News of Osama bin Laden's death brought a great sense of satisfaction to the leader of the local investigation into three of the 9/11 hijackers.
President Barack Obama revealed in a White House address Sunday night that the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks died during an operation in Pakistan by a small team of Americans.
U.S. officials said the helicopter raid in Pakistan was carried out by CIA paramilitaries together with the elite Navy SEAL Team Six according to the Associated Press.
Three of the men who carried out bin Laden's plan to kill thousands of Americans on 9/11 lived, studied and even took flying lessons in San Diego
Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and Hani Hanjour were three of the hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 killing 64 aboard the plane and 125 on the ground. Hanjour was the pilot.
Current San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore was head of the local FBI at the time and led an unprecedented effort in San Diego as part of a national investigation into the attacks.
“It's such a great sense of satisfaction and relief,” Gore said of the news that bin Laden was killed in Pakistan and that American forces took custody of his remains .
“In no way will it bring back the lives that he's responsible for taking on September 11th," Gore said. "But knowing that he's met his just rewards is very satisfying.”
Gore and his team of FBI agents tracked the movements of al-Mihdhar, al-Hazmi and Hanjour in San Diego before the attacks.
The men lived in an apartment complex in Clairemont off Balboa Avenue near a mosque where they met a well-known leader in San Diego’s Muslim community.
That leader, who was told the men were here to study English, invited two of them – al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar - to live in his Lemon Grove home in 2000.
Hanjour and al-Mihdhar took flying lessons at a flight school based at Montgomery Field in 2000 telling their instructor they wanted to fly Boeing jets.
Gore said there are some people who will see bin Laden as a martyr and so we should remain vigilant when it comes to protecting the United States.