1 of 16 | Various sources have reported Osama bin Laden's body is in the custody of the U.S. government. | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Osama bin Laden, arguably the world's most notorious terrorist leader, has been killed in Pakistan, U.S. President Obama announced Sunday night.
"We conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden," the president said in a televised address to the nation.
Obama said U.S. intelligence got a credible lead on bin Laden's whereabouts "deep inside Pakistan" in August.
"It took months to run that thread down," he said.
Obama said he ordered the "targeted operation" only a few days ago.
"After a firefight, they killed bin Laden and "took custody of his body," he said.
But Obama said it doesn't end the effort to root out terrorists worldwide.
"We must remain vigilant," he said.
Bin Laden, a member of a prominent family in Saudi Arabia, had been waging a terrorist war against the United States since the 1990s. Al-Qaida actions included bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
A big crowd of cheering people quickly gathered outside the White House and sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America."
Baseball fans at Citizens Bank ballpark in Philadelphia, where the Phillies were playing the New York Mets, broke into spontaneous chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" as they learned of bin Laden's death on their personal data devices. The chanting grew louder as the game progressed.
ESPN said the players initially appeared puzzled at what the commotion was about.
ABC News reported a national security source said bin Laden was not killed in a drone strike, but declined provide details.
"This is a terrific day for America and quite frankly the whole world that cares about winning the war on terror," former Bush chief of staff Andy Card told ABC News.
Card said the news is "particularly significant" for the intelligence community.
"They're the ones who kept their nose to the grindstone and worked very hard to allow this day to be realized ... finally," he said.