard-working men and women of our Armed Forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success. I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., praised "courageous Americans in our military and intelligence community" for carrying out "the most significant victory in our fight against al Qaeda and terrorism, but that fight is not over. We will continue to support our troops and the American civilians who are fighting every day to protect our homeland."
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was "overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist."
"The world is a better place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it.," McCain said. "I hope the families of the victims of the September 11th attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done. I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement. But while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al-Qaida and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them."
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, said the successful U.S. mission to take out bin Laden means that "Americans will wake up tomorrow in a safer, better, and more just world."
He called bin Laden's death "a historic victory" that "should bring a measure of justice and solace to al Qaeda's victims, and fear to its ranks, who now must know their hour of reckoning, too, shall come."