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Biden cites Afghan troop drawdown on 10-year anniversary of bin Laden killing

Biden cites Afghan troop drawdown on 10-year anniversary of bin Laden killing
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President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE noted his administration's move to bring troops home from Afghanistan on Sunday as he acknowledged the 10th anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a statement by the White House, the president said that al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan was "greatly degraded," though Taliban forces that were accused of aiding the terror group at the time of the U.S. invasion still control much of the country today.

"As we bring to an end America’s longest war and draw down the last of our troops from Afghanistan, al Qaeda is greatly degraded there," Biden said.

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"But the United States will remain vigilant about the threat from terrorist groups that have metastasized around the world. We will continue to monitor and disrupt any threat to us that emerges from Afghanistan," he added.

Biden also described the scene at the White House the night of bin Laden's killing, when he served as vice president, in his statement Sunday, praising "the clarity and conviction of President Obama in making the call" as well as "the courage and skill of our team on the ground" and the hard work of intelligence services in tracking down the al Qaeda leader.

"We followed bin Laden to the gates of hell—and we got him," said the president.

The U.S. Navy's SEAL Team 6 killed bin Laden during a 2011 raid on a compound occupied by the terrorist leader in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after pursuing him throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan for roughly a decade.

The leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization, bin Laden had claimed credit for masterminding the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, using hijacked jetliners. Another hijacked plane believed to be bound for Washington, D.C., crash-landed in Pennsylvania.

The president announced last month that the U.S. would withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 of this year, marking 20 years after the 9/11 attacks and the end of America's longest-running war.