Elusive Target: The 10-Year Hunt for Bin Laden

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The news that Osama bin Laden's body was in U.S. custody sent many Americans into the streets in patriotic celebration.

Crowds gathered outside the White House even before President Obama announced the news of bin Laden's death in a televised address to the nation Sunday night.

Similar scenes were seen on the streets of Times Square, all the way to street corners in California as crowds gathered to chant, "U.S.A, U.S.A., U.S.A."

"We beat them at their own game. We never gave up," said Charles Wolf, the husband of a 9/11 victim.

After years of advanced intelligence gathering officials found bin Laden's hide out -- not in a cave, but a massive fortified compound in an affluent Pakistani neighborhood.

On April 22, President Obama authorized the covert operation to kill bin Laden.

"And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror: Justice has been done," Obama said Sunday night.

Lee Webb also spoke with retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, the former head of the Pentagon's Special Operations Command, to give insight into the difficulty of the operation. Click below to watch the interview.

An elite U.S. Navy SEAL unit were onboard four helicopters and attacked the compound. Bin Laden was killed in the resulting firefight -- shot in the head.

"After a fire fight they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body," the president said.

White House officials say bin Laden's remains were handled in accordance with Islamic law and he was buried at sea.

Two other males were also killed in the operation, along with a female that one of the men used as a human shield.

Bin Laden's compound was fortified with 12-foot to 18-foot walls topped with barbed wire, but had no telephone or Internet service.

He lived there with two of his most trusted henchmen who took extraordinary security precautions, including burning their trash.

In many ways, bin Laden was hiding in plain sight in the town of Abbottabad, which is the home to three Pakistani military regiments and a military academy, raising questions about whether Pakistani officials knew the whereabouts of the world's most wanted man.

"Not only were they about 800 meters from a military academy - but the neighborhood that this house was in is populated mostly by retired military officers," CBN News Correspondent Chuck Holton explained.

"And I think it's going to be pretty hard for them to try and convince anybody that they didn't know he was there and this may very well strain relations with Pakistan a little bit more," he added.

U.S. officials warn al Qaeda will now seek revenge. According to Wikileaks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told interrogators at Guantanamo Bay that al Qaeda would detonate a nuclear device hidden in Europe if bin Laden was ever kidnapped or captured.

Senior White House officials say they've not received any specific threats, but warn that Americans should be vigilant.

CBN News Jerusalem Reporter Julie Stahl has more on the Israel's reaction.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.