Former President George W. Bush said that he congratulated President Obama and members of the military upon learning that Osama bin Laden had been killed on Sunday.

Bush, during whose presidency bin Laden launched the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., said that Obama called him Sunday evening to inform him of bin Laden's death in a U.S.-led military operation.


"I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission," Bush said in a statement. "They have our everlasting gratitude."

A senior administration official said early Monday morning that Obama spoke also with former President Clinton on Sunday.

Bush set out to capture or kill bin Laden shortly after the 2001 attacks. Much has been made of the coincidence of bin Laden's May 1 death occurring eight years to the day after Bush's famous "Mission Accomplished" speech on an aircraft carrier, which announced the end of major military operations in Iraq. 

"This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001," Bush said. "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."