Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, released the following statement on the death of Osama Bin Laden. The terrorist mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks was killed by U.S. forces during an operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

“My thoughts are first with our men and women in uniform, and their families, who have sacrificed so long in the struggle to keep us safe, as well as the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, and their families, who despite this welcome news, will never be whole again,” Capps said.

“I commend President (Barack) Obama for his leadership and our military and intelligence communities for their outstanding service. While this operation was carried out by a small unit of Navy Seals, we know that the years long work of so many men and women dedicated to keeping this country safe led up to yesterday’s events.

“The news of Osama Bin Laden’s demise is certainly a positive development in the fight against violent extremism. I hope that it, along with the dramatic changes happening throughout the Arab world, can provide an opportunity for real change. But I believe that we must remain vigilant, especially in the coming days, weeks and months, as this news sinks in.”

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.