A young Muslim man prays as thousands celebrate the news that Al-Qaida terror leader Osama bin Laden is dead in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 2, 2011. At 11.35 tonight President Obama announced "the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children." UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and officials around the world Monday praised the operation that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said bin Laden's death was a "watershed moment" in the war against terrorism
But Ban said following the news it was "a day to remember the victims and families of victims, here in the United States and everywhere in the world."
Speaking from Washington, Clinton said the mission carried a message for insurgents in Pakistan: "Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today may have even greater resonance. You cannot wait us out."
She said the Taliban can abandon al-Qaida and join the peacemaking process.
Clinton said al-Qaida's acts of terror "were not just attacks against Americans ... these attacks were against the whole world," and "innocent people, mostly Muslims, were targeted."
The secretary praised Pakistan at length. She said its government's cooperation helped increase the pressure on al-Qaida. But, she added, "We should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror will not stop with the death of bin Laden."
Praising the U.S. military, diplomats and law enforcement, Clinton said she hoped victims and their families "can find some comfort in the fact that justice has been served."
"This is America," she said. "We rise to the challenge, we persevere and we get the job done."
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said her department did not intend to issue a national security terrorism alert following the operation, though the United States remains "at a heightened state of vigilance."
"The death of Osama bin Laden is an important success not only for the United States, but the entire world," she said. "Our efforts to combat terrorism, however, do not fixate on one individual, and we remain completely focused on protecting our nation against violent extremism of all kinds."
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose city took the brunt of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks ordered by bin Laden, said Americans had given "our word" to stop at nothing to capture or kill bin Laden.
"We have kept that word," Bloomberg said.
The death of bin Laden, however, does not lessen the suffering New Yorkers and other Americans experienced because of him, the mayor said.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush called bin Laden's death in Pakistan at the hands of a U.S. team sent to kill him a "momentous achievement."
Former President Bill Clinton said: "This is a profoundly important moment not just for the families of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in al-Qaida's other attacks but for people all over the world who want to build a common future of peace, freedom and cooperation for our children."
British Prime Minister David Cameron said bin Laden's death would "bring great relief to people across the world," the Los Angeles Times reported.
"It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror," Cameron said in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called bin Laden's demise a great victory for Washington and its allies.
"This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism," a statement released by Netanyahu said.
In an interview on Army Radio, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement (Sunday) of bin Laden's death fell on the day Israel commemorates Holocaust martyrs and Heroes Day, mourning the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis
"It is too early to tell exactly what influence bin Laden's death will have but al-Qaida is built on a structure that is spread out all over the world, therefore there will be some sort of influence," Lieberman said.
U.S. politicians issued statements on the Pakistan operation after President Barack Obama announced bin Laden's killing, U.S. News & World Report said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,Va., said in a statement, "The man with the blood of more than 3,000 Americans on his hands, the man who forced us to begin to think the unthinkable -- is now dead."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it was the "most significant victory in our fight against al-Qaida and terrorism," but the "fight is not over."