Barack Obama: Remarks on the death of Osama bin Laden (2011)
Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. He was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama previously served as a United States senator from Illinois. In November 2008, he was elected to be President of the United States. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Since the 9/11 attacks in the USA in 2001, Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, the organisation responsible for the attacks, had been the most wanted terrorist in the world. Ten years after the attacks, he was killed on May 2, 2011, in a raid by United States special operations forces. Code-named Operation Neptune Spear, the operation was authorised by President Barack Obama and carried out by a team of US Navy SEAL commandos. The killing of bin Laden received a favourable response in the U.S. and was welcomed by many countries as well as the United Nations and the NATO. Shortly after bin Laden's death, President Obama adressed his nation and the world.
Watch the video and listen to the speech. You can also read the text if you like. Otherwise, jump to the post-listening exercise directly after watching the video.
Please note that the translation is only available for half of the speech.
Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
Guten Abend. Ich kann den Amerikanern und der ganzen Welt heute mitteilen, dass die Vereinigten Staaten eine Kommandoaktion durchgeführt haben, bei der Osama bin Laden, der Anführer von Al Kaida und ein Terrorist, der für den Tod tausender unschuldiger Männer, Frauen und Kinder verantwortlich war, getötet wurde.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
Vor beinahe zehn Jahren verfinsterte der schwerste Angriff gegen die Amerikaner in der Geschichte der Vereinigten Staaten einen sonnigen Septembertag. Die Bilder des 11. September haben sich in unser kollektives Gedächtnis eingebrannt – entführte Flugzeuge, die einen wolkenlosen Septemberhimmel durchschnitten, die einstürzenden Twin Towers, schwarzer Rauch, der aus dem Pentagon aufstieg, das Wrack von Flug 93 in Shanksville (Pennsylvania), dessen heldenhafte Passagiere uns vor noch mehr Leid und Zerstörung bewahrten.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
Aber wir wissen auch, dass die Welt die schlimmsten Bilder nicht zu sehen bekam. Der leere Platz am Abendbrottisch. Kinder, die ohne Mutter oder Vater aufwachsen mussten. Eltern, die das Gefühl, von ihren Kindern umarmt zu werden, nie kennenlernen würden. Uns wurden fast 3.000 Bürger genommen, und sie haben eine klaffende Lücke in unseren Herzen hinterlassen.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
Am 11. September 2001 haben sich die Amerikaner in ihrem Schmerz gegenseitig unterstützt. Wir reichten unseren Nachbarn die Hände, und wir spendeten den Verwundeten Blut. Wir bestätigten unseren Zusammenhalt untereinander sowie unsere Liebe für unsere Gemeinschaft und unser Land. An diesem Tag war es egal, woher wir kamen, zu welchem Gott wir beteten, welcher Hautfarbe oder Abstammung wir waren, wir waren als eine amerikanische Familie vereint.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
Wir waren auch eins in unserer Entschlossenheit, unser Land zu schützen und diejenigen ihrer gerechten Strafe zuzuführen, die diesen brutalen Angriff durchgeführt haben. Wir haben schnell in Erfahrung gebracht, dass Al Kaida hinter den Anschlägen vom 11. September steckte, eine Organisation, deren Anführer Osama bin Laden war, und die den Vereinigten Staaten offen den Krieg erklärt hatte und unschuldige Menschen in unserem Land und auf der ganzen Welt ermorden wollte. Wir erklärten also Al Kaida den Krieg, um unsere Bürger, unsere Freunde und unsere Verbündeten zu schützen.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
In den letzten zehn Jahren konnten wir hierbei dank der unermüdlichen und heldenhaften Arbeit unseres Militärs und unserer Experten in der Terrorismusbekämpfung große Fortschritte erzielen. Wir haben Terroranschläge verhindert und die Verteidigung unseres Landes gestärkt. In Afghanistan haben wir die Talibanregierung gestürzt, die bin Laden und Al Kaida einen sicheren Zufluchtsort und Unterstützung bot. Und auf der ganzen Welt haben wir mit Freunden und Verbündeten zusammengearbeitet, um zahllose Al-Kaida-Terroristen gefangen zu nehmen oder zu töten, darunter auch einige, die an den Plänen für den 11. September beteiligt waren.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
Doch Osama bin Laden entzog sich der Gefangennahme und konnte über die afghanische Grenze nach Pakistan entkommen. Unterdessen arbeitete Al Kaida entlang dieser Grenze und mithilfe ihrer Anhänger auf der ganzen Welt weiter an ihren Plänen.
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Kurz nachdem ich mein Amt antrat, wies ich daher Leon Panetta, den Direktor des CIA, an, es zu einer der obersten Prioritäten unseres Kriegs gegen Al Kaida zu machen, Osama bin Laden gefangen zu nehmen oder zu töten. Gleichzeitig setzten wir unsere umfassenderen Anstrengungen zur Behinderung, Zerschlagung und Zerstörung seines Netzwerks fort.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Im vergangenen August wurde ich dann nach Jahren der gewissenhaften Arbeit unserer Nachrichtendienste über eine mögliche Spur zu bin Laden unterrichtet. Sie war keineswegs eindeutig, und es dauerte viele Monate, diese Spur bis zum Ende zu verfolgen. Ich habe mich wiederholt mit meinen nationalen Sicherheitsberatern getroffen, während weitere Informationen über die Möglichkeit zusammengetragen wurden, dass wir bin Laden in einem Lager tief in Pakistan aufgespürt haben könnten. Vergangene Woche habe ich dann entschieden, dass wir über ausreichend nachrichtendienstliche Erkenntnisse verfügten, um einen Einsatz zur Gefangennahme und Bestrafung bin Ladens zu genehmigen.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
Heute haben die Vereinigten Staaten auf meine Weisung hin einen gezielten Einsatz gegen das Lager in Abbottabad in Pakistan durchgeführt. Ein kleines Team von Amerikanern führte die Operation mit sehr viel Mut und Kompetenz durch. Es wurden keine Amerikaner verletzt. Sie achteten darauf, zivile Opfer zu vermeiden. Nach einem Feuergefecht töteten sie Osama bin Laden und nahmen seinen Leichnam in Gewahrsam.
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Osama bin Laden war mehr als zwanzig Jahre lang Anführer und Symbolfigur von Al Kaida und schmiedete weiter Pläne gegen unser Land, unsere Freunde und Verbündeten. Der Tod bin Ladens ist bis heute der größte Erfolg unseres Landes in unserem Streben nach einem Sieg über Al Kaida.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. 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.
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.
We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
Maybe you have already heard or read more about the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror. When Obama declared that Osama bin Laden had been killed, thousands of people celebrated the news. Can you imagine what bin Laden's death means to Americans? Do you think there is still something to be afraid of? Try to write a few sentences about these questions. If you like, you can take a look at the sample solution.
The 9/11 attacks in 2001 threatened the United States and the whole world. They showed the US that they are not invulnerable. On that day, thousands of innocent people were killed and many lost their loved ones. Osama bin Laden was the founder and leader of the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda, thus he was responsible for the attacks. That's why he had been the major target of the War on Terror. People who celebrated his death said that now they could find closure. Among Americans, there has always been the fear of another terrible attack against the USA by Osama bin Laden. Now they feel that they finally have the opportunity to find rest and peace. However, bin Laden was only the leader of a large terrorist organisation which still exists and includes a huge number of terrorists. People are afraid that the organisation will seek revenge for the death of their leader.