President Obama Calls Osama bin Laden's Death 'a Significant Achievement'

05/02/2011 AT 10:40 AM EDT

Many Americans were already asleep on Sunday night when President Barack Obama addressed the nation to say that U.S. military operatives killed Osama bin Laden in a mansion in Pakistan's Abbottabad Cantonment earlier in the day.

"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that 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," the president said in the East Room at close to midnight Eastern time.

The Chief Executive – who briefed former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before he spoke to the public – termed bin Laden's death "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda."

Watch the President's entire address above.
Stephen M. Silverman

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