WASHINGTON

U.S. embassies put on alert,Americans abroad warned

The State Department is putting U.S. embassies on alert and is warning Americans abroad of possible reprisal attacks from al-Qaida and its affiliates around the world after the killing of the group’s leader Osama bin Laden by American forces in Pakistan.

In a worldwide travel alert released shortly after President Obama late Sunday announced bin Laden’s death in a military operation, the department said there was an “enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counterterrorism activity in Pakistan.”

It said Americans living or traveling abroad, particularly in areas that have been hit by anti-American violence in the past, should limit travel outside their homes and avoid large gatherings.

ISLAMABAD

Mission helicopters took offfrom Pakistani air base

Osama bin Laden was killed in a helicopter raid on a mansion in an area north of the Pakistani capital, U.S. and Pakistani officials said today.

Four helicopters launched the attack in the Bilal area of Abbottabad, about 62 miles north of Islamabad, said a Pakistani intelligence official. One of the helicopters crashed after it apparently was hit by fire from the ground, the official said. He said the helicopters took off from a Pakistani air base in the north of the country.

Women and children were taken into custody during the raid, he said. A U.S. official confirmed that the raid was on a mansion close to Islamabad.

The news that bin Laden was killed close to Islamabad will raise questions of how long he had been there. Most U.S. intelligence assessments had placed him along the lawless border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.


WASHINGTON

Crowd near White House cheers bin Laden’s death

As news of the death of Osama Bin Laden spread, a large crowd gathered in front of the White House to celebrate, chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A” and waving American flags.

After midnight, the throng had filled the street in front and was spilling into Lafayette Park.

Legislative aide Will Ditto was getting ready to go to bed at his place on Capitol Hill when his mother called him with the news. He called the terrorist leader’s death “huge.”

Twenty-year-old Alex Washofsky came despite finals today at George Washington University. He said former President George Bush said the United States would get Bin Laden dead or alive, “and we did it.”

NEW YORK

Police welcome newsafter Obama’s address

The New York Police Department welcomed news about the death of terror leader Osama bin Laden.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said bin Laden’s killing in a U.S. mission in Pakistan is a “welcome milestone” for the friends and families of those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and for those “who remain tenaciously engaged in protecting New York from another attack.”

Kelly on Sunday night issued a message to all police commands reminding them that while there’s no information indicating a specific threat to the nation’s biggest city, officers should remain alert after President Obama’s announcement of bin Laden’s death.

More than 20 NYPD officers were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.