President Bush says the death in Iraq of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a severe blow to al-Qaida.
President Bush says the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.
"Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. He masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad."
At an early morning appearance at the White House, the president hailed the work of American and Iraqi forces who tracked down Zarqawi.
He said they banded together to find the Jordanian-born terrorist, who became the most wanted man in Iraq.
"Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up."
Mr. Bush said he would meet on Monday at his Camp David retreat with his national security team on Iraq, and would confer with Iraqi officials on Tuesday.