News / USA

Obama Weighed Options Before bin Laden Strike

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier Genera
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier Genera

U.S. officials say President Barack Obama weighed several options before ordering the military assault that killed Osama bin Laden, and that the president's advisors were divided on which course to pursue.

The president opted against bombing the compound north of Islamabad where the al-Qaida leader had been hiding.  Officials said that plan would have been less risky to U.S. military personnel but would have made it difficult to confirm if bin Laden was present and killed.

U.S. officials say Obama also considered continuing to wait and monitor the site in order to be more certain of intelligence that strongly suggested the man at the compound was indeed bin Laden.  Obama ultimately authorized the military operation on Friday morning, saying "it's a go."

Details emerge

At a White House briefing on Monday, the Obama administration's counterterror chief, John Brennan, released details of the sophisticated airborne assault carried out by an elite U.S. military unit. A group of Navy SEALs slid down ropes from helicopters into the compound in the city of Abbottabad early Monday.  After making their way into the main building they shot bin Laden in the head during a firefight.

Brennan said there had been plans to take bin Laden alive.

Anxiety-filled

He called the 40 minutes that it took to complete the operation the "most anxiety-filled periods of time" for administration officials, including Mr. Obama, who was monitoring from the White House Situation Room. "Minutes," he said, "passed like days."

No American lives were lost in the operation.

Obama announced bin Laden's death in televised remarks at the White House late Sunday.

A U.S. counterterrorism official says the elite military unit confiscated hard drives, DVDs and documents following the raid.

Pakistan out of the loop

The Pakistan government was not informed of the mission until the helicopters were out of Pakistani air space, for fear they might be intercepted.  

Brennan suggested that bin Laden had benefited from some sort of support system in Pakistan because his compound was in Abbottabad, a military garrison town some 60 kilometers from Islamabad.  There had been persistent reports that bin Laden had sought refuge in Pakistan's lawless western border region.

Buried at sea, DNA proof

U.S. military officials said bin Laden was buried at sea after he was given traditional Muslim funeral rites, with his body washed and placed in a white sheet.

The officials said DNA testing showed nearly 100 percent certainty that the dead man was the al-Qaida leader.

Brennan revealed that President Obama, on word that the mission was successfully accomplished, said, "We got him."

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid