URI alumnus King breaks news of death of bin Laden

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KINGSTON, R.I. – University of Rhode Island alumnus John King broke the news of Osama bin Laden’s death last night for CNN at 10:45 p.m., nearly an hour before President Obama went live on television around the world with the official announcement.

CNN is told by several sources now that the President of the United States will announce in just moments that the United States has the body of Osama bin Laden. That Osama bin Laden has been killed,” King told an international audience. “The United States is convinced that it has the body of Osama bin Laden.

“The mastermind of 9/11 and the architect of al Qaeda. We don’t know the details; we don’t know how this came about, but we are told now by several sources – administration sources and Congressional sources – that the administration is now telling senior members of Congress and telling others it believes, it is convinced, it now has the body of Osama bin Laden.”

Widely recognized for orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed more than 3,000 people, bin Laden founded the jihadist organization al Qaeda.

Before President Obama spoke, King reported that it was U.S. forces that killed bin Laden in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

“I’m told it was a United States asset that killed Osama bin Laden based on actionable U.S. intelligence,” said King, ‘85.

At 11:35 p.m., President Obama spoke from the East Room of the White House.

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world, the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda,” Obama said. “The terrorist who was responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”