WASHINGTON, May 2, 2011 — The United States will not become complacent in the aftermath of killing Osama bin Laden, but will continue its efforts to stamp out terrorism with new resolve, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today.
“We must take this opportunity to renew our resolve and redouble our efforts,” she said in remarks delivered from the State Department this morning.
“Our message to the Taliban remains the same, but today it may have even greater resonance: You cannot wait us out. You cannot defeat us. But you can make the choice to abandon al-Qaida and participate in a peaceful political process,” she said.
President Barack Obama announced late last night that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden, the elusive leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network, outside Islamabad, Pakistan, yesterday. Bin Laden had been a target of U.S. forces since the 1990s, when al-Qaida bombed the World Trade Center and the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. The hunt grew after the USS Cole bombing in 2000, then became a focal point after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
History will show that bin Laden’s death coincided with a revolution toward peace and democracy across the Middle East, Clinton said. “History will record that bin Laden’s death came at a time of great movements toward freedom and democracy, at a time when the people across the Middle East and North Africa are rejecting the extremist narrative and charting a path of peaceful progress based on universal rights and aspirations,” she said. “There is no better rebuke to al-Qaida and its heinous ideology.”
The United States will press harder to forge partnerships toward peace and the military and its allies will continue the fight in Afghanistan, Clinton said. “All over the world, we will press forward, bolstering our partnerships, strengthening our networks, investing in a positive vision of peace and progress, and relentlessly pursuing the murderers who target innocent people,” she said. “The fight continues, and we will never waver.”
Clinton thanked Americans involved in operations against al-Qaida. They “have worked tirelessly and relentlessly for more than a decade to track down and bring Osama bin Laden, this terrorist, to justice,” she said.
“From our troops and our intelligence experts to our diplomats and our law enforcement officials, this has been a broad, deep, very impressive effort,” she added. Clinton also noted the U.S. partnership with Pakistan.
“Our partnerships, including our close cooperation with Pakistan, have helped put unprecedented pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership,” she said. “Continued cooperation will be just as important in the days ahead, because even as we mark this milestone, we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaida and its syndicate or terror will not end with the death of bin Laden.”
Many people around the world have suffered at the hands of al-Qaida, including Pakistanis, Clinton said. “This is a day not only for Americans, but also for people all over the world who look to a more peaceful and secure future –- yes, with continued vigilance, but more so with growing hope and renewed faith in what is possible,” she said.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)