Bush hails bin Laden death as victory for America

DALLAS (AP) - Former President George W. Bush has congratulated President Barack Obama and heralded the servicemen and women involved in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

Bush was in power nearly 10 years ago when agents from bin Laden's al-Qaida network hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, killing nearly 3,000 people in the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

Bin Laden was shot in the head by elite U.S. counter-terrorism troops early Monday in northern Pakistan. Four other people were killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden's sons.

"This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001," he said in a brief statement released Sunday night. "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

About a dozen supporters of Bush gathered briefly before dawn Monday outside his Dallas home despite a thunderstorm that pelted the city with hail. They left flowers, planted flags and tied red, white and blue balloons. One sign read, "Thank you President Bush."

Bush's spokesman, David Sherzer, confirmed early Monday that the former president was at home Sunday night.