Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan, President Barack Obama has said.
Bin Laden was shot dead at a compound near Islamabad, in a ground operation based on US intelligence, the first lead for which emerged last August.
Mr Obama said US forces took possession of the body after “a firefight”.
Bin Laden is believed to have ordered the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 and a number of others.
He was top of the US’ “most wanted” list.
DNA tests later confirmed that Bin Laden was dead, US officials said.
Many Americans have been celebrating the death, with Ground Zero and Times Square providing footage seen around the world.
The BBC rounds up some political reactions including David Cameron: “It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror.” The FT reports that in Saudi Arabia, “the land of his birth, the news sparked cheers, mourning, denial – and a stream of conspiracy theories. Analysts say that – while bin Laden’s death is a big boost domestically for the US – the knock-on effect on the Middle East will be more complex and may even include an increased threat of terrorist attacks by militant groups.” The New York Times blogs that Middle Eastern confidence that Osama bin Laden would “do the right thing” politically was low. For the Quilliam Foundation in the UK, Maajid Nawaz said, “Bin Laden’s death comes at a time when al-Qaeda is struggling to remain relevant. As events in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen have also shown, the Arab world has moved on since al-Qaeda was founded in the 1980s. A clear majority of Muslims around the world have decisively rejected al-Qaeda’s vision; people’s real concerns are now about poverty, unemployment and a lack of government accountability; not about establishing a caliphate and fighting a worldwide jihad against the West.
“Bin Laden’s death – combined with the events of Arab Spring – offers a clear chance for Muslims throughout the world to move on from the era of al-Qaeda and to find ways to achieve dignity, prosperity and social justice without resorting to violence.”
In a move unlikely to win friends across the Atlantic, some in Hamas have said that the killing represents the “state terrorism that America carries out against Muslims” – though the Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the Palestinian Authority, said he was unaware that anyone in Hamas would condemn the killing, describing it instead as “a major, mega landmark event, ending the life of a person who was involved in egregious acts of terror and destruction.”
In the last hour, bound to further muddy the moral water, it has been alleged via the controversial Wikileaks organisation that a crucial lead for the capture arose from the torture of bin Laden’s captured deputy in a CIA prison.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who was repeatedly subjected to methods including “waterboarding” and stress positions, provided the CIA with the name of bin Laden’s personal courier, according to US officials.
A second source – also an al-Qaeda “leader” held at Guantanamo Bay – then confirmed the courier’s identity, sparking an intense manhunt that resulted in the dramatic final raid.
Secret documents seen by The Daily Telegraph disclose that this second source – the terrorist operations chief, Abu Faraj al-Libi – played a key role in finding “safe havens” for bin Laden and lived in the small, military town where he was finally found.