As much of the world learned on Twitter last night, Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid by by Navy SEALs who will never again buy their own drink in a bar. The reactions are rolling in, and here's a few from our Pennsylvania politicians; we will update as they continue to arrive. We'll start with Sen. Bob Casey -- who runs the Foreign Affairs subcommittee that oversees Afghanistan and Pakistan -- and the rest will be below the jump.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.:
"On September 11, 2001, the United States was viciously attacked in a cowardly terrorist plot masterminded by Osama bin Laden. Today, U.S. forces have killed bin Laden and exacted justice for his terrible crimes which killed thousands. I thank our troops, the intelligence community and diplomats who have worked today and since September 11th to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.
"On September 11th, Pennsylvania was directly impacted by Al Qaeda when Flight 93 was downed over Shanksville. In the nearly ten years after September 11th, Pennsylvania has lost 68 troops in Afghanistan and hundreds have been injured. The sacrifice of those families who lost loved ones on September 11th and in the following years can never be made whole, but I hope that the death of bin Laden can help to bring some closure.
"While today's development does not mean an end to terrorism or the need to remain relentlessly vigilant, the death of bin Laden has enormous significance in American and world history."
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.:
“Osama bin Laden’s death is heartening news and an important event for our nation and the war on terror. I commend the president, his national security team and our military forces for this successful operation. I also want to thank the U.S. intelligence community and its operatives who have spent years hunting down this terrorist. Osama bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives, and his death is a testimony that America will not tolerate brutal acts of terror on its people."
Former Sen. and likely Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum:
"This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph. Americans have waited nearly ten years for the news of Osama bin Laden's death. And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden. As we were vigilant in taking him out we need to demonstrate we will continue to be vigilant until the enemy has been subdued."
Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless:
“All of America is proud of the brave men and women of our military and intelligence community who have once again proven that they are the most highly skilled, well trained forces the world has ever seen. America’s relentless pursuit of Osama bin Laden has come to a successful conclusion, but we must remain vigilant and continue the fight against terrorist extremists, wherever it leads. At this moment of great military success and achievement, we will continue our equally important mission of protecting our citizens at home.”
Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown:
“The death of Osama bin Laden is a significant victory in our fight against al-Qaeda, and a true testament to the skill and determination of our military and intelligence communities.
“While this achievement provides some comfort to the families and friends who lost loved ones because of his horrific terrorist attacks, we must understand and recognize that the threat of terrorism still exists, and that our nation’s fight against it will continue.”
Allegheny County Executive Democratic candidate Rich Fitzgerald:
"Congratulations to President Obama and thank you to our armed forces for their doggedness in pursuing and killing Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11. Bringing Bin Laden to justice will hopefully bring some closure to the families of the victims of 9/11 and by ridding the world of this force of evil, let's hope our country can move into a more peaceful time."
Allegheny County Executive Democratic candidate Mark Patrick Flaherty (via Twitter):
Great Job US Forces for bringing Bin Laden to justice!May the victims Rest in Peace.A day to remember the family losses.God Bless America
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair:
"Osama bin Laden's death represents a victory for all Americans and for freedom-loving people everywhere. It is the fulfillment of the world's call for justice after the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, during which nearly 3,000 innocent American lives were lost at the hands of bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorist network.
"Ever since that tragic day, our brave men and women in the Armed Forces and throughout our intelligence and diplomatic communities have sustained a long and unwavering campaign to bring bin Laden to justice, and I commend them all for their courage, service and sacrifice.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones at the hands of Bin Laden and his terrorist organization. Let this event serve as solace to all Americans impacted by the horrific events of September 11th. We must remain vigilant, remembering that we continue to face real and evolving threats in the fight against global terrorism and radical extremism.”
Pennsylvania GOP chairman Rob Gleason:
"Tonight I join Pennsylvanians in celebrating an extraordinary moment in U.S. history as the hunt for Osama bin Laden which began nearly 10 years ago is finally concluded. Though we will never forget the horrific events of September 11, 2001, we hope that tonight's victory will help to heal some of the wounds inflicted by terrorist violence at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the crash of United Flight 93 here in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Our most heartfelt and sincere gratitude is extended to the members of the United States military and intelligence community for their courage, resilience and sacrifice in fighting the global war on terrorism and keeping our nation safe from attack."