Osama bin Laden dead: Va. Governor Bob McDonnell, Md. officials release statements

Osama bin Laden is shown in this Dec. 24, 1998 file photo. Photo: Associated Press

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and other Maryland officials have issued statements following news of Osama bin Laden's death.

McDonnell said in a statement released Monday: "This is a great and historic moment for America and the world. I applaud President Barack Obama, his Administration and the brave men and women of our military for this successful operation. The death of Osama Bin Laden brings final justice to the evil perpetrator of the attacks of 9/11. Justice has truly been served. While we celebrate this news, we must also remember that The War on Terror is not over. We cannot rest until our nation is secure, and all threats to our freedom and our people are eliminated. On this day, and every day, we continue to remember those we lost on that tragic day in September 2001, the brave service men and women who have died defending our nation in the years following that attack, and the family and friends they have left behind. We will never forget."{ }

Members of Maryland's congressional delegation are also praising a U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but say the country must remain vigilant.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski said in a statement early Monday that bin Laden's death marks "a historic day for our country." She added, however, that "the hateful ideology he espouses will persist" and that "terrorists will continue to harbor predatory intent toward the United States."

Sen. Ben Cardin called bin Laden's death "an important milestone in the fight against terrorism." He also cautioned that the country "must remain vigilant in the continued fight against al-Qaeda and any terrorists who seek to harm our nation."

Bin Laden was slain in his hideout in Pakistan in a firefight with American forces.

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement: “I want to commend our military and intelligence professionals for the coordinated and painstaking work that was responsible for tracking down Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was behind the tragedies in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia on September 11th, 2001, the bombing of the Norfolk-based USS Cole in 2000, and countless other acts of terror that have killed thousands of innocent people. His death does not mean that the threat posed by terrorism to our nation has passed. We must remain vigilant.”