Pete Souza/The White House/AP/File
2. Bin Laden raid
Osama bin Laden, who created and funded the Al Qaeda terrorism network responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, was killed by a Joint Special Operations force working with the CIA in Abbotabad, Pakistan at a compound he had been living in. The mission, Operation Neptune’s Spear, many months in planning, culminated in a 40-minute gunbattle with Navy SEALS and CIA operatives. His death was announced by President Barack Obama on May 1, 2011.