By Daily Mail Reporter
Hideout: The bin Laden compound was found only a few hundred yards from the military academy known as Pakistan's Sandhurst in the garrison town of Abbottabad, Pakistan
-U.S. embassies on alert over Al Qaeda reprisal attacks for Bin Laden killing
-President announces that mission planning began in August
-Mr Obama declares 'Justice has been done'
-David Cameron says death is 'massive step forward'
-Terror chief blasted in head after refusing offer to surrender
Three adults including Bin Laden's 'son' reportedly killed in raid
Body buried at sea after Saudi Arabia 'declines to take corpse'
Security experts warn that Al Qaeda will continue
Osama Bin Laden has been killed by the U.S. military after a decade-long hunt to avenge the 9/11 attacks, President Barack Obama revealed today.
The 54-year-old leader of Al Qaeda was dramatically killed yesterday in a firefight with American special forces in a $1million mansion hideout around 60 miles north of Islamabad in Pakistan.
Experts used facial recognition techniques to identify the slain terrorist and performed DNA tests, the results of which will be available in the coming days.
U.S. officials have reportedly told broadcaster CNN that Bin Laden's body has already been buried at sea in order to prevent the grave from becoming a shrine for extremists.
May 1: A grainy photo of the destruction at Osama bin Laden's sprawling compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The terrorist was shot by U.S. forces during a gun battle
In a dramatic statement late last night, President Obama said the U.S. military had recovered the body and confirmed to the world he had finally been killed.
‘Tonight I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children,’ he said.
‘Justice has been done’.
Officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours.
Within minutes of the news breaking Americans began gathering outside the White House to sing the national anthem and chant: ‘USA! USA!'
In a spontaneous outpouring of emotion, thousands started cheering and clapping and waving American flags to show their support.
Large groups of Americans gathered outside the White House in Washington and at 'ground zero' in New York to celebrate the news.
Paul Lagrandier, a retired New York firefighter who was part of the rescue for September 11 said he felt mixed emotions.
He told MailOnline: 'I'm saddened for the people who were affected by the tragedy and have to go through all this again.'
When asked what he thought about why it took so long to track down the terrorist, he said, 'I just knew we were working at it and we kept working at it. They stayed the course and accomplished the mission.'
But the terror chief's death will undoubtedly put the Middle East on high alert for reprisal attacks. It will also lead to urgent demands from Washington as to how the most wanted man was allowed to seek refuge in a supposedly allied country as Pakistan.
U.S. military sources revealed tonight that Bin Laden had been taken by surprise by the attack by a small team of U.S. Navy Seals who landed in the grounds of the compound.
He had been living at the luxury home with his youngest wife Amal al-Sadah.
The facility, surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, is in a suburban part of Pakistan, although it is unclear if the country's officials or local residents knew if Bin Laden lived there.
Details of his residence - in a major hub for tourists visiting the region - will cast new questions over Britain's relationship with Pakistan. British aid to the country was last year doubled to £60m.
During an operation in which troops were on the ground for just 40 minutes, they stormed the terror chief's hideaway.
Four helicopters took part in the attack on Bin Laden's two-storey house, which is understood to be within 100 yards of a military building in Abbottabad, a garrison town which is home to thousands of Pakistani troops.
Scroll down to view footage of President Obama's announcement
Announcement: Barack Obama announces the death of Bin Laden during a special address to the nation from the White House, ending an almost ten-year hunt
According to Pakistani officials in the town, fighters on the roof opened fire with rocket propelled grenades as the aircraft came close to the building. Pakistani officials and local people said one of the helicopters crashed.
In a dramatic finale, it is said that Bin Laden was offered the chance to surrender. But the leader, who had always said he would not be captured alive, refused and was blasted in the head by troops.
Three of the terror leader's men, including a man believed to be his own son, were also killed in the raid alongside a woman. They reportedly tried to act as a human shield in a furious firefight.
U.S troops returned to the damaged helicopter, but they were forced to carry Bin Laden's body to a working aircraft.
Pictures showing a bloodied face were later played on Pakistani TV. The beard and hair are both noticeably darker than they have appeared to be in previous videos of Bin Laden, and there were later suggestions that the picture had been faked.
In his televised statement Mr Obama said that Bin Laden was killed in a helicopter raid by a small group of U.S. Navy Seals who stormed his mansion in an affluent area 80 miles from Islamabad.
They were working on a tip which first surfaced last August after ‘years of painstaking work’ from the CIA and had taken months to run it into the ground.
‘Last week I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action and authorised an operation to get Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice,’ Mr Obama said.
'Today at my direction the U.S. launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. After a firefight they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body.’
U.S. military posts around the world had been put on alert in case of retaliation attacks by Islamic radicals.
The State Department warned of the heightened possibility for anti-American violence after the news of Bin Laden's death.
The department issued a worldwide travel alert shortly after Mr Obama's announcement. They warned of an 'enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan'.
It continued: 'Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.'
Attacked: A picture claiming to show Bin Laden's bloodied face was played on Pakistani TV although claims later emerged that the image had been faked
Deserted: Against a backdrop of sprawling mountains, Bin Laden's compound stood empty in Abbotabad, Pakistan today following the mission by U.S. troops
The alert said U.S. embassy operations would continue 'to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation'.
It noted that embassies and consulates may temporarily close or suspend public services, depending on conditions.
Mr Obama said that for more two decades Bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s ‘leader and symbol’ who has continued to plot attacks against America the West.
‘His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity,’ he said.
‘On nights like this one we can say to those family’s who have lost loved ones to Al Qaeda: Justice has been done’.
News of Bin Laden's death was welcomed today by political leaders around the world.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that the move was ' a massive step forward' while Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was a 'triumph for justice'.
In a televised statement later at Chequers, Mr Cameron said: 'This news will be welcomed right across our country.
'Of course, it does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terrorism. Indeed, we will have to be particularly vigilant in the weeks ahead. But it is, I believe, a massive step forward.
'Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children right across the world - people of every race and religion.
'He was also responsible for ordering the death of many, many British citizens, both here and in other parts of the world.
Flying the flag: Crowds gather at Ground Zero in New York to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden
Raising the issue: Two New Yorkers stand on a street sign to deliver the message: Obama 1 Osama 0
'USA, USA': Crowds of Americans spontaneously gathered at the front of the White House as news broke that Mr Obama was about to announce a 'major development' in the hunt for Bin Laden
Ground Zero: Thousands gather at the site of of the former World Trade Center in Manhattan. The death of bin Laden has specific significance for New Yorkers
'I would like to congratulate the US forces who carried out this brave action. I would like to thank President Obama for ordering this action.
'And I think it is a moment when too we should thank all of those who work day and night, often with no recognition, to keep us safe from the threat of terror.
'But above all today, we should think of the victims of the poisonous extremism that this man has been responsible for.
'Of course, nothing will bring back those loved ones that families have lost to terror. But at least they know the man who was responsible for these appalling acts is no more.'
Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC: 'I believe it was the right thing for the US to do and I think we should be relieved that Osama Bin Laden's terror - his own personal role in that terror - is now at an end.'
Welcoming Bin Laden's death, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: 'This is a resounding triumph for justice, freedom and the values shared by all democratic nations fighting shoulder to shoulder in determination against terrorism.'
September 11: Bin Laden became a byword for terrorism around the world after he ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in 2001