Gibson, Owens react to death of Osama bin Laden

The region's representatives in Congress say the death of Osama bin Laden brings a sense of closure to those who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Bill Owens and Chris Gibson are both calling bin Laden's death a victory for the United States.

Owens - who represents New York's 23rd Congressional District - says bin Laden "spent a lifetime sewing hatred into the fabric of humanity."

Upon hearing the news earlier this week, Owens says his first thoughts went to those involved in the operation which resulted in bin Laden's death.

"That was really the first thought that came into my head," he said. "The second thought was for those who died in 9/11 and their families. That's where my thoughts went to initially. And then, as I had a moment to think about it, I said to myself, 'This is a good day, a bad guy was brought to justice.'"

Meanwhile, Gibson - who represents New York's 20th Congressional District - says bin Laden's death is an "important milestone" in the nation's war on terror and against the al Qaeda terrorist network.

Gibson says he appreciates the detailed planning and discipline that helped execute this week's successful mission in Pakistan.

According to Owens, the fact that bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan is significant.

He says if there is any indication that the Pakistani government knowingly provided a safe haven for bin Laden, then it will have a "serious impact" on America's relationship with Pakistan.

"If they didn't, and it was simply a failure of their intelligence service, than we have a different situation to evaluate," he said. "I would be very disturbed, personally, if we were to learn that this was a safe haven known to the Pakistani government."

Owens says it will take several months for the U.S. to effectively evaluate what bin Laden's death means to the war on terror and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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